Your Wright Way To Go Global: October 2016

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La Jefa Updates  

Every Fall, Wright State has an opportunity to recognize our international programs as part of International Education (IE) Week. November 14-18th marks the 18th anniversary of the annual celebration of international education and exchange worldwide. In the United States, it is coordinated jointly by the US Department of State and the US Department of Education. UCIE is honored to coordinate events for our Wright State students, faculty, and staff.  This year, our theme is "A Taste of the World".  Please join us for a variety of programs including an International Education Week Kick-Off Event, President's Reception with Burundi Drummers, a Fulbright Faculty Workshop, and several international meet and greets with different cuisines from around the world. Take a moment to vote or submit an entry for our International Photo Contest where winners will be announced during our International Photo Gallery on Friday, November 18th. Speaking of voting, international students have had opportunities to discuss democracy and voting in our UCIE Convo Club and Global Connections with presentations on comparative political systems.  To climax this process, on November 4th our international students will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite US presidential candidate through a Mock Election as part of our weekly Global Connections. For a complete list of our all our events, check out    

Highlighting October Collaborations: UCIE Convo Club and University Libraries

In this beautiful Fall season, UCIE is continuing to expand student's horizons, connect people from all over the world, and encourage international students to experience our local community. We had a great collaboration between the University Center for International Education (UCIE) and University Libraries during a regular UCIE Convo Club session. Each Convo Club has a theme that guides the conversation. On October 6th, that theme was "Library Services around the World", a fascinating topic when you have 8 countries represented in one room. University Libraries sent over a number of professional librarians to add insight into the current services of WSU libraries. The turnout was one of the largest UCIE Convo Clubs yet! The UCIE Convo Club meets every Mondays from 3-4pm and Thursdays from 1-2pm encouraging not only international students to practice their conversational English, but also encouraging American students to learn fascinating perspectives from their international peers. The UCIE sends a big THANK YOU to University Libraries for collaborating and adding to the rich conversations.

Other October collaborations included the following:

  • October 4th-International Women's Gathering Winter Care Wellness with Dr. Rosemary Eustace and Nursing Clinical C02 Students
  • October 7th-How to Get the Job: Tips on Effective Communication, Resume, and Career Fairs with the Brandebarry Career Center
  • October 8th-Cider Press Barn Party with International Friendships Inc. and International Cultural Exchange
  • October 14th-Global Connections: International Influences on Hip Hop with Dr. Nicole Carter from the Women's Center
  • October 17th-Senior Center Volunteer Opportunity with Goodwill Easter Seals
  • October 21st-Global Connections: The H1B Visa Talk with the Law Offices of Varun Luthra
  • October 22nd-Hocking Hills Trip with International Friendships Inc. and International Cultural Exchange

International Student Highlight: Xiaotong Shao

Xiaotong Shao came to Wright State from China to study in the LEAP Intensive English Program for the Fall, 2016 semester. She has quickly become famous around campus for her masterful playing of a traditional Chinese stringed instrument called the Gu Zheng. Xiaotong has been playing the Gu Zheng for over 15 years and before coming to the U.S. was teaching others how to play the instrument. When asked why she decided to learn the Gu Zheng, Xiaotong mentioned that she wanted to play the instrument after seeing a TV show where a princess played the Gu Zheng, and with the support of her parents she was able to pursue this passion. After completing her studies in the LEAP program, Xiaotong hopes to study music education and continue to perform on the Gu Zheng. Some of Xiaotong’s favorite moments so far at WSU include attending classes with her LEAP instructors Tom and Mailinh and the ability to perform and share Chinese musical culture with diverse audiences.

Students Abroad: Chuckwudubem Obianagha

Congratulations to Chuckwudubem “Dubem” Obianagha! Dubem came to Wright State from Nigeria and has now accepted a position at Octapharma Plasma Inc. as the Octapharma Leadership Trainee (Managerial Position) in Lubbock, Texas. He has also been accepted into Ohio University's Medical School. While pursuing his graduate degree in Public Health, Dubem seized the opportunity to enhance his education by participating on the UCIE Ambassador Programs to Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. He taught health education and social justice in Tanzania, learned in the United Kingdom how they adopt health policies, and studied Switzerland’s social justice system.  “As a kid, I wanted to be in medicine, but there was little opportunity to cultivate the interest,” Obianagha said. “As I was growing older I became engrossed in medicine and health care. I would ask myself, ‘what else could you do with your life besides this,’ and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I have a deep desire to be part of and change the health care system in the States or in Nigeria.” We are proud to see our students succeed and we wish him the very best.

Host Family Highlight: Sam and Ellen Lauber

The UCIE has the privilege of working with some of the best families in our local community as a part of our Host Family Program. These families are volunteering their time to build friendships, exchange culture, and show hospitality to our international students. This month we are excited to highlight one of our incredible host families, Sam and Ellen Lauber.
Prior to retirement, Ellen worked in financial planning for 10 years and Sam worked as a social worker for 41 years. Now Ellen keeps herself busy with the League of Women Voters, a book club, and listening to cultural lectures. Sam is a photographer extraordinaire. In fact, his piece, "The Eiffel Tower in Multi-Image Color" was featured in the Louvre Museum in Paris last year for 6 months. He has had other photos featured in the Ohio State Fair, Wright Patt Air Force Base, New York Skyscraper, and has been published 10 times. 
Along with his many accomplishments, Sam is also a Holocaust survivor. He tells stories of being hidden when he was three years old back in 1945 when he lived in Brussels. "My mother made arrangements with Mother Superior in the church to have me sent with a group of nuns to La Louvière, Belgium. My mother feared for my life! She wanted her son to live. They put me with a group of kids who had problems breathing, but I had no problems breathing. They were going to take me back to Brussels but a nurse by the name of Nelly Detry talked to her sister and asked if I could come with them. I stayed with them till the end of the war, about 1 year and a half later. After the war I was reunited with my family in Brussels," said Sam, and he lives to tell the story. Years after, as a social worker he was stationed in Holland as a civilian in 1989. He made a point to pass by La Louvière with his wife and son to meet up with the family that hid him. " I spent a weekend with them, 3 days," said Sam. 
Sam and Ellen have had past experience hosting internationals. When asked why they were interested in hosting international students through our program, they said "We are international people! We speak more than one language. We enjoying traveling. We have visited many countries. We love to meet people from other places and learn about other places. We are cultured people and we like to be involved with other travelers."