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g global connections

Spring 2017

A publication of the Virginia Commonwealth University Global Education Office

GOING THE DISTANCE Celebrating ten years of successful partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Cรณrdoba

Spring 2017

Executive Director R. McKenna Brown, Ph.D. Associate Director Osama Alami Editor V. Renee Russell

10 | GOING THE DISTANCE Celebrating ten years of successful partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Cรณrdoba

Design VCU Global Education Office Communications staff

Global Connections is published by the VCU Global Education Office. The views and opinions expressed in the articles and advertisements do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editors or policies of the university or department.

Send address changes or comments to: Global Connections Editor Virginia Commonwealth University 912 W. Grace St. P.O. Box 843043 Richmond, VA 23284-3043

Table of contents From the Executive Director


Summer session 4 First Peace Corps Prep graduate enters the corps


Fall brings students from around the world


VCU international students volunteer hundreds of hours to local community


Alumni gone global 7 No Limits: Antoine Craig champions study abroad for students with disabilities


International partnerships 9 Faculty Development Seminar transforms 14 teaching and research Global Visiting Scholar uses film to educate about mental health Quest Global Impact Awards Faculty from China receive medical and English training at VCU 2

16 17 18

From the Executive Director Internationalizing VCU takes many forms. Whether it’s an academic unit wishing to develop a new, innovative program that supports VCU’s global priorities, a faculty member looking to enhance their research and teaching capacity through an expanded global network or a student who wants to study abroad or learn about the world from international students here on campus, the Global Education Office can help! We hope you enjoy this inaugural issue of Global Connections, and the stories of how VCU is connecting our students, faculty and staff to the world. In an increasingly globalized society, our mission is to prepare the next generation of leaders to navigate within and between global communities at home and abroad. We hope the stories told here will inspire you to get involved with the global mission of VCU. Regardless of how you choose to do so, we welcome your participation in GEO’s mission to increase the global impact of VCU’s research, teaching and service and to expand our role on the world’s stage. R. McKenna Brown, Ph.D. Senior International Officer Executive Director, Global Education Office

Spring 2017


Summer session...

Summer is a busy time at VCU. Each year, our campus welcomes hundreds of international visitors to campus. Here’s who we hosted last summer.


Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program

Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

Twenty-five Iraqi undergraduates attend the fiveweek Information Technology and Media Institute hosted by the Robertson School of Media and Culture in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Fifty of Africa’s brightest emerging leaders in the areas of public management, business and entrepreneurship spent five weeks at VCU participating in this prestigious program.

Youjiang Medical University for Nationalities

Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program

VCU welcomed a cohort of 50 faculty from Guangxi, China to participate in the Education Qualify Project hosted by the VCU English Language Program and School of Medicine.

Twelve university students from Saudi Arabia participated in a community engagement and leadership development program at VCU.

First Peace Corps Prep graduate enters the corps Andrea Ward ’16, was one of the first students to enroll in the VCU Globe Peace Corps Prep program when it launched in November of 2014. This fall, she becomes the first student to successfully complete the program and subsequently enter the Peace Corps immediately following graduation. Ward will be a community health advisor in the Republic of Benin in West Africa. At VCU, she was a sociology major and French minor, and plans to use her Peace Corps experience to further define her career goals. Ward attributes her interest in global service and citizenship to her experiences in VCU Globe and studying abroad. “In all of the traveling I’ve done, though, the service is what has really resonated with me,” she said. While at VCU, she studied abroad three times, travelling to the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa to conduct research on social challenges in rural areas; to Negril, Jamaica to plan and participate in community health fairs; and to Oaxaca, Mexico to teach English to adult learners in the village of Teotitlan del Valle. “Entering the Peace Corps feels like a natural extension of the global service that I’ve already done,” she said.

Fall brings students from around the world This fall, VCU welcomed 23 student scholars from Universidad Politecnica del Estado de Guerrero, Mexico. The group’s visit focused on completion of VCU’s English and Culture Plus program, as part of Mexico’s Proyecta 100,000 initiative which aims to send 100,000 Mexican students to the United States and to receive 50,000 U.S. students in Mexico by 2018. The students had a full schedule of activities, which included a combination of English instruction, cultural events and local excursions. Notably, while here, the group experienced the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving with local Richmond families and witnessed the election of the 45th President of the United States.

Spring 2017


VCU international students volunteer hundreds of hours to local community Volunteering in the local community is a tangible way for international students to learn about the U.S. and experience life outside of the university’s walls. Each year, hundreds of students from around the world donate their time to complete projects organized by the Global Education Office’s student engagement team.

International students volunteered with Hospital Hospitality House to create a mural (above) that continues to send a message of hope to patients.

More than 100 internationals have volunteered with Stop Hunger Now, a relief organization that packages meals for distribution around the world. Last September, ten international students donated five days to Sea Island Habitat for Humanity to help build homes in Johns Island, South Carolina.



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Freelance interior design photographer and VCU alumna Felicia Shelton ‘99 has traveled and lived abroad for more than 15 years. In this Q&A, she shares some pearls of wisdom about being a citizen of the world. By Nicol Tinsley

Describe your experience at VCU and how it influenced your travels abroad. My four years at VCU were a wonderful time of self-discovery and community. My interests at that time were French, linguistics, world travel, English literature and photography. These are still my interests today. Even though I’d lived abroad before studying at VCU, my professors were essential in opening my eyes to the world at large. They were unique and passionate, and I admire them to this very day. Education in its truest sense was felt at every moment of every day. What life lessons have you learned from living abroad? I love how different people are culturally, but intrinsically, we are all the same. I don’t want to romanticize Europe or other parts of the world, but I do love the slower pace of life. Abroad, people live in the moment more than in the U.S. While I love the conveniences and the efficient way we get things done here, I know it comes at a price. I try to apply the lessons that I’ve learned abroad to my daily life, and it makes me a happier person. What unique experiences do you attribute to your international travel? During the July 4th celebration at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris, France, I was announced to heads of state and foreign dignitaries. That was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I later found myself working in Paris’ haute couture fashion industry and met lots of celebrities—actors, fashion designers, models, singers. I’ve been interviewed and photographed for a Harper’s Bazaar magazine article concerning expats in South Korea. I’m also a photographer, and world renowned interior designer Tom Dixon hired me to contribute photos to one of his design books! This experience launched my career as a professional photographer. I’m still in awe that I got to work with him. How have your experiences living abroad inspired you personally? I’ve learned how to adapt to any environment with ease. I’ve learned the art and importance of discretion. I truly consider myself a citizen of the world. Most importantly, I’ve learned to live in the moment, and to enjoy and respect it no matter where I am. What advice do you have for VCU students interested in studying abroad? Be brave, be adventurous. Don’t think that you can’t afford it. Today, you can’t afford NOT to study abroad. We live in a very small world, and thank goodness, more of us now understand how interconnected we are. Leaving your comfort zone here in the U.S. prepares you for life, both personally and professionally, like no other experience can. The fact that someone chooses to study abroad shows anyone—including yourself and future employers—that you are courageous, determined and ready for the world. Spring 2017


No Limits Antoine Craig champions study abroad for students with disabilities Antoine Craig is your typical college student—a senior from Newport News, Virginia double-majoring in psychology and African American studies. However, there’s one thing that sets Antoine apart from other students—he’s visually impaired. But Antoine didn’t let this perceived disability stop him from seeing the possibilities that study abroad could offer. Last summer, Antoine spent six weeks studying abroad in Alicante, Spain.


of doing,” he said. “I felt like I needed to push beyond my limits and do more.” Antoine figured that studying abroad was one of the ways he could do this after he was notified by VCU’s Disability Support Services office about scholarships available to students with disabilities. “I wrote an essay about why I wanted to study abroad, but never really considered all that would go into it until it actually happened.“

are willing to help, when you just ask,” he said. While studying abroad, Antoine was also able to strengthen his Spanish language skills, which was one of his original goals. Since returning to the U.S., Antoine continues to set goals for himself, and has started on the path to accomplishing them. He recently presented a talk entitled The New Champions for Inclusion: Paving the Way for Students with Disabilities Abroad at the Council on International Educational Exchange conference in Berlin, Germany.

In 2010, Antoine was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition which causes photoreceptors to die and, according to Antoine, causes extreme tunnel vision. “It’s kind of like looking through a straw,” he said.

“I chose to go to Spain because I felt like it was one of the safest options for me,” he said. “But like Antoine plans to eventually anybody else, I had to overcome challenges, just in a different way.” pursue a career in rehabilitation counseling so he can help others with disabilities overcome any Learning how to get around was one such challenge which Antoine hesitation they face in fulfilling their greatest potential. overcame by using a guide and

“When I lost my vision, I had to figure out what I was fully capable

simply asking questions. “It’s amazing how much people

Spring 2017



Celebrating ten years of successful partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Córdoba In an educational environment where international partnerships can be challenged by fluctuations in student interest, faculty research priorities and availability of funding sources, a successful, sustainable partnership is a rare gem.

medical and nursing sciences to art history and business, this relationship has provided a venue for students and faculty at both universities to pursue relevant, meaningful collaboration in a crosscultural, transcontinental, interdisciplinary environment.

Such is the case with the international strategic partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Córdoba, Spain.

As its legacy, the partnership has left an imprint on many student and faculty experiences and careers at both universities.

Since 2006, the VCU-UCO partnership has been a thriving educational ecosystem that has permeated many programs throughout the two universities. From the 10

INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITY; STRATEGIC VISION “The support that this partnership has received has been absolutely invaluable,” said Humberto Fabelo, Ph.D., chief partnership liaison and

professor of sociology in the VCU School of Social Work. “The VCU Quest for Distinction has provided the framework for what this partnership has become and having that institution support is what makes it relevant and a priority in what the university wants to achieve,” he said. “Without the institutional priority that drives this program, it would really be left up to individual, one-on-one collaborations, which last only as long as individuals have that interest or are even here,” he continued. With this understanding, in 2006, VCU opted for an approach to establishing

international partnerships that create, for the university at large, in depth relationships with universities around the world that enhance its research, teaching and service missions. The initiative sought to make the partnerships institutional in scope and to be developed as long term relationships. The University of Córdoba was one of VCU’s original fifteen international strategic partner universities established by VCU president emeritus Eugene Trani, Ph. D. In 2010 former VCU Provost Beverly Warren convened the Task Force on Comprehensive Internationalization which, in part, examined the structure of VCU’s international partnerships.

with their counterparts at UCO. Six years ago, Katie Williams and Deborah Me participated in the exchange and credit their experience with helping them now as students in medical school.

my classmates. The students at UCO were so friendly, that I did not find that difficult at all.”

“The fact that VCU and UCO already had a partnership made the process of applying for study abroad much easier,” said Me. “I enjoyed the immense diversity of students at UCO, and there were students not only from there, but from all around the world in the classes I took.

For Katie Williams, who pursued VCU’s undergraduate Certificate in Spanish/English Translation and Interpretation, studying abroad at UCO provided an opportunity that could not be found at any other university. “UCO was one of the only universities that offered the courses I needed, and Córdoba was the only location abroad where I could study to fulfill the requirements,” said Williams.

“Cultural acclimation is said to be the hardest part of studying abroad, but honestly I had such a great time getting to know

Both students were double majors in biology and Spanish. After returning to VCU, both applied, and were accepted to

Upon the recommendation of the Task Force, in 2012, three partnerships emerged as “University Strategic Partners.” These include UCO, Fudan University in China and the University of KwaZulu–Natal in South Africa. “University Strategic Partners” afford relationships that involve multiple units on both VCU campuses, support a variety of activities and coincide with strategic directions of the university. SHAPING STUDENT EXPERIENCES The VCU Schools of Medicine and Nursing host thriving student exchange programs

Deborah Me ‘02 (l) and Katie Williams ‘02 (r) credit their study abroad at the University of Córdoba with helping to shape their experience now in the VCU School of Medicine.

Spring 2017


The VCU School of Business International Consulting Program gives students real-life consulting experiences at the University of Córdoba.

universities to collaborate with one another throughout the semester to gain knowledge about key monuments, objects and archaeological sites throughout the region.

the VCU School of Medicine. They credit their experience at UCO with aiding in this acceptance and with continuing to impact their experiences in medical school. “My ability to speak Spanish played a huge role in my acceptance to medical school,” said Williams. “Recently I was assigned to work as an intern for a family medicine clinic with a largely Hispanic population. I spoke Spanish with over half of the patients, and without my experience at UCO, I would not have been able to work in such a diverse environment.” INTERNATIONALIZING THE CURRICULUM A major strength of the VCU-UCO partnership is the unique location of the two universities. Because of its proximity to Washington, D.C. and historic Jamestown, the city of Richmond is a prime


location for UCO students to learn about U.S. history. Equally the city of Córdoba, home to UCO, provides a unique location to learn about the historic heritage and cultural significance of the region. Located in the Andalucía region of southern Spain, Córdoba was a major setting for interaction among Muslims, Jews and Christians during the 15th century, and the rich tradition of art and architecture that developed there provides a window onto a fascinating history of intercultural contact, conflict and collaboration. In 2012, Michael Schreffler, associate professor of art history in the VCU School of the Arts built on the strength of this location and developed an undergraduate course on Islamic art and architecture that allowed students and faculty members from both

“We hoped to accomplish two main goals through this project,” said Schreffler. “We wanted to strengthen ties between VCU and UCO through meaningful engagement among professors, administrators and students at the two institutions, and we sought to provide undergraduate students at VCU and UCO with a rich learning experience that involved conducting and presenting research in a global setting.” The program was hugely successful in achieving these goals. During the 2012-13 academic year, Schreffler collaborated with his counterparts at UCO to develop the syllabus for a course that would be taught on both campuses and a preliminary schedule for the study abroad portion of the program which took place in May 2013. Later that year, in November 2013, Schreffler, Dina Bangdel and Radha Dalal, both faculty on the VCU Qatar campus, met with administrators and art historians from UCO in Palermo, Italy to attend the Fifth Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic art and discuss the next collaboration

among their institutions. One of the partnership’s newest academic endeavors is with the VCU School of Business International Consulting Program. Now in its third year, the program is designed to give VCU students the opportunity to develop new business skills in an international environment. For the last three summers, VCU business students have traveled to UCO with the program. After completing a three-week course on the VCU campus, students work with their counterparts at UCO on consulting projects for local or international companies. Luke Clement SOB ‘15 participated in the program during summer 2014. “I was very interested in the lifestyle in Córdoba,” he said. “I had only heard good things about the people, the food and the culture. And seeing pictures of the historic buildings of Córdoba made me even more interested.”

United States and attempted to find the best area for them to start,” he said. “I really appreciated being able to work on a project that actually meant something and I believe the network we created will benefit my career for many years to come.”

“Whenever anybody goes over there, they come back absolutely amazed and overjoyed with the reception, support, collegiality they experience, in addition to the professional networks that are already established. “It’s been really gratifying over the last ten years to see how VCU has grown in its internationalization priorities,” he said. “It’s no longer a case by case, individual by individual, unit by unit kind of activity. It’s really institutionalized - it is strategic, it is relevant and it is absolutely essential for a modern, urban, research oriented university to have this kind of presence around the globe.”

LOOKING AHEAD While the VCU-UCO partnership has a great deal of success under its belt, the two universities continue to look ahead to establish new relationships and linkages. Fabelo encourages faculty interested in exploring collaboration opportunities through the partnership to “go for it!” “It’s an open field. The relationship is primed and ready for you to come in and either take from it or contribute to it whatever is meaningful in your own work,” Fabelo said.

“It’s exciting to see the institutionalization of this concept and to see it become center to who we are as an institution,” he said.

VCU summer study abroad at the University of Córdoba.

Now a claims adjuster at James River Insurance in Richmond, VA, Clement appreciates the real world experience afforded to him through the program. He and his team worked as marketing consultants for Bodegas Campos, a restaurant in central Old Córdoba. “We analyzed the possibility of them creating a restaurant in the

Spring 2017


2014 Faculty Development Seminar: South Africa

Opportunities to view

were abundant 2013 Faculty Development Seminar: Spain wildlife and Morocco throughout the visit.

VCU Faculty Development Seminar transforms teaching and research Since its launch in 2013, the Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty Development Seminar has taken nearly 20 VCU faculty across four continents and initiated research and teaching linkages with 32 universities worldwide. The seminars are designed to provide faculty members who have limited international exposure with an intensive immersion experience and thus help further the university’s internationalization goals. Second, they seek to broaden each participant’s international scope and perspective to include global issues and thinking in their research, teaching and service. Lastly, the seminars encourage the establishment of sustainable collaboration among the participants at home and with international partners. Each seminar is designed with a specific theme. The initial seminar, which took place in Spain and Morocco, focused on migration of people and cultural encounters resulting from geo-political 14

relationships, their impact on communities past and present, and the implications for the successful delivery of health and human services. The second seminar took place in South Africa, with visits to the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban University of Technology and the University of Witwatersrand. This theme centered on best practices for communityengaged research and, accordingly, participants met with faculty members at these South African institutions whose work was rooted in the community. The third seminar was a dean’s delegation to China designed to provided key decision makers with the opportunity to connect with their counterparts at educational institutions throughout the country. Over a two week period, four VCU deans met with 10 universities throughout Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai, China. Since the seminar’s end, multiple departmental initiatives have been launched.

“I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by VCU to be part of the Faculty Development Seminar. My life perspective will forever be changed by the experience.“ 2015 Faculty Development Seminar: China

FDS South Africa participant

Participants Patricia Aldredge, Ph.D. School of Social Work

Kelli Williams Gary, Ph.D. School of Allied Health Professions

Colleen Thoma, Ph.D. School of Education

Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences

Cathy Howard, Ph.D. Vice Provost for Community Engagement

Rob Tombes, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences

Carrie LeCrom, Ph.D. School of Education

Niraj Verma, Ph.D. L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Rowena Briones, Ph.D. College of Humanities & Sciences Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D. L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Alison J. Montpetit, RN, Ph.D. School of Nursing

Hong Cheng, Ph.D. Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture

Shajuana I. Payne University College

Rosalie Corona, Ph.D. College of Humanities & Sciences

Joann Richardson, Ph.D. College of Humanities & Sciences

Deborah DiazGranados, Ph.D. School of Medicine

Joe Seipel School of the Arts

Chriss Walther-Thomas, Ph.D. School of Education Guofang Wan, Ph.D. School of Education Sasha Waters-Freyer School of the Arts

Spring 2017


Global Visiting Scholar uses film to educate about mental health There was not a dry eye in the room as the 2013 family drama, ASTU-So Be It, came to a close. The film chronicles the life of Dr. Chakrapani Shastri, a retired professor suffering from dementia, who goes missing while in the care of his daughter. The screening was just one part of psychiatrist and internationally renowned film and stage actor Mohan Agashe’s week-long visit to Virginia Commonwealth University as a Global Visiting Scholar during fall 2016. Agashe, who plays the film’s lead character, is a mental health advocate who uses film to educate students about the different aspects of mental health. “Film came along as a tool of business, not a tool of education like print media,” said Agashe. “I use film to educate, because it removes the barriers created by print media. It allows students to feel the emotions connected to treating patients with mental illness.” Agashe’s expertise in the fields of psychiatry and acting are mutually complementary and he is well respected in both circles. He is former chair of the Department of Psychiatry at BJ Medical College and founding director of the Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health both in Pune, India. His film career 16

spans more than four decades, having directed, produced and acted in more than 100 films. In 1996, Agashe was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, India’s highest recognition given to actors. “He combines a number of different disciplines like medicine, psychiatry, film and acting,” said Ananda Pandurangi, MBBS, MD, professor of psychiatry in the VCU School of Medicine who hosted Agashe. “I felt that students from a broad range of subjects – medicine, social work, film and acting – would all benefit from his contributions. Plus, having him here is a good way of showing the university’s commitment to advocacy for mental health and reducing stigma surrounding the issue.” In addition to the film screening, while at VCU, Agashe collaborated with the community through the National Alliance for Mental Illness–Central Virginia Chapter and met with students in VCU Globe as a guest lecturer, using short movie clips as tools of education. Agashe’s visit was sponsored in part by the VCUPGIMER International Partnership and funded by a Quest Global Impact Award.

Global Impact Awards:

Expanding VCU’s global footprint From increasing fluency in Mandarin Chinese through a virtual classroom to exploring global health through the lens of sociology, mass communication and political science, the 16 recipients of the 2016-17 Global Impact Awards demonstrate the spirit of advancing VCU’s global priorities. These projects will help to improve the recruitment and retention of VCU’s international students and scholars, increase the global engagement of VCU students and faculty, and expand VCU’s global footprint through research, teaching and global engagement. This year’s awards were announced at a ceremony on Sept. 9. Since the awards were launched in 2011, 55 grants have been awarded through the program totaling more than $675,000.

Global Impact Awards Awards in Education Abroad

Collaborative Academic Program

International Course Threads

A combined B.A. and M.A. program in statistics between VCU and the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China QiQi Lu, Ph.D. D’arcy Mays, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences

Enslavement, Race, and Representation in the Atlantic World Catherine Ingrassia, Ph.D. Brooke Newman, Ph.D. Oliver Speck, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences

And the award goes to...

Generation Study Abroad Fellows

Thaddeus Fortney Office of Learning Innovation and Student Success Catherine B. Viverette VCU Integrated Life Sciences

Summer International Teaching Fellows

Jeff South, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences Teaching at Fudan University, China Vivian Dzokoto, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences Teaching at American College of Greece

Amy Cook, Ph.D. L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs Teaching at Sant’Anna Institute​, Italy Kimberly Urban, Ph.D. L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs Teaching at Sant’Anna Institute​, Italy

International Collaboration through Teacher Education Exchanges with Jiangnan University in Wuxi, China Yaoying Xu, Ph.D. School of Education Global Visiting Scholar

University of KwaZulu-Natal faculty specializing in occupational therapy, special education and psychology (South Africa) Hosted by Kelli Gary, Ph.D. School of Allied Health Professions Dr. Eunsu Ju, University of Ulsan (Korea) Hosted by Youngmi Kim, Ph.D. School of Social Work

Dr. Mohan Agashe, internationally renowned film and stage actor, psychiatrist, educator and mental health advocate (India) Hosted by Ananda Pandurangi, Ph.D. School of Medicine

Exploring Global Health Christine Cynn, Ph.D. Marcus Messner, Ph.D. Judy Twigg, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences Mexico’s Health, Regional Stability, and Connections to U.S. National Security Maureen Moslow-Benway Kimberley Urban, Ph.D. L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs Virtual Global Classroom Communicators without Borders: Applying Socially-Constructive Media and Culture Among Three Disciplines Rowena Briones, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences Accelerating Fluency in Chinese through Telecollaboration and Blogging Yan Gao, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences Spring 2017


Mark your calendar for these exciting events happening throughout the Fall 2016 semester. To see more events sponsored by the Global Education Office, visit

Faculty from China receive medical and English training at VCU According to the 2016 Open Doors report published by the Institute of International Education, 32% of all foreign student studying in the U.S. are from China. Virginia Commonwealth University is no exception. In particular, VCU has become an increasingly popular destination for international students seeking customized programs to meet specific academic and professional needs.

launch unique and innovative programs that put us on the map, and really get the VCU name out there,” said global outreach director, Emily Ferlis, Ph.D.

Recently, a cohort of faculty from Youjiang Medical University for Nationalities in Guangxi, China participated in a faculty development program which VCU tailored to include medical English instruction through the English Language Program and lectures focused on medical pedagogy through the School of Medicine.

“The first four months of medical English training really prepared us for the lectures at MCV,” said Meijuin Wei, a nurse in the nephrology department at YMUN. “The lectures offered on the medical campus were so interesting and professional. The professors have really connected with us, and opened opportunities for us to do research, which is very helpful.”

“This is one of those rare programs that address all three of VCU’s global priorities,” said VCU senior international officer, R. McKenna Brown, Ph.D. “It engages a significant number of high level practitioners in interactions that highlights the exemplary quality of our institution. Meanwhile, they are sharing expertise and cultural perspectives which is incredibly enriching for our faculty and students.”

Participants in the program benefited significantly from the initial English training component which set the stage for their participation in lectures offered on the MCV campus.

The doctors recognized significant differences between medical pedagogy in the U.S. compared with that of China. “I like the classroom discussions here, because you can mix many opinions when you have that interaction between teachers and students,” said Xiaohua Huang, a neurologist at YMUN. “If you don’t have those discussions, the way you look at the world will be more narrowed. As teachers, we want to give our students the broadest views possible.”

Nov. 14-18: International Education Week

“This program showcases what happens at VCU when we partner with our outstanding academic units to 18

Real-World Job Skills Cultural Outings Early Registration Special Events Access to Exclusive Funding Guaranteed Housing Study Abroad Opportunities Leadership Opportunities International Student Connections

Join our global mission.

Supporting the Global Education Office takes many forms. It can mean deciding to develop a faculty-led study abroad program, teaching a class as a VCU Globe Faculty Fellow or hosting an international student in your home during Thanksgiving break. Students can participate in the wealth of programs we offer to become involved in the international community at VCU: attend a global café, become a conversation partner, join VCU Globe or study abroad. No matter how you choose to get involved, we welcome your support of GEO’s mission to increase the global impact of VCU’s research, teaching and service and to expand our role on the world stage.

Virginia Commonwealth University Global Education Office Grace Street Center 912 West Grace Street P.O. Box 843043

For more ideas about how you can get involved, visit us at

Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043

Spring 2017


Virginia Commonwealth University Global Education Office Grace Street Center 912 West Grace Street P.O. Box 843043 Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043

VCU SUMMER STUDY ABROAD Austria • Barbados • Costa Rica • Cuba Czech Republic • Dominican Republic • England Germany • Greece • India • Israel • Italy Jamaica • Japan • Kenya • Mexico • Morocco Peru • Portugal • Rawanda • South Africa • Spain Tanzania • Trinidad and Tobago


Global Connections, issue1vol1  

A magazine created by the Global Education Office featuring stories of how VCU is connecting our students, faculty and staff to the world.

Global Connections, issue1vol1  

A magazine created by the Global Education Office featuring stories of how VCU is connecting our students, faculty and staff to the world.