Never Too Early to Plan Ahead

Lately, IL programming has been focused on providing opportunities for students to explore ways to make practical use of their soon-to-be awarded degrees in International Studies and International Business. This is attributed to collaborative efforts with the Career Planning Center (CPC). In the fall, Cath Borgman, director of the CPC met with IL students for a general discussion about career building.

Meredith Tornabene, Associate Director of the Career Planning Center (right), with IL students.
Meredith Tornabene, Associate Director of the Career Planning Center (right), with IL students.

The session was well attended so we decided to team up with Meredith Tornabene, Associate Director of the CPC, to plan a series of career building “lunch and learns” tailored specifically for International Studies and International Business majors. The first session focused on the myriad of career possibilities for our majors, which was well attended. A second “lunch and learn” on skilled development was scheduled for March, but that was poorly attended. Our third and final session for the semester, “Resume/Cover letter writing and summer planning,” was also well attended. I should add that “well attended” is relative to the average (unscientific) number of students that attend a campus event, which is believed to be around 8-10 students.

The truth is that not enough students showed up to these activities. In fact, I have been shocked to not have more inquiries from students about career related activities and/or opportunities for International Studies/International Business majors. I endorse the idea that students should have fun as undergraduates, but I also think there needs to be a balance or at least an attempt to balance that fun with some sort of planning for what happens when the fun ends. As I write this, I remember when the class of 2014 was just arriving to campus. In less than two weeks, they will be alumni. I am sure that several of our students are excited about the next chapter, but there is probably also a bittersweet feeling that it all went too quickly. My hope for them and for all the following IL classes at Fairfield is that time is found between the fun moments of the Fairfield experience to think about what happens once the fun ends.

The Relevance of Area Studies

In recent weeks political and economic uprisings on several continents have captured our attention. I followed the Facebook activity from former and current Stags about the Venezuelan protests. Most news outlets have become alarmists about the potential consequences of the recent political change in Ukraine. These global stories have grabbed some attention away from other important issues in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East that also have a global impact. Fairfield faculty go to great lengths to provide courses, majors, and minors that help keep students plugged in globally including our Area Studies minors: Asian Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies.

These interdisciplinary minors are designed to enhance your understanding of a variety of regional issues that have a global effect on commerce, politics, policy, and other societal concerns. As evidenced by several International Studies and International Business majors, these minors are an excellent way to develop a regional expertise and more importantly, a deeper understanding of why, for instance, the Ukrainian protests matter here in the US. Last night, program directors for all three Area Studies minors met with students in Canisius Hall to illustrate why interdisciplinary studies matters. Below are a few pictures of what you missed:

 

Dr. David McFadden (right), professor of History and director of Russian, Central Asian and East European Studies, discussed the intrinsic value of Area Studies.
Dr. David McFadden (right), professor of History and director of Russian, Central Asian and East European Studies, discussed the intrinsic value of Area Studies.
Dr. William Vasquez Mazariegos, associate professor of Economics and co-director of Latin American Caribbean Studies program discussed benefits of the minor, including travel for student research and internships.
Dr. William Vasquez Mazariegos (center), associate professor of Economics and co-director of Latin American Caribbean Studies discussed benefits of the minor, including travel for student research and internships.
Dr. Qin Zhang, associate professor of communication, discussed the benefits of Asian Studies after graduation including job opportunities in Asia.
Dr. Qin Zhang (center), associate professor of communication, discussed the benefits of Asian Studies after graduation including job opportunities in Asia.

Students Keeping Undergraduate Journal Alive

Since its start in Spring 2011, the Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship has been a fledgling, but active journal dedicated to publishing undergraduate research. This semester, two students are leading an effort to give the online publication some needed stability. Meghan Gallucci ’14 (English) and Courtney Carroll ’14 (International Business) are currently serving as the journal’s Editor and Marketing Manager, respectively.

Their plan includes editing recent submissions for publication and promoting the next deadline for submissions, April 30. In addition, they are looking for recruits to build on their work. They recently held an information session on Wednesday, January 29, but there was very little turn out. There are, however, plans for additional information sessions.

The journal was designed and launched by four undergraduate students with the support Dr. Janie Leatherman and me (Jermain Griffin) as part a grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  The journal aims to publish undergraduate research that promotes different perspectives on global citizenship. It is currently the University’s only online journal. The sustainability of the journal will largely depend on student interest and commitment to its maintenance. All queries about the journal can be sent to: globaljournal@fairfield.edu.

 

 

International Studies at Fairfield U.