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CAPSTONE NEWSLETTER Fall 2015 • Vol. 15, No. 2


Welcome Aboard to...

AIRC President Wins UN Award


KAITLIN HARTLEY joined the Education Abroad (EA) team in January as an advisor for outgoing students in the Colleges of Education, Human Environmental Kaitlin Hartley Sciences, Social Work, Communication and Information Sciences, Nursing, and Engineering. Kaitlin is from Versailles, Kentucky and holds a B.S. from Western Kentucky University and a M.A. from The University of Alabama. Her study abroad experiences with Semester at Sea and a semester in Harlaxton, England are what sparked her desire to help students pursue these opportunities during their college career.

a Bachelor’s of Business Administration. Originally from Vietnam, Trang and her husband moved from Colorado to Tuscaloosa in 2011 after completing their graduate studies Trang Nguyen at Colorado State University. Trang has long been involved in international education, working with International Friends, a non-profit organization at CSU which paired international students and host families. Trang’s experiences as an international student and position with International Friends sparked her passion for working in a university setting where she could help international students and scholars. Trang’s husband is on faculty with the College of Engineering, and they have 2 children.

Brandon Hooks, president of the Alabama International Relations Club won the 2015 UNA-USA of Greater Birmingham Campus Leadership Award. The United Nations Associate of the United States of America, Birmingham Chapter, recognizes students who are committed to international education and building bridges in their community and the world. Hooks, a senior from Wetumpka, AL was honored for his work with the Model UN, the Serbia Fellows Experience and his countless hours spent planning for events and engaging his fellow UA students in international focused dialogue and experiences.


MEGAN MORELAND joined the Education Abroad (EA) office as an office associate in August. She is a UA graduate and recently earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Megan Moreland Megan grew up in Birmingham, but also spent some time living in Pittsburgh, PA while she was in high school. Her love of UA’s campus and climate brought her back to the Capstone. She studied abroad on the UA in Oxford program when she was a student and is excited to work in the Education Abroad office and meet more students and assist them have an overseas experience. TRANG NGUYEN joined the International Services (IS) team in July 2015 as the new Immigration Assistant. Trang graduated from Colorado State University with a Master’s of Management Practice and from National Economics University in Hanoi, Vietnam with


MEGAN WAGNER joined the Capstone International Center as the Office Coordinator in March. She works with the Assoc. Provost for International Megan Wagner Education and Global Outreach on special projects, such as the annual Sakura Festival and International Education Week as well as coordinating the Global Studies Certificate and the Fulbright Program. Megan grew up in Wisconsin and earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and International Business from Marquette University. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served as an elementary school teacher in a rural village in Guyana. She loves to travel and is excited to be welcomed in the south.

The AIRC engages UA students through current events, international advocacy, Model United Nations, ALMUN, the Tuscaloosa Initiative for Language Education, and the Black Belt Development Initiative. Membership in the AIRC is available to students of all levels and majors who are interested in global issues and international education.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Capstone International Center..........1 Education Abroad............................. 2 English Language Institute................2 International Services........................3



Study Abroad Fair

Scholarships and EA Blog

On September 16, 2015 Education Abroad held its annual fall Study Abroad Fair. This event gives students an opportunity to see all of the programs offered by UA faculty and all the affiliates that partner with Education Abroad to provide a wide range of experiences in over 60 countries. Fifteen affiliate organizations were present to interact with students and promote their study abroad organizations. Add this date to your calendars! The spring Study Abroad Fair will be February 10, 2016 in the Ferguson Student Center.

Each year the Education Abroad office awards many scholarships to UA students who plan to study abroad. Winners are chosen based on academic merit, financial need, community/campus involvement, and the abroad program’s applicability to the student’s future or career goals. As a scholarship recipient students are asked to contribute 3 stories to which documents the stories of UA students studying abroad. Scholarship information can be found on our website and is updated as new scholarships become available. Please visit our blog to read about our students’ overseas experiences and to learn along with our students as they experience other cultures!


ELI Tuition Scholarship The ELI Tuition Scholarship, established in the spring of 2001, is awarded each session to a continuing ELI student who is enrolled full-time. The scholarship covers 50% of the tuition for one session and is awarded based on academic performance and financial need. The ELI is pleased to have been able to award scholarships during the summer and fall to the following students:

The Education Abroad Office is Excited to Unveil Our New Logo!

Younis Habib (Saudi Arabia)

Paterne Ange Carel Kenedy Koukpesso (Benin)

Hyunkyu Kim (South Korea)

Andres Arevalo Ramirez (Colombia)

Valentina Urzua (Chile)

Hyojung Han (South Korea)

Maria Villegas Pena (Colombia)

Hyunkyoung Oh (South Korea)

EA Snapshot 2014-2015 Education Abroad had another exciting semester with 1,074 students studying abroad for academic credit between Fall 2014 through Summer 2015. The top 5 countries visited during this time were Spain, Italy, England, Austria, and France. Our UA faculty Led programs lead the way with the highest participation out of all the program types offered. Education Abroad is also proud to share that the average GPA for students studying abroad during the Fall 2014 and Summer 2015 terms was a 3.83! We are so proud of our students for keeping up the hard work while abroad!

We wish them continued success in achieving their educational and career goals.



Japan Visits Alabama During the Spring 2 and Summer 1 sessions at ELI, we welcomed 2 groups of Japanese visitors to UA: 11 students from a Japanese university known as JF Oberlin (Obirin Gakuen), and 20 students from Kansai Gaidai University. They all studied in our normal Intensive English Program, stayed on campus, ate in dining halls and on the Strip. Some had American roommates, some had roommates from Japan, and some had roommates from other countries. They all traveled back to Japan on the same flight, but they didn’t all have similar experiences here. The Oberlin students’ experience was slightly different than that of the average ELI student, because they had a mandate from their

university to experience more American culture by doing community

service. ELI staff located and scheduled opportunities for them to volunteer their time to help others. During their first session, their English level restricted them to opportunities on campus. As they became better at English and more confident in dealing with Americans, they were able to branch out away from campus. During their second session, they spent time at Temporary Emergency Services, sorting donations, preparing food packages, and stocking the shelves. They said that they saw a different side of America, and understood the ideas of charity and volunteering more clearly. Participating in this program increased their intercultural understanding.

Brazil Scientific Mobility Program During the summer fifteen undergraduate students from the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP) took part in intensive English classes at the English Language Institute (ELI) before matriculating to academic classes at The University of Alabama in the fall semester. During their summer session, the students honed their English skills, became familiar with U.S. culture and got acquainted with the UA campus. The Brazilian government is awarding full, one-year scholarships to its best students in the STEM fields with the goals of promoting scientific research, increasing international cooperation in science and technology, and engaging students in global dialogue. Most of the BSMP students at UA will be studying in the engineering departments.


International Enrollment Highlights In August 2015, Capstone International Services welcomed 332 new international undergraduate, graduate, and ELI students to UA, bringing the total number of international students served by CIS to 1658. Of the 1658 total international students served by CIS, 1503 are active, enrolled students, and 155 are recent graduates who remain on The University of Alabama’s visa sponsorship while working on Optional Practical Training (OPT). The 1503 active, enrolled international students come from 77 countries and regions of the world and represent 4 % of the 37,100 students enrolled at The University of Alabama for fall 2015. For more information on International Student Enrollment Data and to access the 2015 International Student & Scholar Report, please visit:

Morris Appointed To NAFSA Region VII Team In September 2015, Charter Morris, Director of International Services, was selected for the position of Knowledge Community International Student and Scholar Services Liaison for NAFSA: The Association of International Educators Region VII. In this role, Charter will serve on the Region VII Leadership Team and serve as a point person for other international educators and advisors to students and scholars from across the Southeast, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Tennessee. Charter will serve in the position for 3 years. NAFSA was founded in 1948 and is the leading professional organization devoted to international education. More information can be found at




TIF Welcome Party

CIC STAFF Dr. Teresa E. Wise associate provost for international education & global outreach

Tuscaloosa’s International Friends hosted a welcome party for new international students on Sunday, August 30 at the Cavalry Baptist Church. The annual event was a great success, pairing 92 hosts and host families with 157 UA, Stillman College, and Shelton State Community College international students. TCBY donated frozen yogurt for the event, and many of the TIF families provided treats and snacks. Tuscaloosa’s International Friends is a community organization that helps pair Tuscaloosa families with international students at UA, Stillman College, and Shelton State Community College. The group extends Tuscaloosa’s Southern hospitality to international students, helping them to acclimate to life in Alabama and sharing American culture with new international students. For more information about TIF, please visit: or tuscaloosainternationalfriends

President Bell Welcomes New Students and Honors TIF


Vickey Phillips accounting assistant Megan Wagner international center coordinator EDUCATION ABROAD Carolina Robinson director

Jackie Maye program assistant

Chad Berry assistant director

Kaitlin Hartley study abroad coordinator

Holly Henning study abroad coordinator

Megan Mooreland office associate II

Heath Thompson study abroad coordinator ENGLISH LANGUAGE INSTITUTE Dr. Bill Wallace director

Kendall King instructor

Mikhael Abi-Saleh instructor

Demetria Li instructor

Jill Ander accounting assistant

Daniel McCurry instructor

Kim Andrus instructor

Kelly McPherson instructor

Amanda Burroughs accounting assistant

Marc Metzler instructor

Allison Callahan instructor

Emily Mitchell instructor

Jeff Capili admissions & recruiting coordinator

Mitch Porter instructor

Barb Daugherty accounting clerk

Jay Robbins instructor

Marci Daugherty special programs coordinator

Drew Sanford instructor

Jenny Duckworth instructor

Amy Smith instructor

Wendy Grof administrative specialist

Robyn Shifrin associate director

Laura Hebert academic advisor

Amy Taylor instructor

Mary Louise Hendley instructor

David Taylor instructor

Monica Hollie office associate senior

Michael Townley instructor

Brad Hodges instructor

Vicky Wyatt student services coordinator

INTERNATIONAL SERVICES Charter Morris director LaDonna Foshee assistant director Janet Edmonds international student & scholar advisor Stephanie Freeman international student & scholar advisor Sheila Malone SEVIS coordinator Holli Homan sponsored student and services assistant Trang Nguyen immigration assistant

International Services 105 B.B. Comer Box 870254 Phone: 205-348-5402 Fax: 205-348-5406

English Language Institute 101 B.B. Comer Box 870250 Phone: 205-348-7413 Fax: 205-348-9266

Education Abroad 135 B.B. Comer Box 870254 Phone: 205-348-5256 Fax: 205-348-5298




Capstone International Center 135 B.B. Comer Box 870254 Phone: 205-348-5256 Fax: 205-348-5298

Fall 2015 • Vol. 15, No. 2

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 Permit 16

Capstone International Center 135 B.B. Comer Box 870254 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0254




On Tuesday, September 22, President and Mrs. Stuart Bell and Associate Provost, Dr. Teresa Wise hosted UA International Students and Tuscaloosa’s International Friends at the Ferguson Student Center Great Hall for a reception. President Bell took the opportunity to recognize the achievements and success of international students at UA as well as to thank the many families of Tuscaloosa’s International Friends for their commitment to international education at UA.

Frannie James instructor

Fall 2015  
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