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International

International student body sees major growth

By | Faculty/Staff, International, President, Student Success Center, Students | No Comments

In a span of just three years, Delta State University has seen a dramatic uptick in the number of international students attending the institution.

According to Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of the Student Success Center and International Student Services, there are 129 international students attending this fall, doubling the amount enrolled three years ago. Additionally, Delta State is sponsoring 14 post-graduate internships, which brings this semester’s international student enrollment to 143 students.

“It’s so gratifying to see how quickly our international student population is growing,” Riddle said. “International students bring additional perspectives and diversity to campus, and we look forward to their contributions across campus. We look forward to even more international students in the years to come.”

According to Riddle, another success story is the current retention rate of 96 percent for international students, a figure of pride for Riddle and her staff.

Elise Mallette, coordinator of International Student Services, is also thrilled with the rise of students coming from abroad.

“Most of our students will probably never have the opportunity to travel to other countries or experience other cultures firsthand,” said Mallette. “Our international students allow all of us, not just our students, to learn about other cultures, life outside of the American norm, and broaden our prospective without having to leave the comforts of Cleveland.

“By increasing enrollment this semester, we now have 50 countries represented on campus compared to 39 last semester. In just one semester we have 11 new cultures right here at our doorstep. The more students we bring to campus, the more we can learn and appreciate other cultures.”

Delta State University President William N. LaForge, who has experience teaching at a number of institutions abroad, has long made it a priority to boost the international presence on campus. He has also spearheaded efforts for Delta State students to study abroad, which has led to cultural exchange trips in Russia and Poland.

“I am absolutely thrilled with the increase in the number of international students at Delta State,” said LaForge. “It’s incredibly exciting to have 50 countries represented here. Our international students add a terrific dynamic to this campus as they bring their cultures and experiences from other parts of the world to our Delta State family.”

To learn more about International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/student-success-center/international-student-services.

 

GIT Center to host international speakers for discussion on climate change and disaster relief

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, GIS, International | No Comments

Delta State’s Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies (GIT Center) is hosting its second annual conference on disaster relief.

This year’s event is titled “A Panel Discussion on Climate Change and Disaster in the Developing World: Perspectives From Africa and Asia.”

Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to attend this free event Oct. 5 from 7-9 p.m. in the Baioni Conference Center in Broom Hall.

The impressive panel features speakers from Vietnam, Mozambique and a United Nations member from China. Talbot Brooks, director of the GIT Center, will moderate the discussion. Panelists will discuss the challenges faced every day in their nations and their struggle to become more resilient.

“The event will focus on developing nations being particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and disaster,” said Brooks. “Their populations, economies and physical environments are often fragile, and due to scarcity of resources, less able to respond to and recover from crisis than those of the developed world.”

It is not only in our national interest to support stability in these regions, but a moral obligation,” added Brooks. “For example, the U.S. does $38-43 billion in trade with Vietnam each year, and a substantial loss to their manufacturing base due to a crisis would have a significant and direct impact on our economy.”

The speakers include:

-Dr. Quang Hoai Tran, vice director, Water Resources Institute of Vietnam
-Dang Quang Ming, director, Disaster Management Center of Vietnam
-Dr. Teresa Abeu, deputy general director, National Institute for Disaster Management of Mozambique
-Alfredo Magumisse, parliamentarian and member, Committee on Agriculture, Economy and Environment, Parliament of Mozambique
-Jaime Neto, parliamentarian and Member, Committee on Agriculture, Economy and Environment, Parliament of Mozambique
-Teixeira Almeida, director for Manica Province, National Institute for Disaster Management of Mozambique
-Jiayi Sun, United Nations Office for Outter Space Affairs, Beijing, China

 Learn more about the event at: http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/geospatial-information-technologies/explore-the-center/events/perspectives-from-africa-and-asia/.

International students welcomed with “Dorm Room Essentials” kits

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, International, Student Success Center, Students | No Comments

Members from Cleveland’s First Baptist Church College Ministry stepped up in a big way recently to support the arrival of Delta State’s new contingent of on-campus international students.

Church member Missey Hudson helped coordinate the group effort to purchase and organize what they call the “Dorm Room Essentials” kit.

The idea was presented to Hudson by an international student she met last year through the church’s ongoing efforts to welcome international students.

“What we wanted them to be able to do after an international flight and a two-hour drive from Memphis, was to be able to go into their dorm room, have a snack, take a shower and go to bed — and not have to go to WalMart to pick up the things they need after they’re exhausted and jetlagged,” said Hudson. “We wanted to make sure students don’t have to arrive to an empty bedroom.”

Hudson took the idea to the church’s college minister, and church members came together to donate funds for the kits.

“This was really a group effort,” stressed Hudson. “I had the blessing of coordinating someone else’s idea and everyone else’s hard work.”

The donations included sheets, a pillow, blanket, towel set, a planner and a small bag of snacks.

Marwa Cherraf, an international student from Morocco, was thrilled to receive the welcome gift.

“I was very pleased to get the basket — it meant a lot,” said Cherraf. “There are some international students who don’t know where to go and what to get when they first arrive. This was such a nice gift because it had all the stuff we need, especially for the first couple days. It makes me feel really welcomed as a new international student at Delta State. I appreciate that people want to make sure we feel comfortable and at home.”

To top it all off, Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, boxed everything together in new laundry baskets.

“This was such a kind act from the First Baptist Church,” said Riddle. “It warms our hearts that people in our community want to help welcome our international students. We have a growing international student body at Delta State, and this help will go a long way.”

Hudson said the church’s small act of kindness was a simple way to make the new students feel more at home.

“I’m hoping this idea will grow,” added Hudson. “International students are so far away from home, their friends and their family members. They’re looking to Cleveland and Delta State to form those friendships and family-like connections. As members of the Cleveland community, we can all step up and welcome these folks into our homes and our lives.”

Learn more about International Student Services at http://www.deltastate.edu/student-success-center/international-student-services.

Delta State forges partnership with university in Bangladesh

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, International, Students | No Comments

Delta State University has worked hard to develop international partnerships in recent years, and these developments have grown once again thanks to a new relationship with Daffodil International University in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 The partnership formed thanks to efforts from Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, and the university’s international partnership liaison.

Reza, a native of Bangladesh, had been communicating with former colleagues and peers at Daffodil, and during a research trip Reza took to Bangladesh in July, both institutions signed a formal memorandum of understanding to begin developing international exchanges at the schools.

“I have several very good connections at Daffodil International University who worked hard to make this partnership happen with Delta State,” said Reza. “Being one of the leading private universities in Bangladesh, DIU has a good reputation for offering high-quality higher education to the students. They have been working hard to grow their connections in the international market, and forming this connection between DIU and DSU is a great opportunity for both universities.”

The main goal of this partnership is to send students and faculty abroad for academic and cultural exchanges. Reza is hopeful that these formal exchanges will soon become available for both faculty members and upper level students.

Dr. Md. Fokhray Hossain, director of International Affairs at DIU, is also thrilled to move forward with the exchanges.

“It is important to bridge the international partnership for student exchange, academic exchange, research and sharing resources between both of the institutions,” said Hossain. “Initially, we look forward to start a short-term student and academic staff exchange program, such as a summer program to develop cross-cultural activities.”

Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, is excited to see Delta State’s international connections building.

“As we continue to expand our international partnerships, we increase the opportunities for DSU faculty to teach abroad,” said Riddle. “This partnership will also allow our students the opportunity to participate in international study abroad opportunities.”

DIU is recognized in independent government assessments as one of top graded universities in Bangladesh. The university combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research with its proud heritage of service and achievement. Learn more at http://www.daffodilvarsity.edu.bd.

Follow all news at www.deltastate.edu as advancements will continue with DIU and other international partner institutions.

Delta State welcomes Chinese delegation

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, International | No Comments

A group of nine faculty members from Anyang Institute of Technology in Anyang, China are visiting Delta State for an intensive two-week exchange program, as both universities will explore future international exchanges.

The trip, being coined as China Summer Camp, is the result of a partnership that Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, helped form after visiting AIT earlier this year.

The AIT delegation, which arrived July 3, will be on campus until July 16, and their visit will focus on exploring U.S. higher education, Southern culture and study abroad opportunities for students.

The first week has focused on specific aspects of Delta State and Mississippi Delta Chinese heritage. The second week will mainly pertain to U.S. business practices, community tours and events.

“I am very excited for Delta State to hold its first summer camp for Chinese faculty,” said McAdams. “This training workshop is another result of the partnership agreement we established with AIT this past spring during my recent trip to China. We are partnering with AIT in order to attract their students who wish to finish their degree at an American university.

“We also provide summer training workshops for faculty to help them understand our educational system in hopes that they will send their students here to study. Our plan is to have a camp next summer for students to help them prepare for studying in an American university. These camps are a benefit to their students and to DSU.”

McAdams added that not only is there a potential for increasing enrollment, but Delta State is also providing the opportunity for its students and faculty to learn about other cultures though direct contact with Chinese faculty and students.

“Dr. Christy Riddle and the Office of International Student Services in the Student Success Center, along with faculty in the College of Business, have done a fantastic job of planning and administering this workshop,” said McAdams.

Riddle is thrilled to host a new group of foreign visitors on campus, as Delta State continues to build its international relations.

“This visit is another opportunity for DSU to expand its international efforts to establish partnerships that will allow our students to study abroad,” said Riddle. “We hope this is the beginning of continued collaboration. We are designing a summer camp for next summer to host students from China who are interested in studying abroad at DSU in the fall of 2017. Additionally, we plan to formalize the partnership to encourage international exchange opportunities for DSU faculty, students and staff.”

This is the first trip to the U.S. for all of the AIT faculty participants, all of whom are business faculty. Their fields include: management, marketing, logistics management, accounting, finance, business negotiations, international trade, and electronic commerce.

Yupeng Li, an AIT participant in the camp, has enjoyed the experience thus far.

“Our city in China is actually very similar,” said Li. “And I find many things in common with our universities too. We see that everything is about agriculture in Mississippi, and our province is the same. The people here are very friendly and generous. I really like it.”

Anyang is one of China’s most historic cities, and is considered one of China’s seven ancient capitals. Similar to the Mississippi Delta, Anyang has been a long-time regional agricultural center.

AIT was founded in 1983, and is a non-profit public higher education institution. The university offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in arts and humanities, business and social sciences, language and culture, medicine and health, engineering, and science and technology.