cultural immersion trip. There are various international service-learning trips and even opportunities to have an international internship before graduation. “In the 2008-09 academic year we had 82 students in international programs; in 2012-13, we had 232,” reported Goldblatt. President Finney has placed international travel in a priority position. In Champlain’s 2020 Vision, it is the institution’s goal to “be the finest small, professionally and globally focused college in the United States; the College will prepare all students to be globally engaged citizens and leaders.” By the numbers, the original 2020 objective was to have 50 percent of students participate in international programs by the time they graduate. “We have already reached that goal for the past couple of years,” said Goldblatt. “Five years ago, we had only 23 percent of students study abroad. The program has come a long way.”
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Champlain is tackling the 2020 Vision one step at a time. The overarching philosophy of having a global experience at Champlain starts at home, though— right on Burlington’s campus. The most applicable focus of the 2020 Vision is fostering a diverse and inclusive community. Recognizing that diversity is both a reflection of the world and a source of rich education, Champlain is striving to be diverse in ways that reflect the world in which we live and work. The strategic Diversity and Inclusion goals include increasing the diversity of the student body and of faculty and staff, while fostering educational opportunities
Champlain View | Fall 13
for each of them to develop intercultural competence. The 2020 Vision states, “Champlain will be an institution that harnesses the productive power of difference. A strong climate of mutual respect among all members of the Champlain community will be cultivated, with particular emphasis on cultural differences associated with age, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, race and sexual orientation. Employees and students will live and work in an environment where it is safe to take risks and challenge others.” So far, the College has developed multiple programs to address the goals. Through deliberate and thoughtful recruitment strategies, there has been an increase in campus diversity, a term that incorporates students of color, women, eligible Pell Grant recipients, and international students. “This year there are first-year international students from China, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, El Salvador, Macedonia, Switzerland, and more at our Burlington campus,”
Fulbright Scholar Rula Quawas from Jordan. (Photo by Kayla Hedman ‘14)
said Kathy Lynn, assistant director of International Student Services. “That’s in addition to students we have had from Haiti, the Republic of Liberia, South Africa, Bhutan, Palestine, and the list goes on and on.” Some Champlain initiatives include international programming. The Cultural Community Alliance (CCA) is a studentrun group sponsored by the Office of International Education. Its mission is to provide opportunities for all members of the Champlain College community to explore different cultures and perspectives. The CCA’s campus-wide events and social activities include a fall International Education Week, and a speaker series that has included the Swedish, Irish, and Moroccan ambassadors to the United States. Student Life has also fostered a community of learning by hiring Jennifer Jang as associate director of student diversity programs at Champlain. This fall, she has organized a Chinese Moon Festival and an Eid Al-Adha Celebration that featured authentic food, drink, traditional activities, and performances. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), directed by Ame Lambert, continues to work with all campus stakeholders to create an inclusive, interculturally competent campus. ODI’s ongoing programming includes Intercultural U—Champlain’s unique intercultural training certification program designed to prepare members of Champlain’s faculty and staff to serve as peer trainers, advocates, and facilitators of intercultural and diversity programming. About 125 Champlain employees have received their Intercultural U certificates, and Lambert will kick off the sixth cohort in the spring. The College is also honored to host its first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Rula Quawas. She is a Gender Research in Arab Countries into ICTs for Empowerment (GRACE) project research team leader and Professor of English at the University of Jordan. During her year at Champlain she is teaching junior-level courses pertaining to Arab feminisms and culture.
Published on Dec 10, 2013
The Champlain View, a magazine for alumni, friends, family of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. A focus on international studies, a...