Fall 2018 - Volume 3, Issue 1

Coastal Georgia Wins International Education Award

A year after its founding, the College of Coastal Georgia’s Theta Iota chapter of Phi Beta Delta was honored with the Eileen Evans Outstanding Chapter Award, becoming only the second chapter in Georgia to receive this distinction. The Tau chapter at the University of Georgia received the award in 1988.

“The selection committee was very impressed with your chapter’s commitment to international education,” noted Dr. Guillermo de los Reyes, Phi Beta Delta director of awards. “We encourage you to continue this path and applaud your successful programming which shows your strong efforts to promote excellence in global education.”

Phi Beta Delta is an honor society that encourages intellectual and academic achievement in the field of international education. It was founded in 1986 at California State University at Long Beach and became a national organization in 1987. Today, the society is comprised of more than 190 chapters at colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.

The Eileen Evans Outstanding Chapter Award is named after the former Executive Director of the national organization. Each year, Phi Beta Delta gives the award to a chapter that demonstrates growth and development, expands outreach within and beyond the academic community, and provides service to Phi Beta Delta.

The College's Theta Iota chapter executive board members include Mr. Tyler Bagwell, campus coordinator; Dr. Patrizia Stahle, president; Dr. Orsolya Kolozsvari, vice president; Dr. Carla Bluhm, secretary; Connie Toler, treasurer; and Ashma Sapkota, student representative.


International Student Profile

Karen Rene Clement who hails from South Africa is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science degree program in Health Informatics. When asked why she chose to enroll at the College, she said, "The company I represent recognized a growing demand for digital health care services in South Africa and decided to establish a Health Informatics Data Solution Company there. Unfortunately, there is no University [College] in South Africa offering this degree, so we started to look at countries that did. The College of Coastal Georgia offers a baccalaureate in Health Informatics which is both affordable and held in high regard. The cherry on the cake is that I also have family here, so given all the advantages, it was a natural choice."

Born and raised in South Africa, Karen was fortunate to be able to work in various parts of her country, which is both diverse and exceptionally beautiful. From the deep blue sea to the majestic mountains, old forests and deserts as far as the eye can see to the bright lights of the city, South Africa, as she noted, has so much to offer, and Karen has always thought of it as home. However, she does love to travel and experience different cultures so who knows where her home will be in the future. Karen's most memorable moment at the College so far was her first Art Appreciation class. According to Karen, "The professor started to talk about a world I had never considered, ancient art, ancient civilization, the beginning of time. I realized that after working for 25 years [oops, giving away my age] bringing up two children, thinking I had all the answers worked out, in fact, I knew so little. Circuit breaker moment for me."

Her advice for international students is to be prepared, make a checklist of all your creature comforts before leaving your country. "Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the staff and students here are always very willing to assist," Karen said. "Get involved with college activities as soon as you can. You will be surprised to find that there is a club or team for you to join in virtually all sports and cultural persuasions. Most of all enjoy the multiple cultures at the college, reach out to others and make the most of every minute of each day."

When Karen was asked what has been the most surprising thing she has encountered since arriving in southeast Georgia, she said "Hands down, South Eastern Georgia folks, are amongst the warmest and friendliest people I have met. You will need to get used to some of the jargon and terminology, but it is all great fun. Being called “Ma’am” just makes my day."

International Recognition

Over the last two years, Dr. Claire Hughes, Interim Chair and Associate Professor of Education, has led a team of special education curriculum developers who worked with a broader teacher education project between Canterbury Christ Church University and the Ministry of Palestine. This project was presented with a THE Award for International Impact in London, England on November 29. THE Awards, which have been described as the Oscars of UK Higher Education, recognize the exceptional achievements of individuals, teams, and institutions in the higher education sector. Funded by the World Bank and working in collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education and six universities in Palestine, the Teacher Education Improvement Project enhanced the quality of both pre-service and in-service teacher training throughout the area.


Global Outreach

The interactive map below presents the number of international students enrolled at the College of Coastal Georgia over the last six fall terms. In fall 2018, international students represented 27 different countries.

Global Mariner Study Abroad Fair

The Office of International Education hosted a Brunswick campus Study Abroad Fair for students on the Brunswick campus on October 24 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the Campus Center Lobby. On the same day, from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm, Dr. Patrizia Stahle, Professor of History, hosted a Camden Center Study Abroad Fair in the Rotunda. Students had an opportunity to learn more about European Council (EC) summer study abroad opportunities, as well as programs being led by faculty members. The EC is operated under the oversight of the System Council for International Education (SCIE) of the University System of Georgia (USG). Drs. Carla Bluhm and Jim Fullerton, who will be teaching in Paris, France, and Waterford, Ireland, respectively, this summer, along with Dr. Karen Hambright, Tyler Bagwell, and Connie Toler were all on hand to share information, address questions and help students fill out study abroad program interest forms. Please encourage your students to consider a study abroad opportunity. For more information on available study abroad options, please visit www.ccga.edu/studyabroad.


College Welcomes Tunisian & Pakistani Scholars

The College welcomed three international exchange students (Ahmed, Insaf, and Malek) on campus as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program’s Tunisia Undergraduate Scholarship Program (Tunisia UGRAD), as well as three Pakistani exchange students (Ahsan, Saman, and Ramish) from the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (UGRAD Pakistan).

As part of the larger Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program, Tunisia UGRAD builds the workforce capacity of a diverse group of youth leaders from across all regions of Tunisia. The year-long program of study in the U.S. will offer our Tunisia UGRAD students the opportunity to gain academic knowledge in their fields of study, and, in the process, provide them with a deeper understanding of American culture and new globally-applicable skills and expertise to help them contribute to the economic growth and development of their country.

The Global UGRAD-Pakistan program, which places participants at U.S. colleges and universities, is part of broader U.S. State Department efforts to promote a better understanding of the United States abroad, particularly among future world leaders. The program allows talented, highly motivated undergraduate students from underserved populations across Pakistan to spend one semester at a U.S. college or university.

“By interacting with Americans through community service work and on-campus engagement over the course of the last four months, our exchange students are developing a better understanding of U.S. culture and values, and in the process, expanding our students’ understanding and consideration of diverse points of view and open-mindedness about other cultures and experiences,” according to Dr. Jim Lynch in the Office of International Education. “A very positive outcome of our participation with the International Research & Exchanges Board [IREX] has been fostering mutual understanding between our College, the Brunswick community, Pakistan, and Tunisia through a wide range of cultural and educational exchange programs.”

Both international student exchange programs are sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, supported by the people of the United States, and implemented by IREX. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs.


Celebrating International Education

The College of Coastal Georgia celebrated International Education Week – November 12-16. International Education Week (IEW) is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education and is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

Students, faculty, staff and community members had an opportunity to participate in several events held on the Brunswick campus and at the Camden Center. President Michelle Johnston delivered the opening remarks in Stembler Theater that preceded the introduction of IEW's guest speaker, Dr. Mark G. Hanly, Chief of Staff at Southeast Georgia Health System-Brunswick Campus and Chief, Department of Pathology-Brunswick Campus, who shared an insightful presentation on forensic pathology and public health from a global perspective. Other events during the week included Let's Talk, a student discussion on traveling abroad; international movie nights; international education trivia night; student abroad fairs (Brunswick Campus and Camden Center); and a presentation from Dr. Luc Guglielmi, Associate Professor, Kennesaw State University, who serves as the European Council Paris Program Director, on the importance of gaining a study abroad experience.


community service - Student Spotlight

Malek and Insaf, two international exchange students from Tunisia, became involved with the Hands of Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization that "devotes its energy to passionately making a difference for the hungry and needy, focusing on children excluded from society, kids and teenagers that are physically, sexually abused and mistreated." Both students volunteered their time to prepare clothing packages for distribution to needy children.


Coastal Georgia Joins the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative

The College of Coastal Georgia joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans to gain international experience through study abroad programs. This is one of more than 800 commitments announced by IIE which seeks to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling and diversifying the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. Under the new partnership, Coastal Georgia will take concrete, action-oriented steps to expand opportunities for study abroad.

Generation Study Abroad partners to date include 450+ colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country and around the world, as well as 20+ governments, 50+ education associations, 100+ international partners, and 100+ study abroad, K-12, and social network organizations who have committed to specific goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad.

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