Campus focus to shift outside of U.S. borders

11/09/07

The Global Awareness Fair from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday in Harter Union will start the ball rolling for Baker University's third annual International Education Week full of events and focusing on this year's theme, Poverty: A Global Perspective.

Watch KNBU-TV's ' interview with Olivia Hernandez, a member of the Council of International Awareness Club, part of Inside Baker.http://www.youtube.com/v/HlODoZqvxKU&rel=1

Novelo said the fair will feature international and heritage students sharing information about their countries, and various organizations including the Council for International Awareness, Women's Programs and Initiatives, Mungano, Associate Professor of French Erin Joyce's Global Awareness First Year Experience class, French Club and World Information and Response Effort. She said study abroad representatives would also be present.

"We have a lot more student organizations involved than we have in the past," she said. "We've tried to pull in as many entities that are nationally involved as we can, and they are organizing the booths on their own."

Sophomore Sebastian Koepf, an international student from Germany, said he's anticipating some interesting questions from students during next week's events and looks forward to answering them.

"There are a lot of stereotypes of Germany I've been confronted with since I'm here," he said. "The question I hear most is, 'Is David Hasselhoff really that popular in Germany?' or if we are walking around in our Speedos."

Joyce said her FYE students decided to gather information to dispel stereotypes people have of different parts of the world. She said she's anxious to see how her students present the topic at the fair and thinks the week will bring a positive awareness to campus.

"Internationalism is all around us, but in Kansas sometimes we tend to forget," she said. "It's nice for us to open up and think about the rest of the world."

Novelo said the week's events include language tables during lunch in the cafeteria, foreign films, trivia contests, an international flag contest, international food and music in the cafeteria, a cross-cultural simulation and a forum on global poverty. She said Tuesday's Brewsday event starting at 11 a.m. on the third floor of Collins Library, which allows people to get to know the international and heritage students better, has an added perspective this year. SCOLA, an international television program featuring streaming video from other countries, will be introduced.

Novelo said all the events are important, but one people have come to expect is the "People to People" Fair Trade Sale sponsored by Phi Beta Delta from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday in the union. She said the funds benefit people from countries all over the world who handcraft many of the items and proceeds also benefit the Milan Harris Diversity Award, which provides a scholarship to a Baker student.

"It's really one of those win-win situations because the items are really cool and from all over the world and pretty reasonably priced," she said. "It's helping really grass roots organizations directly. It's really making an impact on people's lives."

Koepf said the week should be a positive experience not only for international students sharing information about their countries but also Baker students experiencing many different cultures.

"It's fun to get together with all the other international students," he said. "It's really an interesting time."

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