The Center for Global Studies at Penn State will be launching its newly funded program with a panel of speakers discussing how the future is global education.
The “Future is Global Education” will be held today in the Nittany Lion Inn from 3 to 5 p.m., and a reception will follow. Both parts of the event are free and open to the public.
The CGS received a Title VI National Resource Center grant in September for more than $830,000 over four years from the U.S. Department of Education, Director of the CGS Sophia McClennen said.
McClennen said the event is meant as a launch event for the CGS because it will be the “first formal moment where the university is given the chance to celebrate that we got a major federal grant.”
The event will also bring together faculty from different parts of the university, but everyone will be talking about global education, McClennen said.
McClennen will be the moderator for the event and will be introducing each of the eight speakers. The speakers will address how global education is becoming more prevalent, as well as introduce possible ways for students to best experience it, McClennen said.
“The purpose of this event is to get some of these questions out there and see how Penn State can address them in a way that we’re proud of,” McClennen said.
Eric Hayot, director of the Confucius Institute, will be one of the speakers and will address the importance of having short-term opportunities for studying abroad.
“Our goal is to internationalize our students and we’ve done a very good job of creating options for those who know what they are interested in,” Hayot said. “The next step is to create short-term travel options that bring students to other parts of the world who wouldn’t go for a semester for whatever reason.”
The goal of the CGS is meant to cross regions and to bring people together who may not have a lot in common but can learn from each other, Hayot said.
The panel is meant to discuss the areas needing improvement, Hayot said, and there will be challenges in deciding how to answer questions with the best solutions to keeping Penn State a leader in global education.
Hayot said the panel on Thursday is especially important because it brings faculty together to discuss what students need.
“We have to create as many opportunities possible to do our job, which is to educate you for a global world and to prepare you to be in a world that is changing and where people speak different languages and have different values,” Hayot said.
Associate Professor for the School of International Affairs Caroline Wagner will also be one of the panelists and will be addressing international collaboration and science, which she said has a great deal of potential to research and work with different areas of the world.
“Penn State is really taking the lead on focusing and tying people into the global system,” Wagner said.
“The process of global education is going on at every level — for students to be aware of this is so amazing and it’s great to have the opportunity to hear about [global education] in one place and time for the Center for Global Studies,” Wagner said.