Tuesday, December 1, 2020
students wearing traditional African dress
"Appreciating the Kenyan Fashion" - 2nd place winner – Exploring Local Cultures and Traditions in the 2020 International Photo Contest. Submitted by Janelle Hill

Dear all,

I cannot believe the semester has almost come to a close.  One of the highlights of this past month has been celebrating International Education Week (IEW).   While the promotion of global awareness is ingrained in everything we do here in International Programs, IEW truly brings to the forefront the terrific work being done not only here in our community but around the world.

President Harreld and I presented the 2020 International Impact Award to three very deserving individuals during the November 16 WorldCanvass IEW kick-off program: Sarah Lande, for her commitment to Iowa and to the idea of citizen-diplomacy, and Patrick and Susan Keefe, for their decades-long commitment to global health and to marginalized and under-resourced communities.  The UI Global Student Awards were also presented to Mishma Nixon for her extensive contributions to campus internationalization, and to Nicholas Stroup for furthering globalization through international research. 

As part of our Commitment to Internationalization Lecture Series, Andrew Gordon, social entrepreneur and CEO & founder of Diversity Abroad, discussed advancing equity and inclusion through global engagement.

Thank you to everyone across campus that hosted IEW events, which included sessions on international opportunities for students, a College of Education-sponsored webinar highlighting global perspectives on the challenges of schooling in the time of COVID, an Obermann Conversation with three researchers on the joys of working in the field, the induction of members into Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars, a photo contest, and more.

We are looking forward to the fully-subscribed virtual faculty-led programming taking place over winter break in which 79 students will be participating.  I am appreciative of all who have made these programs possible.  

We are continuing to work with Admissions on recruiting new international students from Africa, the Middle East, Brazil, and Malaysia.  As part of this initiative, IP recently welcomed Dimy Doresca who will serve as international recruitment advisor. Dimy is the director of the UI Institute for International Business and we look forward to working with him.  And for those international students and scholars that are already here, IP will share the American tradition of holiday cookie making as we host a virtual baking session this month. 

I hope that everyone took advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to rest and enjoy time with family—either virtually or in person. Indeed, we have all earned a measure of respite during one of the most challenging years in recent memory. 

As 2020 closes, we salute our international students for their resilience, our IP staff for their devotion, and our donors and friends for their encouragement and support. Rather than weaken us, 2020 has made us stronger because of the connections we have built and the solidarity we have maintained. It is that cohesion that will get us through this winter and will lead us to better days that most certainly lie ahead. It has been an honor for me to serve as dean in these times, and I am so very grateful to be surrounded by students, faculty, staff, and friends who remain steadfast in their commitment to international education. 


Please accept my warmest wishes for a safe and joyful holiday season.

Russ Ganim signature

Russell Ganim
Associate Provost and Dean, International Programs