The University of Iowa

International Education Week celebration includes new International Impact Award

November 8th, 2010

The 2010 University of Iowa celebration of International Education Week will kick off early with UI President Sally Mason’s presentation of a new International Impact Award at the Friday, Nov. 12 WorldCanvass program, recorded live from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber.

The public is invited to this and many other events Nov. 15-19 as part of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education.

Celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide, International Education Week promotes international understanding and encourages the development of programs that prepare students to live and work in a global environment.

“International Education Week is always very special at the University of Iowa—a time for us to recognize and celebrate the importance of our global connections,” Mason said. “This year we have welcomed the largest class of international students in the university’s history, so we have even more to celebrate. We are grounded in Iowa, but we are interconnected with the globe. This week is a great time to remind ourselves that we are all part of a diverse world and that a strong international perspective makes for a stronger Iowa.”

The International Impact Award serves to recognize distinguished alumni, friends or other individuals who’ve made important international contributions that have benefited Iowans. The inaugural award will be presented to Richard and Mary Jo Stanley of Muscatine who, along with the Stanley family, have been long-time donors to UI International Programs.

“We are most pleased and honored to receive the International Impact Award,” said Richard Stanley. “This award recognizes our family’s interest in global education over the years. We believe that the survival issues of today and the future require the understanding, engagement and collaboration of all peoples and nations. We are thankful to have a small part in this.”

Stanley commended UI International Programs’ work in preparing students and others to be globally competent and comfortable in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

Following the presentation of the award, Stanley and several guests will join host Joan Kjaer for the WorldCanvass program focused on the value of an international education. Topics to be discussed include overseas opportunities for study and research, citizen diplomacy, economic development and cross-cultural understanding. Guests include UI faculty, staff, students and musicians, various program directors and a former legislator.

A Global Health Studies Program display highlighting student and faculty projects from around the world, as well as International Programs’ photo and essay contest winners, will be showcased in the Old Capitol Mezzanine from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 15-19 in the University Capitol Centre outside International Programs.

Other events throughout the week include:

– Monday, Nov. 15: Returned Peace Corps volunteers will share their stories about teaching in developing countries, and UI Peace Corps representatives will be on hand to answer questions during an informational session about teaching opportunities in the Peace Corps at 4 p.m. in Jones Commons on the third floor of the Lindquist Center.

– Wednesday, Nov. 17: Students can learn about funding opportunities to pursue international research, internships and conferences during the International Programs student funding expo from 3 to 5 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre. At the open house, students can speak with past award recipients and ask questions to International Programs’ staff.

– Thursday, Nov. 18: “A Spectrum of Experiences” will showcase a variety of study-abroad returnees’ experiences at 1 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre. The students will talk about participating in international service learning projects, conducting research in another country, immersing themselves in a language intensive program, living with a host family and other interesting topics.

All events are free and open to the public.

Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of International Programs, said international education is taking place everywhere, from classrooms to coffee shops both local and around the world — wherever UI students are experiencing other cultures firsthand.

“International education is not only facts or skills, it is also about interacting face to face, and one on one, with people from cultures that are different from our own,” Thomas said. “Take the time to reach out to someone who comes from another country this week, to share a tea or a sandwich, and to share ideas.”

Learn more about activities during International Education Week or view the winning photos in the photo contest.

For more information or special accommodations to attend any of the events, contact Karen Wachsmuth, International Programs outreach coordinator, at 319-335-0345 or

Sponsors for the UI International Education Week activities include the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization, the UI College of Education, the Belin-Blank Center, the Office of Admissions, International Programs, the UI Center for Human Rights, UITV, UI Pentacrest Museums, KRUI, Information Technology Services and the Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

For more information on the national celebration, visit

For more information on International Programs at the UI, visit

PHOTOS: (top) Photographer Annah Vollstedt, a second year medical student in the UI College of Medicine, had the first place winning photo in the study abroad category with “Ponta Negra/Hats” taken in Natal, Brazil. She wrote “A familiar scene on the boardwalk of Ponta Negra Beach in Natal, Brazil.”

(bottom, right) Photographer Mitul Sarkar, a UI postdoctoral research scholar in pharmacology from Lucknow, India, had the first-place winning photo in the international student category, with “Holding Joy” taken in downtown Kansas City. He wrote, “A pet can bring more joy than many worldly gifts sold in stores.”