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VOL. 13, NO. 1, FALL 2020

Moving forward in a pandemic








Established in 1989, the Reves Center for International Studies is today one of the premier centers of its kind in U.S. higher education. Its mission is to support and promote the internationalization of learning, teaching, research and community involvement at William & Mary through programs for education abroad, international students and scholars, and global engagement across the university. William & Mary is the number one public university for undergraduate study abroad participation, with more than 50 percent of the university’s undergraduates studying outside the U.S. before graduation. More than 1,200 international students, scholars and their families from nearly 70 countries have come to William & Mary. And the Reves Center encourages and assists numerous international strategic initiatives across the university, including the William & Mary Confucius Institute, which offers Chinese language and cultural activities to the campus and community, and Global Research Institute, co-sponsored by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, which supports faculty and student collaborations to find solutions to pressing global problems.


Recently Published Books by W&M Faculty


Mihyeon Kim wins national award


Professors at Clare Hall


Exploring the use of deceptive technology


Disability drives innovation


MBA Global Tour Pre-Pandemic

Kira C. Allmann ’10

James D. Hunter ’85

Sharon K. Philpott ’85, Chair


3-D printing in Italy


Whole of Government on COVID-19

John E. Bessler ’85

David C. Larson ’75

Ian M. Ralby ‘05


Reves pivots quickly for students in China

Jane H. Carpenter-Rock ’92

Donald F. Larson ’76

Young Ju Rhee ’98

McLean, VA

Boston, MA


Wetter climate is likely to intensify global warming

Guillermo S. Christensen

Barbara A. Leaf ‘80

Susan Rutherford ’89

Alexandria, VA

Delray Beach, FL

Susan Corke ‘97

Thomas C. Lillelund ‘95

Corey D. Shull ’06


Baltimore, MD

John S. Dennis ’78

Leslie McCormack Gathy ’88

Patricia Trinler Spalding ’83

United Kingdom

San Jose, Costa Rica

Scott R. Ebner ’96, Vice Chair

Mark Murtagh ‘89

Carl E. Tack III ‘78

New York, NY

Williamsburg, VA

Luis H. Navas ’82

Philip Tuning MBA ‘02

Gregory J. Golden

Michael O’Leary P’22

Nathan Younge

Deborah A. Hewitt

Bruce W. Pflaum ’75




Williamsburg, VA

Upper Marlboro, MD Arlington, VA


Washington, DC


In Their Own Words: CIO Ed Aractingi



Boël gift expands Mason School international business initiatives

Boston, MA


Helping international families find their way

Rodney Faraon


Alumna Profile: A Q&A with Rachel Faith ‘14

Falls Church, VA

Arlington, VA

Williamsburg, VA

Darien, CT

Fort Myers, FL

Miami, FL

Alexandria, VA

Lake Oswego, OR

White Salmon, WA Owings Mills, MD

Providence Forge, VA Falls Church, VA

FROM THE DIRECTOR have worked to support cutting-edge research on crucial global topics, As the global pandemic drags on, we continue to generate knowledge the crisis in international higher on growing international challengeducation is becoming increasingly es ranging from combating climate acute. With travel to and from the change to guarding against foreign United States drastically curtailed disinformation. All of this creates an and visa rules becoming ever more environment that attracts new leadrestrictive, international students and ers with international backgrounds to scholars are understandably revising join the W&M community—generattheir plans to study and work in this ing a virtuous circle. country. Study abroad programs, for How can we continue to support the most part, remain suspended or international initiatives at William & have gone virtual. Lectures and conMary in this daunting new environferences on global topics continue in ment? Three values, above all, will an online format, with often inspiring ensure that we enter the postcontent—but without the ability for Stephen E. Hanson pandemic era at W&M with our repscholars and students to follow up inVice Provost for International Affairs utation as a leader in the sphere of formally with visitors to campus, the Director, Reves Center for global education and research intact. experience is obviously not the same. International Studies First, we will remain resilient in the On top of all these challenges, politiface of setbacks. Our team is experical attacks on the very idea of global enced, creative, and mutually supportexchange have reached a fever pitch, ive, able to rise to new challenges without succumbing with American university leaders in the international to despair or despondency. Second, we will continue to sphere openly depicted as naïve enablers of espionage, engage our global stakeholders with empathy. Even at intellectual property theft, and malign propaganda. a time when political debate has become increasingly And yet, in reading this issue of World Minded, one hostile toward “outsiders,” we will continue to treat our can’t help but be reminded of all of the reasons why we international students and scholars, our global universimust fight for the future of global education and rety partners, our study abroad participants, our students search, no matter how daunting the obstacles we face. and faculty engaged in global research, and our alumni Because of the trust built up during William & Mary’s around the world with respect, concern, and honesty. decades of partnership with Beijing Normal University, Finally, we will never lose sight of the vision on which we have been able together to set up, on short notice, the Reves Center for International Studies was founded an innovative new study abroad program for William & Mary’s Chinese undergraduates. Because W&M has long over three decades ago: to advance the internationalization of teaching, learning, research, and community welcomed students from around the world with open involvement across our historic global university. arms, our alumni overseas are now happy to share their . insights and experiences with us virtually. Because we




Editor: Kate Hoving, Public Relations Manager, Reves Center for International Studies

Yilin Dong ‘23 on the campus of Beijing Normal University, October 2020. Photo courtesy of Yilin Dong

Contributing Writers: Meghan Harrison J.D. ’22; Kate Hoving; David Malmquist, VIMS; Georgia Thoms ’23; Natasha Townsend M.Ed. ’21; Nathan Warters, University Communications; Jaime Welch-Donahue, W&M Law School Graphic Design: University Web & Design

FALL 2020



Recently Published Books BY W&M FACULTY BRIDGING THE THEORY-PRACTICE DIVIDE IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS By Sue Peterson, Professor of Government at W&M; Mike Tierney, Professor of Government at W&M; Dan Maliniak, Professor of Government at W&M; and Ryan Powers ‘08

There is a widening divide between the data, tools and knowledge that international relations scholars produce and what policy practitioners find relevant for their work. In this first-of-its-kind conversation, leading academics and practitioners reflect on the nature and size of the theory-practice divide. Bridging the Theory-Practice Divide in International Relations provides concrete answers and guidance about how and when scholarship can be policy relevant. The essays in this volume use data gathered by the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project over a fifteen-year period. From W&M Chancellor Robert M. Gates ‘65, L.H.D. ‘98, former secretary of defense and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency: “’Bridging the Theory-Practice Divide in International Relations’ makes a unique contribution by offering scholars of international relations insightful pathways to translate basic research into forms accessible and relevant to practitioners. It also underscores the need for practitioners to draw on scholarly work in order to make more informed, better policy decisions. The gap between the two is wide and must be narrowed. This important book provides a constructive way forward.” Published by Georgetown University Press | More information

CINEMASAURUS: RUSSIAN FILM IN CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT Co-edited by Alexander Prokhorov, Associate Chair of Educational Policy, Russian Studies Program Director, Professor of Russian Studies; Elena Prokhorova, Associate Professor of Russian Studies; and Nancy Condee

Cinemasaurus examines contemporary Russian cinema as a new visual economy, emerging over three decades after the Soviet collapse. Focusing on debates and films exhibited at Russian and US public festivals where the films have premiered, the volume’s contributors — the new generation of US scholars studying Russian cinema — examine four issues of Russia’s transition: (1) its imperial legacy, (2) the emergence of a film market and its new genres, (3) Russia’s uneven integration into European values and hierarchies, (4) the renegotiation of state power vis-à-vis arthouse and independent cinemas. An introductory essay frames each of the four sections, with 90 films total under discussion, concluding with a historical timeline and five interviews of key film-industry figures formative of the historical context. Published by Academic Studies Press| More information





The Curious Eye explores early modern debates over two related questions: what are the limits of human vision, and to what extent can these limits be overcome by technological enhancement? In our everyday lives, we rely on optical technology to provide us with information about visually remote spaces even as we question the efficacy and ethics of such pursuits. But the debates surrounding the subject of technologically mediated vision have their roots in a much older literary tradition in which the ability to see beyond the limits of natural human vision is associated with philosophical and spiritual insight as well as social and political control. Published by Oxford University Press| More information


Starting from the premise that children learn better when their learning community respects their families and cultures, this thought-provoking resource shows what it means — and what it takes — to include today’s diverse parents in their children’s learning. Moving readers away from outof-date practices that can potentially marginalize and devalue the cultural assets of families, the authors provide practical, ready-to-use strategies to help schools re-envision the meaning of parental involvement and engagement. Based on the research and K–12 teaching experience of three educators, chapters address contemporary issues such as the absent parent, homework, vulnerable populations, limitations of current school-based family programs and pedagogies of hope. Published by Teachers College Press| More information THE KIZILBASH-ALEVIS IN POLITICS AND COMMUNITY




By Ayfer Karakaya-Stump, Associate Professor of History

The Kizilbash/Alevis, together with the kindred Bektashi order, are a historically marginalized group that constitute the second largest religious community in Turkey, with smaller related groups in the Balkans. This is the first comprehensive social history of these communities based on sources from private archives of members of Kizilbash/Alevi saintly lineages. Published by Edinburgh University Press| More information

FALL 2020



Mihyeon Kim wins the National Association for Gifted Children’s 2020 Community Service Award BY NATASHA TOWNSEND M.ED. ‘21 As clinical associate professor and director of pre-collegiate learner programs at the Center for Gifted Education, Mihyeon Kim’s influence goes far beyond the instruction she gives in the School of Education’s classrooms. Each year, her work impacts hundreds of K-12 students and their families within Williamsburg, throughout Virginia and internationally. Her work has made her this year’s recipient of the Community Service Award by the National Association for Gifted Children. In addition to being a professor and researcher of gifted education, she is responsible for developing and implementing the Center for Gifted Education’s renowned enrichment programs for high-ability K-12 students. “Working with diverse students and parents directly is both a rewarding and beneficial experience for me and I have learned a lot,” she says. “I never would have imagined receiving such an award for what I do.” Over her more than 10 years at the center, she has developed many enrichment programs for K-12 students, but Camp Launch has been her passion project since the first day she became a part of the Center’s mission to motivate gifted students to pursue higher education regardless of their backgrounds.



Camp Launch is a residential summer program that hosts highability middle and high school students from low-income families. Students immerse themselves in STEM subjects including robotics, archaeology and debate; attend career planning workshops; and become a part of a peer network with other students with like-minded interests. Kim helped Tracy Cross, the center’s executive director, develop the program in 2012. Over the past nine years, the program has become an institution in the Tidewater region and a model for similar programs across the country. Since its beginnings, Camp Launch has welcomed more than 400 middle-school students to William & Mary and will grow to double its impact in the coming years with a new grant received this year from the Petters Family Foundation. “I am constantly in awe of the work of Dr. Mihyeon Kim,” Tracy Cross says about his colleague and former student. “Her responsibility is so large that I sometimes tease that she is the third largest employment agency in Virginia.” Part of the magic of Camp Launch comes from students having the experience of living on a college campus, which makes them feel like they belong at college when they graduate high school, Kim says.

“Camp Launch is the most rewarding program for me because I can see the seeds we are planting for their future. I can’t make a change for the entire world, but I feel that I contribute to the efforts toward providing equal educational opportunities for all students, regardless of their background.” Kim first became interested in gifted education when she became the mother of a gifted child. Having earned a Ph.D. in library science, she pursued her second doctoral degree at William & Mary, where she worked for the Center for Gifted Education as a program assistant for K-12 enrichment programs. Her professional dream was to create university-based K-12 programs for gifted students, and it became a reality when she became the director of Precollegiate Learner Programs at the Center for Gifted Education in 2009. In this role, she has created a host of programs. In addition to Camp Launch, Kim developed Super Saturdays, a full day of academic programs for K-8 students. Other precollegiate learner programs under her direction include summer enrichment programs where K-8 students learn more about medicine, chemistry, and other STEM subjects, and the annual Focusing on the Future winter event for gifted students and their parents


Above: Mihyeon Kim (left) poses with former Camp Launch participant and volunteer Jessica Vincent and Tracy L. Cross, executive director of the W&M School of Education’s Center for Gifted Education. Below: Students at Camp Launch before COVID-19. Courtesy photos/file photos

to learn about various occupations, academic planning, and college admissions. In partnership with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Jefferson Lab, Kim directs a summer residential governor’s school for high school juniors and seniors from across the state. Kim maintains strong connections with educators in South Korea. She has brought high-achieving middle school students from South Korea to W&M’s campus for week-long science courses using a problem-based learning approach and since 2018, hundreds of Korean educators have come to Williamsburg for professional development at the center. The Center for Gifted Education serves students from across Virginia, the nation and the world, but Kim wants to expand its programs to have even greater reach. Receiving this year’s Community Service Award motivates her to serve even more students. “Winning the Community Service Award and having my work

recognized by the community and the people I have worked with means a lot to me. I realize that there are so many students in the state of Virginia, alone, who need extra help.” Through her work, Kim has realized the tangible effect the enrichment programs she has developed has had on students, especially those from communities historically underserved by universities. From Kim’s perspective, the environment a student is immersed in is just as important as the content they learn. Continuous educational opportunities and strong role models are essential to success in academics and life after graduation. “The most recent tragic events showing inequities in our nation made me reflect more on the goal of Camp Launch: making a difference in the lives of high-ability students who may not have been given outof-school educational opportunities. In times of great crisis, I hope we all commit ourselves toward a more humane and equal community, and I

hope that we can empower all of our students through education, to build our future together.”

FALL 2020



Enjoying the Fellowship of Clare Hall: Professor Tom McSweeney and Professor Brent Allred



Professor Tom McSweeney (left) and Professor Brent Allred were Visiting Fellows in fall 2019 at Clare Hall, a college of the University of Cambridge. Photo of Cambridge by Niki Redmon ‘19 Opposite Page L: Brent and Kristyn Allred enjoyed exploring the University of Cambridge, which comprises Clare Hall and 30 other colleges, during their free time. R: While the libraries were a huge draw for Professor Tom McSweeney, he, his wife, Abby, and children enjoyed all there was to see and do around the historic campus. Courtesy Photos



illiam & Mary professors Tom McSweeney and Brent Allred did not know that each had been selected as Visiting Fellows at Clare Hall, a college of the University of Cambridge, for the fall 2019 semester. In fact, they did not know each other at all. They traveled to the U.K. with their families and settled into apartments that, as it turned out, bordered the same college garden. McSweeney guesses that they had crossed paths at William & Mary, because a few days after he arrived he recognized Allred as a familiar face as he scrolled through the roster of new fellows. He took a closer look, then reached out to Allred to introduce himself. The professors and their families soon met and struck up a warm friendship.

For Allred, a professor at the Mason School of Business, and McSweeney, a professor at William & Mary Law School, the semester-long residencies at Clare Hall offered time to concentrate on their scholarship, engage with an international group of fellows and graduate students from different disciplines, and enjoy Cambridge’s centuries-old grounds, history and traditions. Clare Hall is “relatively young,” observes McSweeney. It was created in 1966 as a center

for advanced study within Clare College, which was founded in 1326 and is the second oldest of Cambridge’s 31 colleges. Clare Hall became an independent college within the university in 1984, and its community today comprises university faculty and staff, graduate students and Visiting Fellows. Visiting Fellows become Life Members after completing their residencies and are welcome to return to Clare Hall for work or pleasure for the rest of their lives. McSweeney says that one of the special benefits of the fellowship was the access it gave him to the large collection of “statute books” in Cambridge University Library. These books usually contain short treatises on the common law, some of which date to the late thirteenth century. “These treatises constitute some of the earliest evidence for legal education in the common law,” he says, with a number that seem “to derive from lecture courses that we otherwise know nothing about.” Among the treatises, the Summa de Bastardia (“The Treatise on Bastardy”) captured his attention. “It’s a Latin text written in the form of hypothetical cases on illegitimacy and how that affects inheritance,” he explains, and notes that the abundance of surviving manuscripts in which it appears would indicate “it must have been wildly popular.” Yet, it has received scant scholarly attention. He focused much of his stay at Clare Hall on translating the text and looking for clues for the date it was written. He also had the chance to


share his work with historians of English law through papers he gave at Cambridge’s Centre for English Legal History and Oxford’s Legal History Forum. Allred is an expert in strategic management and international business and enjoyed the fellowship as an opportunity to focus his energy on research, with ample time to write and engage with scholars from other fields. His wife, Kristyn, found the environment particularly conducive for her own research on diversity and inclusion. His recent research explores anonymous shell corporations, which often are associated with criminal activity. His work investigates a wide range of issues, including the factors that influence their creation by corporate service providers and the ease with which they are created, despite efforts to thwart them though international agreements and laws. A presentation that Allred made to an audience of graduate students and fellows at Clare Hall, who hailed from around the world and from diverse disciplines, was among the most gratifying experiences of his time at Cambridge. “When I presented my research, there was not a single person from business who attended,” he recalls. “I had another fellow come up afterward and tell me that she had never really been interested in business and that my presentation had changed her perspective.” Both professors enjoyed lectures, seminars and special events hosted by Clare Hall and other colleges across the Cambridge campus. For Allred, Cambridge’s “Festival of Ideas,” a two-week series of presentation on hundreds of different subjects, left a lasting impression. McSweeney says, “I really learned to appreciate the Cambridge collegiate system while I was there, partly because there are a lot of mechanisms for fostering conversation between people in different fields. At Cambridge, you’re

affiliated with a department or faculty of the university, and those are divided by academic discipline, but you’re also a member of a college, and the colleges bring together students and faculty from all different fields.” Both professors agreed that it was around tables in the commons where they had some of their most memorable and enjoyable conversations. “Clare Hall created an amazing community experience, especially around lunch and dinner,” says Allred. McSweeney recalls being “seated next to a lawyer from Libya at one dinner and an education student from Kazakhstan at another.” During lunch, Brent and Kristyn Allred would try to meet different people each time they dined. In one instance, they sat next to a couple they did yet not know, only to find out that one of them was a vice president at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where Allred was going to be spending the second half of his leave. It happened that the vice president’s area of responsibility included international scholars, so this was a perfect introduction. It is a small world, indeed. When asked about some of the happiest memories of his time at Cambridge, Allred mentioned how much he and his wife enjoyed casual get-togethers with newly made friends, which included, for instance, a celebration of Finland’s Independence Day. For McSweeney, it was the morning that his wife, Abby, and their two young children stopped to watch a university procession to Great St. Mary’s Church. “I read up on the Cambridge traditions before we went, so I pointed out the proctors carrying the leather-bound university statute books to the kids. I really think we need proctors carrying leather-bound statute books at William & Mary’s academic processions,” he jokes. “I will volunteer to do that.”

FALL 2020



Exploring the use of deceptive technology in the U.S. and abroad



egan Hogan ’21 can make an argument for using deepfake technology as a national defense tactic, but she plans to expose similar methods of disinformation during the 2020 Presidential election. Her paper, “Replicating Reality – Advantages and Limitations of Weaponized Deepfake Technology,” recently won the 2020 Bobby R. Inman Award as the top undergraduate student paper in the country in the field of intelligence and national security. In her paper, she describes advances in deceptive manipulation of digital images and argues that the United States should develop weaponized deepfake technology



as a capability to deny, defeat or defend against any adversary that seeks to harm U.S. national interests. Moreover, she is co-directing a research lab called “DisinfoLab,” that is funded by William & Mary’s Global Research Institute. The goal is to make the American public aware of foreign adversaries who are trying to influence our election and our thoughts about the current political climate. Hogan researched deepfakes as a disinformation tactic for her Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) white paper last spring, narrowing down her research focus after receiving guidance from PIPS CoDirectors Amy Oakes and Dennis Smith. In August, she learned she was the recipient of the undergraduate Inman Award, given by The Intelligence


Studies Project of the University of Texas at Austin. “I didn’t anticipate winning because I know the Inman Award is very competitive, and they receive over 100 applications each year from undergrads and Ph.D. students,” said Hogan, who is majoring in international relations and economics. Hogan explains that deepfakes are a form of synthetic media that use artificial intelligence to produce highly realistic, fake videos. They are extremely effective weapons of disinformation capable of both undermining trust in institutions and elections and inciting political violence. She contends virtually undetectable deepfakes will be a reality by the end of 2020. Deepfakes have also made their way into popular culture and can be found in television commercials for streaming television service Hulu and internet memes, among other outlets. Actor/director Jordan Peele warned of the dangers of deepfakes in a video he helped produce with the CEO of BuzzFeed. In the video, he used deepfake technology to make former President Barack Obama’s lips move in sync with what Peele was saying. Hogan argues that the United States should develop the technology to protect itself from any adversary that seeks to harm the country’s interests. “The only time I believe that the U.S. should ever actively use deepfakes as a weapon would be in a boots on the ground situation,” Hogan said. “For example, if we were engaging in a

military campaign and wanted to use deepfakes to achieve specific tactical goals. “I do not advocate at all for using this against civilians or targeting major political figures.” Hogan said the United States’ main motivation for developing deepfake technology should be to guard itself against other countries trying to use artificial intelligence. “I would say deepfake detection is of paramount importance because this tactic of disinformation is completely different from anything we have ever encountered, and people have a visceral reaction to deepfakes,” Hogan said. “It’s much more compelling than fake news stories or traditional forms of disinformation. So if the United States even has a hope of being able to detect deepfakes once an attack is launched against our citizens, and I do believe that there will be an attack at some point in the future, we need to start developing it now.” With the help of Oakes, Hogan plans to spend this semester turning her paper into either an article or OpEd to be published in a foreign policy journal. She will also co-direct “DisinfoLab” with former PIPS research intern Thomas Plant ’22. Hogan and Plant are in the process of recruiting students to participate in the lab. “In the wake of the 2020 presidential election, we want to act as an aggressive media literacy campaign across the nation and kind of just keeping everyone’s awareness that there are foreign adversaries who are trying to influence our election and our thoughts about the current political climate,” Hogan said.

Opposite page: Deepfakes are extremely effective weapons of disinformation capable of both undermining trust in institutions and elections and inciting political violence. Submitted photo. Above: Award winner Meg Hogan’s ‘21 paper was recently recognized as the top undergraduate student paper in the country in 2020 in the field of intelligence and national security. Submitted photo

FALL 2020




2020 McSwain-Walker Lecture

The annual McSwain-Walker lecture brings renowned scholars, artists, analysts and other notable public figures to William & Mary to speak on topics related to how other countries and cultures interact with the United States, and how the United States interacts with them. In recognition that this is the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the William & Mary Law School Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and William & Mary’s Office of Compliance & Equity joined the Reves Center in presenting Ms. Girma’s lecture.

Disability rights lawyer redefines barriers, examines communication methods BY GEORGIA THOMS ’23 In the Sept. 21 McSwain-Walker lecture, “How Disability Drives Innovation: An Intersectional and Global Perspective,” disability rights lawyer Haben Girma talked about redefining barriers and using disability to spearhead innovation. In the lecture Girma stressed the importance of understanding the differences in how people access information and communicate as well as the importance of creating individual narratives. She talked about her own complex identities and the unique perspective her life gave her in carving her story. “As the daughter of refugees, a Black woman, disabled, lots of stories say my life doesn’t matter,” Girma said. “I choose to resist those stories. I choose to define disability as an opportunity for innovation. If you can’t do something one way, it is an opportunity to come up with a new alternative way to do it. Alternative ways of accessing things are equal to mainstream ways of doing things.” Throughout her career, Girma received distinguished honors like the White House Champion of Change award from President Barack Obama,



the Helen Keller Achievement award and a spot on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list. Also, Girma has authored her own book, The Deafblind Woman who Conquered Harvard Law and was Harvard Law’s first Deafblind student. Girma recollected the many instances in her life where she received help removing and overcoming barriers. Whether it was salsa dancing with partners, surfing on her own or creating a braille menu at Harvard Law, Girma continues to spend her lifetime defying the boundaries of ableism. “So many people associate disability with barriers,” Girma said. “It’s really an opportunity to come up with new ways of doing things. The instructors I worked with had to take the time to think about how to teach through tactile communication. It is really about taking the time to be thoughtful and creative and come up with solutions.” Girma emphasized the need for new developments in technology and haptics, as well as the increase in the diversity of schools and workplaces. She believes that the

technology is out there to innovate with touch-based communication tools. “So rather than saying, ‘it is impossible, we can’t do this,’ and allowing stigmas to grow, pause and think about what are the things you actually can do,” Girma said. “And come up with safe solutions for making sure people have access, including people who need touch-based access.” Girma explained how there exists the assumption that there are two kinds of people: disabled and non-disabled. This assumption is then associated with being dependent and independent. However, Girma felt this narrative undermined the level of interdependency needed by people. “Everyone has situational times when they depend on other people,” Girma said. “And that is okay. As long as we are honest about the fact that we are all interdependent.” Girma described further how in the world, disabilities are unrightfully viewed as a hindrance. Despite this, this is a time where technology allows for more information to be incorporated into disability advocacy.


Haben Girma with President Barack Obama prior to her remarks at the White House event for the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2015. Photo by Pete Souza.

“Schools are fantastic places for students and professors to come up with new ideas to share information,” Girma said. “As you develop new things, don’t make assumptions about what disabled people can and cannot do. Design for everything to be inclusive. Discrimination against disabled people is widespread and hidden. We need to help people identify it and do the work of removing it.” President of Best Buddies on campus Ella Schotz ’23 found the event incredibly eye-opening. “I am always interested in learning more about the community and different barriers, as well as ways to overcome them,” Schotz said. “A line that really stuck out to me tonigt was when she said she didn’t overcome her disability, Harvard overcame some of their ableism. I really felt like this captured the way to be an ally and advocate for disabled people— instead of treating it as something

that poses a problem or something that holds a person back, we should use disability to drive improvement and inclusion in our communities.” Schotz continued that she enjoyed how Girma noted that inclusion helps everyone and with increased accessibility, the features will be beneficial for more involved than just those who originally requested it. Another attendee, a local retired English teacher in Williamsburg Patricia Vaticano, also found the lecture enlightening. “This was a spectacularly informative and endearing lecture,” Vaticano said. “Haben is an inspiration to disabled and abled people alike, and I am so very grateful to the Reves Center for partnering with the William & Mary Law School to make Haben’s challenges and successes accessible to us all, in this way. The person or persons who engaged Haben for this webinar and pulled everything

together for us should be highly commended.” Girma concluded her discussion by reminding attendees that inclusion is something they can seek to do in their day to day life and can promote removing barriers. “Inclusion is a choice,” Girma said. “When you choose inclusion, you role model it for everyone around you. Our bodies are always changing, you deserve dignity and access at every stage in our lives. I hope more people learn this word ableism, and can join me in the movement by removing barriers and making our communities more inclusive around the world.”

Note: Video and Audio versions of the lecture are online.

This article originally appeared in The Flat Hat

FALL 2020



A look back at an MBA Global Tour prepandemic This fall Amanda Barth, Director of MBA Admissions for the Raymond A. Mason School of Business was not able to travel physically on her any MBA Tours. The Mason School has held a few virtual MBA Tours this semester, but we thought these photos from her tour in fall 2019 were not only new to World Minded, but also a happy reminder that we are a global institution, and we look forward to being together in person soon. Photos are all courtesy of Ms. Barth.

Clockwise from left: Barth (Director of MBA Admissions) and Yaw Asante (W&M MBA’22) meeting for the first time on The MBA Tour in Accra, Ghana. Barth; Josh Lustig, Associate Director of MBA Admissions (far right); and Sani Silvennoinen, Executive Director of Regional and International Advancement (second from left); with Reliance Jio Human Resource Team at Reliance Jio in Mumbai, India. Barth in Manama, Bahrain, with W&M MBA Alumni from Aluminium Bahrain (ALBA).




Alumnus Matteo Capponi shares his groundbreaking 3-D printing BY MEGHAN HARRISON J.D. ’22


oom conversations have become the new normal during the pandemic. One silver lining of virtual chats is the ability for students to connect with William & Mary alumni overseas. On September 29, William & Mary Law School’s Student Intellectual Property Society and International Law Society sat down with Matteo Capponi over Zoom. A member of the Law School’s LL.M. Class of 2016, Capponi currently works in Italy. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-found CubePit, a 3-D printing company, with his friend Massimo Biasetti. Capponi is versed in the law and Biasetti is an engineer, so forming their company was the perfect melding of science and the law. Enthusiastic and genuine, Capponi engaged with students and professors to discuss his work and the impact COVID-19 has had on intellectual property internationally, specifically in Italy. Capponi shared the hardships that Italy experienced due to COVID-19, including the shortage of ventilator parts. With the original manufacturers unable to meet the demand for these life-saving devices, 3-D printing was a natural answer. Italian 3-D printing companies were able to provide hospitals with the resources they desperately needed, even though they did not hold the patents for these devices. Capponi described that while manufacturing patented replacement parts would typically be considered infringement under Italian law, the emergency circumstances justified production by other companies under the doctrine of necessity. Capponi also highlighted that as the field of 3-D printing continues to grow, there will be regulatory issues that occur .

For example, there was no regulatory structure in place to ensure that the 3-D printed ventilator replacement parts met regulatory standards. The emergency required good faith on the part of all the parties involved. It was refreshing to hear Capponi’s candid comments about the benefits and drawbacks of his field. He easily explained the complexities of 3-D printing and the legal issues that he encounters. One of his current projects involves 3-D printing models of the ancient Roman part of his city, Brescia. They have already completed the main temple and square in front of it. The local art museum will use those models to better explain what the city was like in the past as they meet with Italian school students. On Zoom, Capponi captivated the law students with his candor and fascinating experiences. He later said, “Seeing all the students’ faces on the online meeting was an interesting experience that I would have never expected when I was a student only four years ago. I was very happy to again be part of William & Mary, and this tragic situation can strengthen the links between the Law School and the international alumni.” He is one of many incredible William & Mary Law School alumni that speak with students on a regular basis. As a student, it is a privilege to learn from so many brilliant, hardworking, and entrepreneurial citizen lawyers. Their work to create a better world inspires and encourages us to be the next generation of difference makers. Top Left: Matteo Capponi; Top Right: Capponi’s 3-D model of the Capitolium in Brescia. Courtesy photos

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Whole of Government engages the whole of William & Mary in COVID-19 analysis and forecasts


athryn “Kay” Floyd ‘05, Director of William & Mary’s Whole of Government Center of Excellence, heard multiple references to the ‘whole of government’ approach as local and state governments, as well as the federal government, began to grapple with the arrival of COVID-19 and the ensuing pandemic. Floyd also realized that the use—or misuse—of the term presented an opportunity for some outreach and education. Floyd was a guest on the local NPR talkshow, HearSay with Cathy Lewis (listen to podcast here) and then shared an op-ed with her frequent collaborators at Diplomatic Courier. Floyd’s essay inspired CEO and Publisher Ana Rold to collaborate with Floyd on an issue featuring WIlliam & Mary faculty, alumni, researchers, students and friends. The result is the bookazine, “Life After the Pandemic: The Post-COVID-19 Governance Playbook.” As Floyd explained in her foreword, “The articles in this publication bring to light important and enduring problems that have arisen during this crisis and will have far ranging impacts.” The full edition is online.

About Diplomatic Courier Diplomatic Courier is a Global Affairs Media Network connecting global publics to leaders in international affairs, diplomacy, social good, technology, business, and more. Diplomatic Courier’s global network spans 180 countries and five continents. Readers can find them in print, online, mobile, video, and social media.




The William & Mary essays: • “Foreword: Whole of Government Approaches During COVID-19” - Kay Floyd ‘05 • “LGBTIQ Rights and Intersectional Justice During COVID-19” - Rebecca Farber, Assistant Professor of Sociology, William & Mary • “The Unmeasurable Costs of Extreme Policy Responses” - Deborah Allen Hewitt, Professor Emerita of Economics at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business, William & Mary • “Blockchain and COVID-19 in Indian Country” - Gabrielle Hibbert, Researcher, William & Mary Blockchain Lab, and Troy Wiipongwii MPP ‘18, Principle Investigator, William & Mary Blockchain Lab • “Toward a Rural Renaissance in the Post-COVID-19 Era” - Karen Jackson MBA ‘91, Former Secretary of Technology, Commonwealth of Virginia • “Fighting COVID-19 in Africa Means Improving Health Systems” - Iyabo Obasanjo, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology & Heath Sciences, William & Mary • “Maritime Governance and the Future of the Global Economy” - Ian M. Ralby J.D. ‘05, CEO, I.R. Consilium • “Revisiting Individual Rights and Personal Responsibility Amid COVID-19” - Christie Warren, Professor of the Practice of International and Comparative Law, W&M Law School • “Whole of Government, Scientific Method, and Future Plagues” - Cynthia A. Watson P ‘15, Dean of Faculty & Academic Programs, National War College • “COVID-19 Isn’t Going Anywhere, Food Supply Chains Must Adjust” - Amy Xia, Associate Professor of Business Analytics at Mason School of Business, William & Mary, and Gillian Doby, 2021 MBA Candidate, William & Mary

Global Research Institute E-internships Summer 2020 Director: Kay Floyd



• Artscope Magazine and Palestine Museum US • Catrock Ventures • Raymond A. Mason School of Business, W&M • U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, various offices and projects including Mad Scientist, G-2, CausX • Defense Entrepreneurs Forum • Diplomatic Courier • i4SD • Joint Staff’s Communication Strategy Analysis Division J-39 • Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) • Policy4Tomorrow • U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM)

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“A warm welcome to Chinese visiting students from William & Mary and Tufts University.” Courtesy Photo

Reves manages a quick pivot with a lot of help from their friends — at W&M and abroad



n September 6, thirty-five William & Mary undergraduates began their fall 2020 semester at Beijing Normal University (BNU). When classes ended this past spring, that had not been their plan. In fact, in May, there was no William & Mary Semester at BNU program. Much about the program was out of the ordinary. The application due date for semester programs is usually at least three to six months before the program



begins; the application deadline for this program was July 29, less than two months before the start date. But since the onset of COVID-19 and the global pandemic, there was very little that was “as usual” or as planned. Successful study abroad and international educational programs rely heavily on advance planning, careful preparation, stable infrastructure and consistency. Planning begins up to two years ahead of time. However, because behind any quick pivot are years of preparation,

experience and long-established and nurtured relationships, for these 35 students, the Reves Center made an uncertain and fearful situation a best-case scenario in record time. THINKING AHEAD

Last April, most of the university’s focus, by necessity, was on making the campus safe, helping on-campus students get home, finding housing for international students and bringing those studying abroad home safely. But there was another population that Reves needed to think about, and between pandemic restrictions


and immigration issues, the path forward was anything but clear. Molly DeStafney, Associate Director of Global Education Programs, recalls, “In the spring, it became more and more apparent that there was going to be an issue with students returning in the fall.” Steve Hanson, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Director of the Reves Center, also was concerned about international students not being able to return to the U.S. by fall, and he mobilized all of Reves—the Global Engagement Team (GET), the Global Education Office (GEO), the International Students, Scholars & Programs Office (ISSP), and the William & Mary Confucius Institute (WMCI)—to find a solution for W&M students in China. Each team would bring their special abilities and connections to contribute to the solution. IDENTIFYING AND REACHING OUT TO THE STUDENTS

The first step was identifying which students were affected and what kinds of options would appeal to them. ISSP was key. “In the summer, when we knew that many international students could not return to W&M due to visa and travel restrictions, we started working closely with campus partners such as Undergraduate Admissions, GEO, and the Registrar to identify solutions for these students,” says Eva Wong, Director of ISSP. “We sent out a survey to the students, and many indicated they would be interested in keeping their W&M student status by enrolling in ‘in-country local’ study options. We knew then that our partnerships with universities in China could be a good option for our students in China.” ISSP prepared the list or residents of China and shared it with GEO. “GEO reached out to the students. We worked closely with GEO to make sure that our messaging was consistent and that students were receiving accurate information from both offices.”


“We in GEO had also been thinking along these lines,” concurs Sylvia Mitterndorfer, Director of GEO, “and quickly agreed that it would be great to approach our longstanding partner institutions – Beijing Normal University (BNU) and University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) in Chengdu -- to see if they might be interested and willing to host our students.”

“To create this program so quickly required worldclass expertise and wonderful partners to make something happen quickly, especially in the middle of a pandemic.” The potential partnership made sense for multiple reasons, even something as basic as the fact that the 12-hour time difference makes any synchronous W&M classes very difficult for students in China. The next step was to collaborate with the William & Mary Confucius Institute (WMCI). Ying Liu, Associate Director, and Deliang Wang, Chinese Director, immediately agreed to make connections with their partners in China. They also offered to assist in communications, and for many families, the option of communicating in Mandarin has made a tremendous difference in facilitating process. “In the preparatory stage, we acted as intermediary between the two universities: sending various versions of

the contract for BNU to review, negotiating with BNU on the extension of deadlines of recruitment and payment, and sharing information with W&M on dorms, courses, and other logistical matters,” Liu explains. Both BNU and UESTC expressed interest and willingness to work with Reves to craft a program, but ultimately more students preferred the Beijing location, so BNU was chosen as host institution. Another advantage was that BNU had hosted the summer 2019 program to Beijing as well as winter programs for the past two years. THE PROCESS OF BUILDING A NEW PROGRAM WITH UNIQUE CHALLENGES

In spite of the unusual circumstances and accelerated timeline, Mitterndorfer had faith in the capability of the GEO staff. “Building programs and managing the entire cycle is what we do so well. Our in-house expertise is tremendous and exceptional. To create this program so quickly required world-class expertise and wonderful partners to make something happen quickly, especially in the middle of a pandemic.” Mitterndorfer’s first decision was to name one of her most experienced staff members, DeStafney, as program director, advisor and point of contact for students. Destafney, at W&M since 2011, has worked with scholarship programs, the Keio summer program, and all W&M summer programs during her tenure at W&M. Currently, in her role as Associate Director, she oversees the process and administration of all established W&M Programs for Arts & Sciences students (summer and semester), aids in the development of new programming, and continues to manage a portfolio of summer programs, as well as regional advising duties for China, Japan and Singapore, including advising for the outgoing exchanges in those countries. DeStafney traveled to China on a site visit for the 2018 Summer Program in China, and although BNU was not

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the host institution, she did visit the BNU campus. As with any study program, the BNU program is a campus-wide collaboration, and the process followed usual paths, including: •Hanson and GEO worked with BNU colleagues to set the price of the program. •Mitterndorfer aligned the application process with policies of the International Travel Review Committee (ITRC), coordinating with ITRC member Nick Vasquez, International Travel and Security Manager and member of the Reves GET, well as Pamela Mason, Chief Compliance Officer •GEO updated other offices and International Studies Advisory Committee (ISAC) about developments with the program •GEO interfaced with the departments that always play a role in study abroad programs: Dean of Students Office, the Registrar’s Office, Academic Advising, Student Accounts, the Dean of Arts & Sciences Office, and others. But there were differences from the typical path in addition to the quicker turnaround time.

their partners at BNU. “I am very thankful for BNU’s flexibility regarding our summer timeline, giving us several extensions as the W&M fall semester came into clearer focus.” The BNU program was different in that it was designed for residents of China; other W&M-sponsored programs are generally designed for students who are not necessarily residents of the country. But the greatest difference is that this is a new type of program for William & Mary. “This is the first time we’ve done this,” notes DeStafney. “The University of Virginia partners with a university in China and has an office there, and Tufts has had a partnership with BNU – and has 70 students there this fall – but the difference with William & Mary’s program is that our students are full-time BNU students; they’re not in a hybrid program.” That means that if one of the students wanted to take a W&M course, they would need to seek dual enrollment. As a result, GEO worked with Dean of Undergraduate Studies Janice Zeman and Dean of Students Marjorie Thomas to streamline the approval process.



Due to the pandemic and the complexity and sensitivity of health and immigration issues, Hanson worked with leadership to ensure that this program aligned with overall goals and took a more active role than usual in helping to determine the parameters of the program. There was also the challenge of trying to commit to firm deadlines and dates. GEO had to coordinate W&M’s evolving on-campus fall plans to adapt program timelines and ensure students could make informed decisions. This fell mostly to DeStafney, Liu and Mitterndorfer to keep everyone abreast of changing situations and deadlines. Mitterndorfer praises



BNU is not the only partner with which William & Mary is working this fall. Mitterndorfer is quick to express gratitude to Yonsei University, who opened their doors to William & Mary’s international students in South Korea. International students are also enrolled at several other universities in their home countries. Hertford College at Oxford University — one of William & Mary’s sponsored semester partners — is offering their fall semester in-person as well as remotely, allowing even those unable to travel to experience the tutorial system. A few students also successfully petitioned to study abroad through other universities. In all, approximately 50 students are studying

abroad this semester, in person or virtually, including the 35 BNU students. THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE

The students at BNU this fall are all returning students. “We did not invite transfer students or freshmen; the university felt students should already have a strong identification with William & Mary,” DeStafney explains. One unexpected reaction DeStafney has noticed is a bit of a culture shock. “This may be the first time these students have been in an educational environment in China for a very long time. Some may have studied abroad for several years. It’s been an adjustment.” DeStafney describes it as a case of “expecting one thing and getting something else.” In some courses, it may simply be a matter of a difference between Chinese terms and the English terms the students have become accustomed to using and hearing. “It’s home and looks familiar, but in some ways it’s really an alternate universe.” Liu concurs. “I thought our students would not have any difficulty following the classes taught in their native language. But a few students did have trouble with their classes due to differences in pedagogy and knowledge structure.” She and DeStafney are in constant contact with students as well as the BNU coordinators and faculty, and after a brief period of adjustment, things are now going well. Liu has noticed another positive outcome. “I think their parents must feel relieved. I heard through the grapevine that when some pictures and information of our BNU program were shared in Chinese parents’ WeChat groups, some parents were quite envious and asked why such a program was not offered for their students at other universities.”


Dean Shengying Zhu of the School of Continuing Education welcomes visiting students from W&M and Tufts at the opening ceremony. Courtesy photo

W&M student Ruixuan Wang ‘23 speaks at the opening ceremony. Courtesy photo.

The visiting student dormitory. Courtesy photo.

Changping Campus. Courtesy photo.

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Study shows wetter climate is likely to intensify global warming BY DAVID MALMQUIST


study in the May 6 issue of Nature indicates the increase in rainfall forecast by global climate models is likely to hasten the release of carbon dioxide from tropical soils, further intensifying global warming by adding to human emissions of this greenhouse gas into Earth’s atmosphere. Based on analysis of sediments cored from the submarine delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, the study was conducted by an international team led by Dr. Christopher Hein of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Collaborators include Drs. Valier Galy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Muhammed Usman of the University of Toronto, and Timothy Eglinton and Negar Haghipour of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich). Major funding was provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation. “We found that shifts toward a warmer and wetter climate in the drainage basin of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers over the last 18,000 years enhanced rates of soil respiration and decreased stocks of soil carbon,” says Hein. “This has direct implications for Earth’s future, as climate change is likely to increase rainfall in tropical regions, further accelerating respiration of soil carbon, and adding even more CO2 to the atmosphere than that directly added by humans.” Soil respiration refers to release of carbon dioxide by microbes as they decompose and metabolize leaf litter and other organic materials on and just below the ground surface. It’s equivalent to the process in which larger multicellular animals—from snails to humans—exhale CO2 as a byproduct of metabolizing their food. Roots also contribute to soil respiration at night, when photosynthesis shuts down and

plants burn some of the carbohydrates they produced during daylight. SEDIMENT CORES REVEAL LINK BETWEEN PRECIPITATION, SOIL AGE

The team’s study is based on detailed analysis of three sediment cores collected from the ocean floor seaward of the mouth of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers in Bangladesh. Here, the world’s largest delta and submarine fan were built by the prodigious volume of sediments eroded from the Himalayas. The two rivers carry more than a billion tons of sediment to the Bay of Bengal each year, more than five times that of the Mississippi River. The cores record the environmental history of the Ganges-Brahmaputra drainage basin during the 18,000 years since the last Ice Age began to wane. By comparing radiocarbon dates of bulk sediment samples from these cores with samples from organic molecules known to be derived directly from land plants, the researchers were able to gauge changes though time in the age of the sediments’ parent soils. Their results showed a strong correlation between runoff rates and soil age—wetter epochs were associated with younger, rapidly respiring soils; while drier, cooler epochs were linked to older soils capable of storing carbon for longer periods.

Above: Sediment cores collected from the offshore fan deposited by the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers shows that a shift towards warmer and wetter climate over the last 18,000 years has increased the turnover rate of soils in the drainage basin of the two rivers. Courtesy of Chris Hein Opposite page: Trisuli River. Courtesy of Dr. Valier Galy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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“Small changes in the amount of carbon stored in soils can play an outsized role in modulating atmospheric CO2 concentrations and, therefore, global climate, as soils are a primary global reservoir of this element.” The wetter periods themselves correlate with the strength of the Indian summer monsoon, the primary source of precipitation across India, the Himalayas, and south-central Asia. The researchers confirmed changes in monsoon strength using several independent lines of paleoclimatic evidence, including analysis of oxygen-isotope ratios from Chinese cave deposits and the skeletons of open-ocean phytoplankton. SMALL CHANGES, BIG EFFECTS

The magnitude of the correlation discovered by Hein and colleagues corresponds to a near doubling in the rate of soil respiration and carbon turnover in the 2,600 years following the end of the last Ice Age, as India’s summer monsoon strengthened. “We found that a small increase in precipitation values corresponds to a much larger decrease in soil age,” says Hein. An earlier paper by Hein, Galy, and colleagues reported a threefold increase in annual rainfall in the Ganges-Brahmaputra river basin since the last Ice Age. This new study shows that upturn in precipitation led to a halving of soil age due to more rapid soil turnover. Hein says that “small changes in the amount of carbon stored in soils can play an outsized role in modulating atmospheric CO2

concentrations and, therefore, global climate, as soils are a primary global reservoir of this element.” The current concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere—416 parts per million— equates to about 750 billion tons of carbon. Earth’s soils hold around 3,500 billion tons— more than four times as much. Previous research has highlighted the threat that global warming poses to the permafrost soils of the Arctic, whose widespread thawing is thought to be releasing up to 0.6 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere each year. “We’ve now found a similar climate feedback in the tropics,” says Hein, “and are concerned that enhanced soil respiration due to greater precipitation—itself a response to climate change—will further increase concentrations of CO2 in our atmosphere.” Hein, C.J., Usman, M., Eglinton, T.I. et al. Millennial-scale hydroclimate control of tropical soil carbon storage. Nature 581, 63–66 (2020).

Above: Karnali River, © Dr. Valier Galy, WHOI Opposite page: Greater rainfall is likely to intensify global warming by increasing microbes’ release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from soils in tropical drainage basins like that of the Kali Gandaki River, a tributary of the Ganges River in Nepal. © Dr. Valier Galy, WHOI

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Edward “Ed” Aractingi is William & Mary’s Chief Information Officer. Ed is responsible for bringing together diverse groups to identify and implement strategic, university-wide IT solutions for teaching, learning, research and operations. He started at W&M in June 2020. Aractingi holds a bachelor’s degree from Damascus University, a master’s degree from Marshall and a Ph.D. in information technology from Capella University. HERITAGE

I was born and raised in Damascus, the capital of Syria. Often called the “City of Jasmine,” it is rich in culture, history, and heritage. I grew up in the southeast area of the capital, close to the old city where I spent good parts of my days walking in its alleys and neighborhoods observing the distinctive architecture that represents multiple generations of civilizations from the ancient days to today’s world.



Edward Aractingi, Chief Information Officer


After graduating from college and venturing out into various jobs and some business endeavors, and as my fiancée (now my wife) and I started dreaming of starting our family, we decided that it might be the time to take the next step—to pursue higher learning goals and make a move to see how life would be in America, the land of opportunity. My wife’s aunt and her husband lived in Huntington, West Virginia – where Marshall University is located – and thanks to their incredible generosity, we were able to move there. I took a summer course before I was fully admitted to the Master of Information Systems program. I also volunteered at the College of Engineering before I became a graduate assistant until graduation. Soon after I graduated, my wife joined the program and, a few years later , graduated with honors. By that time, my daughter was born. And with the support of many of our American friends and church families, it was

clear to us, that America had become our family’s home. MARSHALL UNIVERSITY

I had an amazing journey at Marshall, full of personal milestones that brought joy to my family and me along the way. Starting as a student achieving my goal to graduate with 4.0 GPA, then landing a job at the competitive IT department of the university; being asked to teach in the classroom, and growing personally and professionally through the ranks to reach the role of director, deputy and eventually the CIO. All were moments of pride. But the most rewarding accomplishment that I will continue to carry with me with honor is when I was surprised by the selection as the recipient of “Dedication to Student Life Award” by the student body. In my view, it is the highest recognition for me as an administrator or professional working at a university whose mission is to serve its students.


I always felt that it is a responsibility to step in whenever there is an opportunity to be involved in collaborative efforts in society and be useful in supporting the community surrounding us. I had the honor to be involved in various activities around the university and in the town and state where we lived. I was fortunate to serve on a few boards in the community—including my family’s church board, my kids’ school board, and Huntington’s “Gigabyte City” economic development initiative, and some state committees. I appreciated the opportunity to serve and collaborate. FINDING A CALLING & A CAREER

I have always loved tinkering with electronics and was curious about how TVs and radios worked. When I took my first basic programming course in middle school, I was fascinated by how we can create intelligence from an empty screen. However, I did not consider technology as a field of study or work. I was drawn to arts and design, so I joined the College of Fine Arts. After studying painting, sculpture, graphic and interior designs, I decided to pursue a specialization in interior architecture hoping it would provide me with more career opportunities. Both graphic and interior designs became heavily dependent on technology tools, so I started learning software and built myself an affordable computer from parts. I found it profitable to build and sell computers between art jobs. I also learned how to develop websites and software and joined a group of software developers in a startup building custom software for small businesses. Next, I started my own business selling computers, networks, reselling software, and building custom software and websites targeting small businesses during their conversion of business processes to digital. I knew that I needed to go back to college to study technology academically, so I later obtained my Master

of Science in Information Systems and PhD in Information Technology. I did so while working in the fields in higher education and health care. While I consider my professional life as a hybrid of arts and science, I see immense value in the overlap and harmony. I also see how both utilize the utmost creativity—whether starting from a white canvas or empty computer screen—by envisioning a non-existent output going through the creative process to create a new, original work.

“While I consider my professional life as a hybrid of arts and science, I see immense value in the overlap and harmony. ” THE VALUE OF TECHNOLOGY AND W&M’S IT TEAM IN A PANDEMIC

Technology has become critical to every business, and during the global pandemic, technology was a ‘lifeline’ to many industries including education. While the increased demand required IT teams to mobilize and spend many more hours and energy to support students in learning, faculty in their teaching, and staff in conducting their functions successfully, it was a rewarding opportunity for all IT professionals to step in and help the institution and the community they belong to. We are privileged to have a creative, hardworking, dedicated, and professional team who has done extensive work in preparing a solid foundation and capabilities that were able to expand to fulfill the increased needs during the transition to remote

working and learning. I am extremely proud of belonging to Team IT in these moments of responding to the challenges facing our generation. EMPATHY AND CREATIVITY IN INNOVATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE

A key method to be successful in any service is to have empathy. The deep understanding of the experience of those who come to us seeking help is so important in the IT field. The other quality that we aspire to instill in our team is humility. The fast pace at which the world of technology is moving keeps us humble as we continue to learn the new developments. We all use technology and we, ourselves, feel frustrated when it doesn’t work as designed. I am encouraged by new trends in the business world. One is that people are now looking at IT folks as strategic partners and innovators. They now come to IT when dealing with a challenge or an opportunity asking for creative ideas and partnership, knowing that working together leads to success. The other trend that I am experiencing is the shift in mindset of what capabilities technology can bring. It is driven by having powerful devices in our pockets, the amazingly advanced AI tools in our homes and offices and the vast number of cloud services we use every moment of the days. All of this is allowing higher tolerance and acceptance of change and a tremendous appetite for innovation in work and life. These trends are opportunities for IT teams to transform the institutionsthey work for and empower the people they serve with cutting edge technologies. TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL IN GLOBAL EDUCATION

There are many ways that technology can continue to support international communities. Technology has repeatedly helped breaking the language barrier through the automatic translation of webpages and documents.

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Lecture capture tools, even for in-person classes, have offered international students, or any students, to replay the course at their own pace after class to catch what they missed or didn’t understand. More recently, with online and remote education becoming more prominent forms of instruction, technology is enabling automatic transcription and translation of spoken words in real time, allowing international students and participants to better understand the material. The mobile devices with enough power and storage to carry most documents in our pockets are indispensable when traveling abroad. The use of cloud storage like Box or OneDrive, allows access to those documents in real time and collaboration with colleagues across continents. Also, high-speed internet and virtual private networking (VPN) connect remote devices securely to the university resources regardless of where the traveler is and what devices they use, including High Performance Computing clusters to run their research or various software systems used on the university network. Leveraging communication tools and social media platforms to connect with prospective and interested students abroad ensures they learn about Reves and engaged with the team of supporting professionals.


While I am still new to W&M, and we are continuing our work responding to the pandemic, I am discovering incredible potential opportunities to engage with students, faculty and the community: • IT has been a supporter and partner to efforts engaging students in STEM-related activities, like Esports. I hope we will also be able to sponsor activities in national collegiate cyber defense competitions, supporting the establishing of a robotics club and participating in international robotics competition to working closely with the computer science department to help in game design clubs. • On the academic side, technology can help leverage online education to non-traditional students. I’m committed to Increasing access to all students, especially first-generation and low income students. • I’m also interested in broadening our global presence and expanding our relationship with international students, faculty, staff and institutions.

All Cour te sy Photos: Preceding pa ge: Arac tingi w ith student s in his computer science cour se at Mar shall Uni ver sit y. For many it was their last clas s before ear ning their master ’s degree. T his pa ge: Clock w ise f rom lef t : Recei ving the “ Dedication to S tudent Life Award ” at Mar shall . A self ie and group photo w ith new inter national student s on their f ir st day on campus at Mar shall .




Helping international families navigate life and language in Williamsburg BY KATE HOVING You need to call a mechanic to schedule an appointment for an oil change. You need to write a note to your son’s teacher excusing him from class. You need to describe a symptom to the nurse at Urgent Care. Your children want you to order pizza for dinner. These are interactions that make up our days. But imagine for a moment that you are new to Williamsburg. New to the United States. Your spouse is a scholar or visiting researcher at William & Mary, and you’ve accompanied them. Perhaps you have school-aged children. Your spouse goes to class and work, and you have to find your own way. If you’re lucky, you will have had English classes before your arrival. If you’re very lucky, you have studied English for years and have a good facility with the language, an maybe a good, passive understanding. But even with some language classes under your belt, managing everyday conversations while also navigating life in an unfamiliar environment can be challenging and intimidating. [And why do people use phrases like ‘under your belt’?] In 2019, William & Mary welcomed 176 international scholars, faculty and staff, from more than 30 countries. Scholars are foreign professors, researchers, short-term scholars, and specialists who are invited to the U.S. on a temporary basis by academic department or units at W&M and VIMS. They, in turn, brought 152 dependents (spouses and children). The International Students, Scholars and Programs (ISSP) Office at Reves has long focused on supporting families with programs and activities and outings. Mona David-Starman, has worked tirelessly over the last few years to expand the programs. She manages the International Family Network (IFN), a resource for the family members of our international students, scholars, faculty, and staff, and the Global Friends Program, which matches international students with members of the local community in an effort to foster cross-cultural friendships and understanding. Both programs are vibrant and have large memberships. And yet two years ago, when a wife of a scholar asked David-Starman for help talking to her garage mechanic, Mona realized something was missing. “I had for a long time felt the need to do something. I would often hear from the spouses in the IFN group, that they didn’t speak well, and because of that, they did not want to come to

the events.” David-Starman decided she needed to create not so much a language class as a safe space where these spouses could make friends, practice speaking and learn about life in Williamsburg David-Starman launched the English Conversation Club (ECC) in spring 2019. That first semester started with a small group. “There were six to eight people who attended—mostly IFN members—moms with children,” David-Starman recalls. In order to generate conversation, David-Starman will choose a theme or topic for each meeting. It may be discussion of an “American” holiday or using idioms or asking questions at a doctor’s office. “For the last meeting, I invited the group to my home, to celebrate them and their achievements.” Word got around, and in fall 2019, there were 14 attendees. This past year some scholars joined the IFN mothers and children. A few community members who are part of the IFN group also attend, and the meetings have continued over the summer and into this fall. Before the pandemic, the group met twice a week, for an hour and a half, in the Student Diversity Room at Campus Center. “It has a nice big table and area for children to play, as some of the mothers will bring toys for the children to play with. It was beautiful to see the scholars enjoying the children.” The pandemic has brought increased risk of isolation, but the meetings have continued. They meet for a Zoom chat on Tuesdays from 10am-12pm, and ECC meets Thursdays from 9:30am-12pm. One unanticipated benefit is that more members of the family can join the chat. “It has been wonderful to see not only the members of the English Conversation Club, but also a few of the new scholars, who would not have been able to join before, due to other commitments on campus.” David-Starman is sensitive to the busy lives of the members. “Parents are busy with the children and all the other activities based at home now, but I feel the one hour a week is good for them to do something for themselves. A few of them have told me they look forward to our Zoom time.”

Above: Mona David-Starman Reves Center photo.

FALL 2020



Although they have had to suspend the usual weekly IFN/Scholar events and outings, David-Starman has consistently stayed in touch with all of them, emailing suggestions for virtual activities and safe, socially distanced activities as they become an option. The Global Friends Program has also stayed active throughout the summer and into the fall. “The Global hosts are emailing to let me know they are still in touch with their student,” David-Starman reports. “My Global hosts are spectacular people; I am not surprised they are in touch with their students, even in the quarantine. Many of them keep in touch with their students after the students graduate.” David-Starman remains committed to continuing the conversation club. “Language is the main issue for the spouses who do not come to events; I am trying to find a way to help them feel more comfortable. I see their confidence building as their language skills improve. They can also enjoy their time here more and make new friends.” Adjusting to Zoom has been a challenge for everyone, and the ECC members have had their own hurdles. “Some ECC members are not connecting through Zoom because their spouses are using the computer and they need to entertain the children. I know last week, one of my group members had to leave early because her spouse needed the computer for a meeting.” David-Starman thinks there might be some hesitation in talking in a different language on Zoom. “I know when we met in our group, in person, they would ask me about talking on the phone, because it is uncomfortable for them. So we would write things down.” David-Starman encourages the university to remember the family members who come with the students and scholars, to offer support and care. Her biggest wish when the campus reopens fully is to find a stroller-accessible room to hold the ECC group meetings where they have the privacy to have lively discussions, “around a big table so we can all sit together facing each other.” In an academic institution and during a pandemic, there are going to be competing priorities. That’s to be expected. But David-Starman is committed to advocate for those members of the William & Mary community who may not be top of mind, but who are vital members of the community. Why does this matter so much to her? She is clearly a sensitive, empathetic person. But there is also a personal connection that draws her to the stewardship of a sometimes forgotten community and makes her uniquely qualified to be an advocate. Her father, The Reverend John Calvin David, brought Mona and her family to the United States when she was a child. He was born in Lahore, Punjab, India, and earned his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Divinity. After ordination in Punjab, his faith carried him to Chicago in 1966, where he knew no one; but he was confident in God



and the path he chose. Not too long afterwards, his wife, Shakuntala and their four children (David-Starman was the eldest) joined him in America. David-Starman remembers vividly her arrival in the U.S.: “When we arrived in Chicago, on a cold January day, I was eight years old. I was with my mom and my three siblings. We disembarked from the plane and walked on the tarmac, all bundled up, and entered the airport. Our first home in America was an apartment. I remember looking out the window—seeing the people, cars—and they looked like they were toys—so small. And there was snow on the ground. It was my first time seeing snow.” Mona lost her father in 2020, but his dedication to service and the experiences of her family moving to an unfamiliar place, continue to inform her actions, her instincts, her passions, and her dedication to the mission of the Reves Center. Perhaps a future ECC class might explore an idiom that epitomizes the empathy that motivates Mona DavidStarman at ISSP: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Top: The Reverend John Calvin David and his wife, Shakuntala, the year they were married. Bottom: The David children, circa 1971-72, in the U.S. L-R: Sherry, John, Mona holding James, and Asnath (Ozzie). Photos courtesy of Mona David-Starman


MONA DAVID-STARMAN AND ISSP IN PHOTOS (PRE-PANDEMIC) Although so many activities of ISSP have gone virtual during the pandemic, the spirit expressed in these photos from last year’s events show the impact they have. These are photos from the first International Community Day at the last day of the W&M Basketball season the first week of March. It was an example of the kinds of outreach ISSP staff do to include all students and family members. The other photos are from the 2019 ISSP Pumpkin Carve, an annual favorite among students and families. It will be a virtual scavenger hunt this year, but we thought you would enjoy some photos from last year.

FALL 2020


Boël gift expands Mason School international business initiatives BY LESLIE MCCULLOUGH

When Nicolas Boël M.B.A. ’89 was considering where to apply for graduate school, an international experience was at the top of his list. “My family believes in the importance of a U.S. education and having international business experience,” said Boël, who is from Belgium. “As a William & Mary student, I was grateful for the opportunity to discover a different curriculum and the U.S. culture and, of course, Southern hospitality.” When Boël and his wife, Valentine, arrived on campus as newlyweds in 1987, he was the only European in his class. Now, as a Business School Foundation board member and the chairman of Solvay, a family-owned global chemical company based in Brussels, Boël wants more business students to benefit from an international experience like he did. This spring, the Boëls made a generous commitment to support global business initiatives at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. The Nicolas and Valentine Boël Endowment for International Business will enable Dean Larry Pulley to invest strategically in programs that cultivate a global mindset among undergraduate and graduate students. “We are so grateful to the Boëls for giving us the opportunity to imagine the possibilities in global education at the Mason School of Business,” said Pulley. “Nicolas and Valentine’s generous support offers us remarkable flexibility to inject meaningful funding into some of our existing efforts and to plan for and kickstart new, exciting global educational opportunities.” In consultation with faculty and program teams, Dean Pulley will use the fund to support various curricular and co-curricular initiatives that give students exposure to international business issues and learning opportunities on campus and around the world, as well as enhance global and cultural understanding. “I believe education should be supported in every country,” said Boël. “William & Mary is a jewel, with amazing people and strong principles. It is important to support a place you know, a place where you believe in what they are trying to achieve.” One possible opportunity from the Boëls’ support may be the expansion of the Mason School’s global immersion program, which is led by Professor Don Rahtz.



“Private support is critical to creating the unique opportunities that will further distinguish the breadth and caliber of our international programs,” said Rahtz, who was a young marketing faculty member when Boël attended W&M. “Thanks to this generous gift, the next generation of Mason School students will be able to experience the rich diversity in international cultures through a variety of immersions and partnership programs with public and private sector entities in a complex and ever evolving global community.” It is exactly these kinds of efforts to increase global understanding that Boël hopes to advance at William & Mary. “William & Mary’s focus has always been on the student and how they can get the most out of their educational experience,” said Boël. “Through travel and understanding different perspectives and issues, students can build the important principles they’ve learned into their careers and lives.” The Boëls also see their support as part of a bigger picture. “I have always believed in diversity — the diversity of people and ideas,” said Boël. “It is important for students to know the facts and remain objective about what is happening in other countries and around the world. Through an international experience, students can use the knowledge they gain to make their own choices.” Boël continues, “Improving global education and knowledge is a good thing for William & Mary. But, ultimately, supporting more open communication and global understanding is also a good thing for everyone — in the U.S., Europe and all international businesses.”

Above: Nicolas Boël M.B.A. ’89 and his wife, Valentine Courtesy photo

D onor P rof i l e

Your Gift Matters. Alan McLeod with Canadian Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who served as Chief Justice from 2000 –2017.


As a young man, Dr. Alan McLeod left his native Australia for the US to pursue his Ph.D. in English literature at Pennsylvania State University. He went on to pursue a productive academic career, including several professorships at US universities, the deanship of the School of Arts & Sciences at Rider University, and a Fulbright professorship at the University of Mysore in Karnataka, India.

Wishing to provide opportunities for future generations of scholars, he funds a special scholarship for international students from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and India. His gift has had a transformative impact on the students he has supported, helping launch careers and make possibilities, realities. In the words of one student who benefitted from his generosity, “I would not be able to undertake these first vital steps in my dissertation research without the support provided by your scholarship fund…I am never sure these letters fully convey the deep thanks felt by emerging scholars to the people who support their work. Scholarship is never a solo endeavour and your support is integral to the success of my dissertation. Thank you for your support of me and my research, and for your support of Commonwealth students at William & Mary.”

With the support of private donors, the Reves Center awards a number of scholarships to international students each year. These scholarships help alleviate financial hardship, make educational opportunities possible, recognize achievement, and allow W&M to attract top students from around the world.

To learn about

making donations

to the Reves Center International

Scholarship Fund or

to other Reves Center Scholarships, contact Kate Barney at


Alumna Abroad A Q&A WITH RACHEL FAITH ‘14

Faith is currently Associate Translator (Russian-English) at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. At William & Mary she was the first recipient of the Robert M. & Rebecca W. Gates Scholarship for study abroad. She received her M.A. in Translation & Interpretation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey Where were you born? What do you consider your hometown? I grew up in East Waterboro, a town in southern Maine. Although my family no longer lives in that town, they still live elsewhere in the state, and Maine will always be home to me. Why did you choose to attend William & Mary? I knew that Willian & Mary was a high-quality school where I could get a good education and which offered the languages I wanted to learn, which is what drew my interest in the first place; but ultimately, the deciding factor was that something just felt right about it when I visited and talked with people there. What was your major? Any particular reasons you chose it? I double majored in Russian PostSoviet Studies and Chinese Language and Literature. I knew coming into college that I wanted to go into translation and interpretation, and since this is a pretty hard degree to find at the undergraduate level in the U.S., I decided to start by focusing on learning foreign languages that I could work in and out of as a translator/interpreter. Russian and Chinese interested me because I was



fascinated by the cultures and countries behind the languages, and because they seemed like they would provide a wide variety of interesting career opportunities down the road. Did you have a favorite course while you were at W&M? I think it would be a tie between the Russian cinema course and the Chinese cinema course I took my senior year. Both were fascinating and fun, introduced me to some amazing films and directors which I still love, and helped me better understand cinema as an art form. Did you study abroad while you were a student? If so, where and why? Studying abroad was a huge priority for me: since a high level of linguistic proficiency was the main thing I was trying to achieve during my degree, it was really important to me to get an immersive study experience in a native-speaking environment. I spent a summer in Saint Petersburg on the William & Mary program, a semester in Moscow, and then a semester and summer in Beijing. I also spent an academic year studying Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, immediately after graduating. Do you have a favorite memory or memories of your time at W&M? It’s hard to pick! Looking back, I have many fond memories of W&M: taking part in the Mid-Autumn Festival and Lunar New Year performances that the Chinese Student organization would put on with some of the other East Asian cultural organizations, basically living in the Kimball Theater during the International Film Festival each year,

going for nighttime walks in Colonial Williamsburg with friends, playing some of the liveliest concerts of my life with the Middle Eastern Music Ensemble and the Appalachian Music Ensemble, and so on. One of the things that I loved most about W&M was the rich cultural life available on campus, and I was very fortunate to be able to make of the most of that outside of my studies and meet a lot of wonderful people along the way. What career path(s) have you pursued? I’ve been very fortunate to be able to pursue the career of translation and interpretation that I’d originally dreamed of. After coming back from Kyrgyzstan, I worked as a medical interpreter in Portland, Maine for about a year, and then went to grad school to get a MA in Russian/ English translation and interpretation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS). While at MIIS, I developed a love of scientific and technical subject matter, and after completing my degree, I moved to Geneva, Switzerland to do a translation fellowship at the World Intellectual Property Organization, where I still work as a Russian-English patent translator. I translate patent abstracts and various reports involved in the process of evaluating patent applications. This allows me to work with the technical content of the patents, as opposed to the legal materials more often associated with intellectual property work, and thus I’ve found myself in the incredibly fortunate and privileged position of having a job that I enjoy tremendously and which falls smack in the middle of all of my interests. I’m very


Clockwise from top: Faith in Saint Petersburg in 2012; Faith at work as a translator; At Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, where she received her M.A. Courtesy photos

excited to have recently found out that I will start training for Chinese patent translation at the beginning of next month, and can finally officially claim both of the languages that I love so much as professional working languages. Do you have any advice for current students? Try to keep your focus on the longer trajectory of your goals, particularly when things are difficult and you’re struggling, and remember that you don’t have to succeed at something immediately in order to succeed at all. Spending so much time learning languages has really emphasized to me how much time it can take to see your efforts bear fruit, and when you’re in the midst of things, it can be incredibly frustrating and difficult to see the progress you’re making. However, that doesn’t mean that progress isn’t being made or that you won’t ever achieve what you’re trying to achieve. It’s all right to fail here and there along the way and to take a different and perhaps longer route than you may have originally wanted or planned—you can still get to where you want to go, and it will be no less of an achievement once you get there.

Do you think international experience as a student is helpful in future life and career? I think that international experience is incredibly valuable, no matter what you’re studying or what you’d like to do professionally. The experience of being a bit out of your element and stepping outside yourself to engage regularly with a different culture and maybe a different language is a fantastic opportunity to learn about others and yourself, and it can be surprising the extent to which cultures one might assume would be very similar to American culture can differ in a multitude of small but significant ways.

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200 South Boundary Street Williamsburg, VA, 23185 Telephone: 757-221-3590 Fax: 757-221-3597


The world awaits . . .

STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS offered by the GLOBAL EDUCATION OFFICE (GEO) Summer Faculty-Led Programs Australia: Adelaide Bhutan: Taktse Brazil: Rio de Janeiro China: Beijing Czech Republic: Prague England: Cambridge France: Montpellier France: Nantes Germany: Potsdam Greece: Athens/Nafplio India: Bengaluru/Goa Ireland: Galway Italy: Florence Italy: Rome/Pompeii Russia: Saint Petersburg Rwanda: Kigali ** Scotland: St Andrews South Africa: Cape Town Spain: Cádiz Spain: Santiago de Compostela

W&M-Sponsored Semester Programs

Argentina: Universidad Nacional de La Plata England: Hertford College, University of Oxford Spain: Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Embedded Programs Kenya: Nairobi (2020) Norway: Lofoten Islands (2020)

Undergraduate Exchange Programs

Winter Programs Virtual Geneva (2021)

** Program in collaboration with the School of Education

Australia: University of Adelaide Austria: Vienna University of Economics & Business Canada: McGill University China: Tsinghua University England: University of Exeter England: University of Nottingham France: L’institut d’Études Politiques de Lille France: Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III Japan: Akita International University Japan: Keio University Netherlands: Leiden University Scotland: University of St Andrews Singapore: National University of Singapore South Korea: Yonsei University Wales: Cardiff University

WWW.WM.EDU/STUDYABROAD Program offerings vary each year.

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William & Mary's World Minded Magazine Fall 2020  

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