Staying Connected to the World

 

Each year, students and faculty from Kennesaw State have opportunities to interact with people from around the world. Despite the limits on travel that have been necessary during the spring and summer semesters, those connections have continued, providing new pathways to learning.

One important link between Kennesaw State and the global community comes from the efforts of CIFAL Atlanta, a center in KSU's Division of Global Affairs affiliated with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). CIFAL Atlanta provides training, education programs and research opportunities in the areas of urban planning, health development and social equity, leadership development and economic development.

Through the leadership of Dr. Binbin Jiang, the director of CIFAL Atlanta and executive director of the Division of Global Affairs, the KSU community has kept CIFAL Atlanta’s mission on track during the pandemic.

A few examples of their efforts include:

  • A virtual showcase event, jointly developed by student interns and fellows from CIFAL Atlanta and other universities around Atlanta;
  • A webinar on global youth leadership and COVID-19, which featured KSU Honors nursing student Megan Koblitz as one of nine student or youth leader speakers presenting a project or idea they are working on in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • A week-long virtual seminar for K-12 teachers in Georgia on sustainability and human rights.

Additionally, CIFAL Atlanta, KSU's Center for African and African Diaspora Studies, and other campus departments recently completed an inaugural Distinguished UN-Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador Program. Through this competitive program, KSU students learned how to develop campus-focused sustainable development action plans that could be implemented at the university or in local communities.

Finally, KSU students have benefitted from CIFAL Atlanta's local and global internship program. Now, this program is helping 15 KSU students who were unable to fulfill their program's education abroad requirement, making it possible for them to gain valuable hands-on experience while staying on track academically.

As Kennesaw State looks to the future, an emphasis on international relationships will continue to grow. KSU will continue to connect our students and our university with the opportunities and understanding that a global education can offer, and in doing so, provide the best education and student experience possible.

Pamela Whitten

President

Written By Whitten

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