ETSU announces new Center for Global Engagement
JOHNSON CITY – (June 29, 2021) East Tennessee State University has announced the creation of a new Center for Global Engagement.
According to Dr. Chris Keller, Senior International Officer at ETSU, the center will serve as a catalyst for “comprehensive internationalization” at the university by infusing international and comparative perspectives within its teaching, service and community engagement missions.
The center will be the hub for several international educational initiatives, including study abroad programs as well as the forthcoming ETSU Global Year project that is in planning stages.
“Global learning can be obtained abroad, but we often forget that meaningful global educational experiences can also be gained on campus, in the community and across the region,” said Keller, who is also dean of the ETSU Honors College. “This continued movement toward comprehensive internationalization at ETSU is critical, given the global reconfiguration of economies, trade systems, research, communication, and the impact of global forces on our everyday lives.
“The mission of ETSU is to improve the quality of life for the people of this region, and this includes providing broader frames of reference onto the world and opportunities to develop global learning and intercultural competencies,” Keller added.
The center will provide strategic leadership to ETSU on all comprehensive internationalization efforts. These will include assisting faculty with developing internationalized courses, collaborating with campus partners to develop community engagement projects related to internationalization for K-12 students and educators as well as university alumni and friends, and facilitating “Internationalization at Home” educational programs for all students, including those who are unable to participate in education abroad programs.
In addition, Keller and his team will provide support to colleges and departments on building and enhancing international partnerships and collaborations.
“As we begin to see restrictions lifted on international travel, our study abroad activity will return to the robust level we experienced prior to the pandemic,” said Keller, who added that ETSU is finalizing an agreement with The American College of Greece in Athens.
ETSU currently has affiliations with over 50 schools in about 35 countries around the world.
Keller added that the upcoming months will also be the “planning year” for the new ETSU Global Year initiative that will begin implementation in fall 2022. The Global Year Program will provide the campus and community with an enriched series of events, activities, and course enhancements through the year that focus on a single country. The project will begin in the 2022-23 academic year with a South American country still to be determined this July, and a new country will be selected for each academic year that follows.
Other major initiatives led by the Center will include a Global Living-Learning Community on campus as well as new workshops and grants programs for course internationalization by faculty.