Your Wright Way to Go Global: March 2017

Table of Contents

La Jefa Updates-Michelle Streeter-Ferrari 

Welcome to Spring!
As we approach the end of the academic year, we have many opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year.  We have over 300 international students preparing for their graduation next month.  They have worked hard to complete their degrees and made many sacrifices for this accomplishment.  An equal number of students are completing or planning their study abroad program with 12 faculty led study abroad programs this year.  Some 75 students will also participate in service abroad through the Boonshoft School of Medicine and through our first ever Global Brigade to Nicaragua.  
Wright State faculty are also very engaged in international success! We had two successful spring break ambassador programs, one to Tanzania and the other to France. John Haught, associate professor of TESOL and applied linguistics in the Department of English Language and Literatures was appointed as a visiting Fulbright scholar at the National Autonomous University of Honduras in Tegucigalpa and spent the fall semester there. Currently, he is collaborating with Wright State partners including Xi'an University Arts and Sciences in Xi'an, China.  Wright State University professor and medical researcher Caroline Cao, who has done pioneering work in minimally invasive surgery, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholar fellowship to share her skills and knowledge with college students and faculty in Vietnam.  Cao is spending this spring semester working with the International University of Vietnam National Universities in Ho Chi Minh City.  Wakiuru Wamwara, associate professor of marketing in Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business, has won a prestigious Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship and will spend the summer in her native Kenya training university faculty in mentoring graduate students. In addition, Dr. Rosemary Eustace, Associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health, also won the 2017 African Diaspora Carnegie Fellowship. As a fellow, this summer she will work with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences on a collaborative research project in HIV/AIDS prevention as well as a curriculum co-development project in strengthening the university’s capacity for elective programs. For faculty interested in the many opportunities offered through the US Fulbright Office, please see information below and note the deadline of August 1, 2017.
2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Competition Now Open
Deadline: August 1, 2017
The 2018-2019 competition for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is now open. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers teaching, research and combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries for the 2018-2019 academic year. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others. Interested faculty and professionals are encouraged to learn more about core Fulbright U.S. Scholar opportunities by visiting their website.
Wishing you the best as we begin the end of this academic year!

The Wright State International Festival

Saturday, April 15, 2017 1-5pm

@ WSU's Nutter Center Arena

Don't miss our largest international event of the year. Celebrate the beauty of Wright State University's international community by enjoying:

  • Cultural Performances
  • Cultural Cuisines featuring La Colombiana Restaurante, Ajanta Indian Restaurant, Yaffa Grill Mediterranean Food, Pearl Bay Thai & Asian Cuisine, and the Wanderlust Coffee Bar
  • International Beers
  • Flag Parade
  • Country Booths
  • Live Music
  • Children's Zone
  • And so much more!
Free for WSU students with Wright1 Card. 
Free for children 12 years and younger.
$5 for general public. $5 ticket available for purchase at this link:
Tickets available for purchase day of the event at registration tables. 
WSIF Promo 1

The UCIE Convo Club: Creating Interculturally Competent Students

New survey results show that the UCIE Conversation (Convo) Club is effective in producing intercultural competence among Wright State students. The University Center for International Education (UCIE) started their conversation club in 2015 for both international and American students. Many international students join to practice their conversational English, while American students join to learn fascinating international perspectives from their international peers. The UCIE Convo Club provides questions and themes every week for students to converse and connect with people from a variety of cultures. Topic themes range from talking about food, family, holidays, American idioms, and many other enjoyable topics.

After surveying students (31% response rate), it was concluded that the UCIE Convo Club is a very effective tool in building intercultural competence among Wright State students. Students who attend the UCIE Convo Club increase their self awareness, self confidence, respect for different perspectives, comfort and ability in interacting with those culturally different from them, and even interest in studying abroad.

One American student from our survey said, "At my first (UCIE Convo Club) meeting, I was so pleasantly surprised! I loved the guided questions on the board and most of all, I loved meeting the international students, who are extremely kind and GREAT at conversation...This is something that I talk about with my friends and family. Personally, I think everyone should attend at least one UCIE Convo Club in their lifetime because it is unbelievably eye-opening and is definitely something that boosts one's confidence and social skills. This is a club that I will never forget and am so thankful to have been able to experience such wonderful people and conversation at these meetings.”

An international student from our survey said,  “The UCIE Convo club helped me a lot. Got me new friends and has helped me a lot in getting comfortable with the new place and culture...”

Please note that we welcome faculty partnerships.  If you are interested in having your class participate in our UCIE Convo Club, contact Past faculty collaborations include Mary Coyle, Lisa Wolfe, Shreya Bhandari, and Julianne Weinzimmer. Past office collaborations include University Libraries, Brandeberry Career Center, Student Health Services, and First Year Programs. Experience the UCIE Convo Club any Monday from 3-4pm or Thursday from 1-2pm in Student Union E190. 

Upcoming April Events

Students Abroad: Kevin Whittaker

"It was a total cultural shock. Everything was different", said Kevin Whittaker. Even as a Marketing major, he joined the College of Nursing and Health's Ambassador Program to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. "I thought it would be great to go to another country to learn their culture and especially to learn a new language."  Kevin raved about his time during this study abroad trip, even claiming it transformed him. "It really opens your eyes to how other people live around the world. I had to erase my first world thinking and adjust how I was living to the reality of where I was."

"I have always wanted to go to Africa...I was drawn to it." Because of this trip, Kevin wants to travel more. "The biggest lesson I learned is that when you travel, nothing goes as planned, but you still have to make the best of it." Kevin was able to increase his skills in flexibility and adaptability, which are skills needed in all careers and professions.

"People should study abroad in order to put themselves in another person's shoes. See what life is like when it is different to yours. Build your empathy."  

If you are interested in study abroad and having an experience like Kevin's, contact

International Student Highlight: Monireh Ebrahimi

I am Monireh Ebrahimi, a Graduate Research Assistant at Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing ( Kno.e.sis) at Wright State University. At Semantic Web Research Lab, my research areas include Deep Learning, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing.
I am a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Wright State University and a recipient of the Graduate Council Scholar award for the 2015 academic year. I graduated from University of Technology, Malaysia (UTM) as the best graduate student in the master of Computer Science. I have earned a B.Sc. degree in Software Engineering from Shiraz University in Iran.
As a researcher, I have always ben interested in reviewing the manuscripts submitted to the journals and conferences. The unpaid task of peer reviewing papers is a joyful but time-intensive task that helps to maintain the quality of research and publications in a research field. Apart from fulfilling my obligations to my research community, it helps me to stay up to date and expand my knowledge.
I am extremely honored and humbled to be a recipient of Outstanding Reviewer Award from World Wide Web  2017 (WWW) conference. WWW is the longest-running and most prestigious web conference in the world that brings together the most influential researchers in the web community each year. I am incredibly excited that I have received this award in my second year of Ph.D. as probably the only student among fairly senior researchers from the most prestigious institution in the world selected for this award. I believe in the high impact of rigorous and constructive reviews on the progress of a research area and this award motivates me more to continuously work hard in my research journey. 
I would also like to thank my family, my advisor (Professor Dr. Amit Sheth) and my mentor (Dr. Lu Chen). Without their support and encouragement, I would not have won this award!

Host Family Highlight: Lukas Wenrick

This month we highlight host family member, Lukas Wenrick, WSU's very own Student Government Association president. Even as a student, Lukas jumped at the opportunity to reach out to international students. "I was presented with some pretty startling statistics showcasing how few international students actually enter American families' homes. This was my opportunity to do my part. I also wanted to meet new students and mentor them in whatever way possible." 

This semester Lukas was matched with two students, one from India and the other from Austria. "I enjoy hearing the differences between American culture and my host students' cultures. It's eye opening to see the differences between cultures but even more eye opening to realize just how similar we are. We all enjoy sports, traveling, and meeting new people. We are college students trying to get by...trying to figure out our role in the world."

"There is a lot of misinformation about both international students and American culture. I wanted to showcase a positive side to American culture for our international students and I wanted to understand more deeply their individual cultures to that I could speak in an educated manner about their experiences. During a time where we are talking about putting up more walls, I hoped this experience would break down a few."

The UCIE Host Family Program reaches out to local families and college students to build relationships with our WSU international students. "(Being a part of this program) is the easiest way to get to know different cultures without leaving the United States. There are very few requirements but numerous opportunities to make lasting memories. This was an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience." 

Interested in joining our UCIE Host Family Program? Submit your application or learn more by visiting this link: UCIE's Host Family Program

Lead a Faculty Led Study Abroad Ambassador Program

Ambassador Programs or short term faculty led study abroad programs are programs that WSU faculty provide a class while travelling abroad with the assistance of our international office. Typically the program runs for 1-4 weeks and is usually offered during the summer term, winter, or spring break. The class is usually 3.0 credit hour on average. 

University Center for International Education (UCIE) provides opportunities and support for faculty to teach abroad by developing, planning, and administering short term faculty led programs with the faculty to meet curriculum needs. These programs provide opportunities for students to study abroad and develop their global competence while fulfilling their program requirements. Faculty travel expenses are covered within the program budget while the class is offered through the department. 
The deadline to submit a faculty led program proposal for Winter 2017, Spring Break 2018, and Summer 2018 is May 5th, 2017.  You can submit your program proposal by following this link: Faculty Led Ambassador Program Proposal Submission. A complete application will include a detailed program, a proposed course syllabus, an estimated budget, and a signed approval from the sponsoring department. An approved proposal is reviewed by the study abroad office and the study abroad and faculty committee for final recommendations.
Special Program: The Japan Ambassador Program -Kake Exchange : June 23-July 10, 2018
In partnership with the Kake Education Institution Japan, each year Wright State offers a two way exchange program for up to 3 weeks.  Over the summer, Wright State sends 10 students with a WSU Faculty member to Japan, and Kake sends 10 students with a faculty member to Wright State. The Kake institute provides a detailed firm day to day cultural itinerary, which means the Faculty Advisor does not need to worry about the logistics or site visits or a budget for this program. The UCIE is calling for proposals for faculty to propose a course offering that will complement this program for Summer of 2018.  Past example of classes have been from Social Work, Political Science, and Business. Kindly submit your proposal including the intended class at this link: Faculty Ambassador Program Application Note that budget information it is not required for this program.  Include the program dates as: June 23 - July 10, 2018.
WSU Ambassador Programs are a rewarding and enriching way to give our students and faculty a global experience and to internationalize our campus. We are excited to partner with you on this. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about this opportunity. If you would like to learn more about how to develop an Ambassador Program, please contact