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in this issue >>> Meet the Staff Fall 1 Programs and Activities The MCISA Move Enter the Photo Contest

A quarterly insight into the Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs

focus on MCISA Mission >>>

Preparing Citizens of the World through Cultural Awareness MCISA is a department within Student Affairs that is committed to creating an academic environment that embraces social diversity, globalism, and cross-cultural interaction in the classrooms and within the campus community. MCISA provides services and special programs that address the academic, social, and individual needs of all students, focusing primarily on cultural minorities and international students. The office encourages and fosters an environment where a student’s personal growth and development will enhance the retention and academic success of all students. Perhaps, most important of all is the department’s aim to create a community environment that embraces individual differences and emphasizes the unity of humankind.


Home Sweet Home The MCISA is Moving to A New Location Over the years, the MCISA has experienced many changes. Starting out as the Office of Minority Affairs, the office embraced three names before evolving to the Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs. The office has called several locations in Loretto Hall and a house on Edgar Road where the current Webster Village Apartments are located, home. In late September of 2011, the office will change once more, moving from its current location on the first floor of Loretto Hall, to its new home at 536 Garden Avenue. The house, situated between the Alumni House and Garden Park Plaza, has undergone renovations and additions over the past year to prepare for its new occupants. The former carport of the home was enclosed to create room for the MCISA student lounge.

The return of the MCISA lounge will provide a space on campus for students to hangout and meet new friends, interact with people from different cultural backgrounds, study, watch TV, or take a lunch break. The new space will include comfortable seating and a flat screen television for a break from studying. The MCISA staff looks forward to their move and having the space for students to call home. “We look forward to being more accessible for students and spending some time with them in the lounge” says Niki Parres, Assistant Director MCISA. The MCISA anticipates moving in midlate September. For the most up-todate information on the move, follow the MCISA on Facebook,

Contest >>>

MCISA and CIE Global Photo Contest The MCISA and Center for International Education are sponsoring a Global Photo Contest for current undergraduate and graduate Webster students. The winning photo will be displayed at the CIE offices in Loretto Hall, the new MCISA student lounge, and will be featured at the Small Wall Gallery exhibit this Fall. Select photos will be featured in the CIE newsletter, Crossing Borders, the CIE homepage and the MCISA website and Fall 2 newsletter. For further information, contact Kate Brooks at 314-2467705 or

The deadline for photo submission will be Tuesday, September 13, 2011. Winners will be announced on Thursday, September 22.

Rules for Submission – The Global Photo Contest is open to current Webster University undergraduate and graduate students. – Photos can be taken abroad or domestically. Those taken in the United States should reflect a sense of culture. –Photos should be high enough resolution for printing. Only digital images will be accepted. – More than one photo may be submitted, but no more than five per participant. –Judging will be done by members of the International Studies Committee and the Multicultural Studies Committee, and judged on artistic merit, as well as those that show strong international content. –Photos must be submitted electronically to Kate Brooks at –Participants must also submit a completed entry form and Webster University Photo Release form, which can be found at

Meet the Staff >>>

On Location! Throughout August, the MCISA staff held diversity training sessions with various departments on campus. Some of the topics discussed included culture shock, biases, and identity. The staff at the MCISA is available to meet with your organization or department to facilitate diversity trainings or workshops. For more information, please contact Colette Cummings, Director, at 314-968-7658.

Bethany Keller discusses the meaning of culture with students.

MCISA Welcomes:

Bethany Keller

You may recognize her from her years of service to international students working in Academic Advising as well as International Recruitment and Services, now Bethany finds her new home in the MCISA.

Bethany is thrilled to join the MCISA professional team after having worked in international education for over ten years, developing expertise in intercultural communication, international student advising and programming. In her new position, Bethany welcomes new students to her hometown of St. Louis by coordinating international student orientation programs, organizing off-campus excursions and shopping trips, and through cultural and personal advising and advocacy. Keller serves as a Designated School Official and Alternate Responsible Officer, providing immigration advising and support to international students on F-1 and J-1 visas. She also teaches first year experience courses on culture and identity in the Global Education Learning Community. Whether you have a question about how to connect with other students, where to find the best global markets in St. Louis, how to follow your visa requirements, how to use Metro to get around, or how to adjust to the US classroom environment, Bethany is full of answers to your most important questions about adjusting to your new life at Webster University. Come by to see her - she is looking forward to seeing returning students again and getting to know all of the new students who have just arrived!

MCISA Happenings Post 9-11 Islam in America After the 2001 attacks in New York City, the reality for the millions of Muslims in the United States dramatically changed. A community that has predominantly been made up of Black Americans and nonEuropean immigrants, American Muslims were relatively unknown in the United States prior to 9/11. Suddenly, millions of Muslims from diverse backgrounds were forced to answer for extremists who attacked their country. As suspicions mounted, racial profiling and discrimination increased, forcing the Muslim community to adapt to new circumstances. On Thursday, September 8, the MCISA welcomes Amer Ahmed to campus to discuss Post 9-11 Islam in America. Who are Muslims and why did most Americans know so little about them? What does the future hold for this community as they continue to live in a country that vilifies their religion? Mr. Ahmed will address the historical reality of Muslims in America and the dramatic shifts that occurred since 9/11. Amer Ahmed is a spoken word poet, Hip Hop activist, intercultural diversity consultant and college administrator. Born in Springfield, Ohio to Indian Muslim immigrants, he has dedicated his life to engaging and facilitating diversity across human difference.

Post 9-11 Islam in America September 8 5:30pm Reception 6:00pm Speech Sunnen Lounge

Then join the MCISA on Sunday, September 11 at dusk on the Quad for Prayers for Peace. In rememPrayers for Peace brance of the attacks on September 11, those in atten- September 11 dance are encouraged to share prayers and readings 6:30pm Quad for peace from around the world.

Join the MCISA for a Cup of Culture each month! September 13 2pm UC Presentation Room October 11 2pm MCISA House Join the MCISA for this monthly series that promotes, explores, and celebrates culture. The second Tuesday of every month, MCISA offers cultural programs that include discussion, live performances, workshops and presentations. In the first Cup of Culture students will participate in an activity discussing cultural interaction. Refreshments will be served.

Explore St. Louis Series Throughout the year the MCISA will provide opportunities for students to explore St. Louis and meet new people on campus. Over the summer session our activities included a trip to the St. Louis Zoo. We have several excursions planned for this fall semester, so stop by the MCISA office to sign up! Transportation is limited. Festival of Nations Tower Grove Park St. Louis’ largest multicultural festival, including dance performances, ethnic music, and hundreds of ethnic food vendors. Free admission and entertainment. Japanese Festival Missouri Botanical Gardens The days events will include martial arts demonstrations, music performances, origami, ikebana, and lots of delicious foods.

Down to Earth Dinner Series Down to Earth is a dinner series where students can learn from the diverse experiences of staff and faculty and get to know them in a relaxed environment. Once per term join the MCISA and a few special guests at a cultural restaurant in St. Louis for dinner and discussion. Our first Down to Earth dinner will be held Friday, September 30 at 4pm. Sign up in the MCISA office.

ask the experts >>>

Q: A:

What does the MCISA staff do on a daily basis?

coming soon >>>

The staff at the MCISA wear many hats. On any given day, you can find the staff planning one of the many cultural events for students to attend, such as a trip to the Festival of Nations. We meet daily with students to discuss both personal and academic concerns; talks can include fitting in at Webster, balancing work and school, problems in the classroom, or getting involved on campus. We might be driving our international students to Global Market to buy cultural food or to the Social Security office to apply for a social security card. We hire several student employees so you may find us meeting with them to discuss projects or their schedule.

In The Next Issue Fall 2 Programs and Activities MLK National Memorial The Winners of the CIE and

While our schedules are busy in the MCISA, our favorite thing to do is talk with you, our students. Make sure to stop by and say hi, and keep us up to date on how your semester is going in and out of the classroom.

MCISA Global Photo Contest

finalthoughts... Colette Cummings, Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs, offers some words of advice for the start of the fall semester.

Welcome to the beginning of another academic year at Webster University. I hope this is a meaningful and productive year for you. I celebrate a birthday in August, so the beginning of the school year is also the beginning of a “personal� new year for me. I typically set aside time to reflect on goals I set for myself the past year and establish new goals for the coming year.

semester one of your top priorities? This year is full of possibilities.

The world is more interconnected and diverse than it has ever been. Diversity is all around you at Webster. You will likely have classmates from another country or another state and if not you only have to go across campus to find them. I challenge you to step outside of your The beginning of this academic year is the comfort zone and try new things, meet new people and have new experiences. perfect opportunity for you to challenge yourself. Start by setting new goals for Webster has many ways for students to how you want to engage in your college have fun and educational experiences. experience. Do you want to meet new You might choose to go to the opera, people? Is getting a higher G.P.A. this

sign-up for a language class, or study in another country for a semester or a year. Another way to do this is to engage with the MCISA and the many different programs that we will offer this year. I strongly encourage you to stop by the new MCISA house when we move, to hang out in the lounge where you will have the chance to meet new friends or say hello to old acquaintances. I look forward to seeing you in our new house at 536 Garden Avenue in September. Please stop and introduce yourself to our staff.

Easy Ways to Contact the MCISA Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs Loretto Hall Rooms 152-160 St. Louis, MO 63119 314-246-7658

MCISA Fall 2011 Newsletter  

Find out what is new in Fall 1 from the Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs at Webster University.