Read this message from the new International Studies Director, which appeared in the September 2014 issue of the newsletter.
Did you know that former Chief of Staff for First Lady Laura Bush was an International Studies major? Other International Studies majors have gone on to careers at the Aspen Institute or the World Bank; they work with global healthcare systems, arts exchange programs, even in the electric bicycle industry! The fact of rapidly shifting demands in the job market means that––instead of preparing for a specific job opening––21st-century students will do well to think of their college educations as opportunities to construct a “skills portfolio” that will prepare them to enter postgraduate life as engaged world citizens and capable analysts.
Such preparation is one of the virtues of an interdisciplinary program like International Studies, which helps students to build intercultural competence, to approach a single issue from multiple disciplinary perspectives, to develop targeted research skills, and to acquire strong writing and oral communication competencies. AU International Studies majors in particular can harness the breadth and depth of their track, concentration, and interdisciplinary coursework in order to tackle diverse sets of needs across cultures, markets, and governments.
Even within our program, we are always adapting to new needs or changes. When Professor Katie Laatikainen completed her term as director in August 2013, for example, I was honored to be asked to take over the program’s directorship. Professor Laatikainen’s energetic and capable leadership has done much to raise the profile of International Studies at Adelphi and beyond, and I thank her, as well as the faculty members of the International Studies Executive Committee, for helping to make the transition as seamless as possible last year.
Other developments in 2013-2014 pertained to the student experience. First, with the approval of the Executive Committee and the endorsement of the University, we can now offer students a third option for the language concentration; students may henceforth opt to pursue 18 credits in Italian. Another change included streamlining the advisement process so that students need only consult their track advisors in Business or Political Science and their major advisor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in order to register for courses.
As you will read in these pages, last year witnessed much activity and interest in International Studies: we enjoyed a visit from the former Chief Privacy Officer for the US Department of Homeland Security; students studied abroad in France and Morocco; and seniors pursued theses and internships that delved into everything from the role of gender in human trafficking to the uneven levels of development in the former British colonies of the Caribbean. We inducted new students into the international Honor Society, Sigma Iota Rho, and offered our first ever “Distinguished Student Award” to senior Colleen Raga.
One loss for the International Studies Program is the departure of our administrative assistant, Jennifer Ganley. She will be bringing her knowledge, creativity, efficiency, cheer, and special talent for instantaneous problem-solving to an even broader swath of the Adelphi population as the Coordinator of the Learning Center, and we wish her much success in her new position.
As we look ahead to a new academic year, we are eager to engage with our first-year students in Global Issues courses, with our sophomore and juniors in Mid-Level Research Seminar, and with our seniors as they take on their capstone projects. We also look forward to the global perspectives that will emerge during the University’s year-long examination of “The Changing Nature of War and Peace”, which coincides with the centennial of the outbreak of the global crisis that was World War I. October will bring a extracurricular learning opportunity for students in the form of an Ambassadorial Lecture by Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Events like these demonstrate that global engagement is becoming a hallmark of an Adelphi education, and our International Studies majors are at the forefront of this process. We look forward to working with current and interested students throughout the 2014-2015 year!
Nicole C. Rudolph
Director of International Studies
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