Today’s Daily Deac is a guest post from Kline Harrison, Associate Provost of Global Affairs. Dr. Harrison is a wonderful person I’ve known for many years. When I first came to Wake Forest, he was a very talented and popular professor in the undergraduate business program. Throughout his time here, he has moved into the provost’s office and has been engaged in global affairs. I am a huge advocate of students studying abroad, and there have been some fantastic and innovative approaches to study abroad locations and experiences (as well as on-campus international exposures for students who do not go abroad). I am so pleased to have his thoughts today on the Center for Global Programs and Studies. Great work is being done here on behalf of your students!
Dear Parents and Families,
Some of you may have noticed the recent announcement on Inside WFU that Wake Forest’s Center for International Studies is now the Center for Global Programs and Studies and wondered why the name change and why now.
In today’s world, geographic boundaries are irrelevant. Our graduates, who will live in this global society, must bridge the cultural barriers that can create misperceptions and tensions among peoples and nations. Because of this critical need, Wake Forest is committed to developing deeper and more comprehensive opportunities for students to gain the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills to act as effective citizens, whether or not they travel abroad.
The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, launched recently by the State Department, is just one example of how the U.S. and other countries are looking to our young people to build bridges worldwide. The initiative seeks to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America to 100,000 and the number of Latin American students studying in the United States to 100,000 annually.
According the 2013 Global Employability Survey and University Ranking Study, employers named social skills, communication abilities and open-mindedness among the most important talents they are seeking in new hires — the very strengths developed through interaction with and appreciation for people from cultures and backgrounds different from our own.
Global mindset and intercultural appreciation are broad ideas. But, individuals develop specific skills when they meet and interact with others who are different from their friends and family — skills that are essential to a successful life, both professionally and personally. These include, embracing cultural differences, adjusting communication style according to the situation, and adapting to new situations without judgment, to name a few.
A defining characteristic of Wake Forest is its commitment to creating a pluralistic and inclusive environment for every member of the campus community. Changing the Center for International Studies to the Center for Global Programs and Studies reflects our broadening commitment to support students, faculty and staff in their efforts to become global citizens, when they go OUTBOUND to study or research abroad, when they come INBOUND as international students, scholars and colleagues, and while they are WITHIN BOUNDS on campus enriching their global mindsets.
Please take some time to explore the Center for Global Programs and Studies website to learn more about our Global Wake Forest. And feel free to contact the staff at the Center for Global Programs and Studies for more information.