Global Competence

A strategic direction for Oswego and SUNY


Quote - Global Lab 'fantastic opportunity'SUNY Oswego's global connections and initiatives multiply every year as the college community adopts an ever more expansive understanding of the world.

In 2010-11, faculty and students traveled to Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia to learn, to search and to serve. The college's Global Laboratory continued to add new partners around the world.

And the lakeside campus in Oswego hosted international students and researchers and presented a range of opportunities to explore diverse cultures both within and beyond the boundaries of the United States.

Teaching abroad

  iPads in Brazil
  • School of Education faculty members delivered a thousand donated scientific calculators to rural teachers in Brazil, showing them how to use these devices and other new technologies like iPads. Oswego faculty helped about 30 teachers learn both the mechanics of the calculator and how to develop appropriate lessons that use it in teaching math and science. Those 30 in turn worked with their colleagues, ultimately reaching 3,000 or more students.

  • Oswego's distinguished teaching professor in history shared her expertise in summer 2011 as the Kathe Leichter Visiting Professor in Gender Studies at the University of Vienna.

  • An Oswego professor of political science traveled to Australia as distinguished visiting professor in the political science and international relations department at Australian National University.

Study abroad

  • Among new campus courses with an embedded week or more abroad was a course in Irish cinema with travel to Dublin.

  • Fans of Oswego's study-abroad opportunities launched an initiative, Oswego Going Global, to support and publicize the college's international education efforts and to create more.

  • With plans to expand the college's already growing programs and connections in India, Oswego's director of international education attended a by-invitation-only Fulbright-Nehru seminar that helped him develop contacts in the rising nation's capital and other major cities.

  • An Oswego faculty member was one of the first recipients of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Internationalization and used the prize to support the first offering of a course on sustainability in Ecuador.

  • An Oswego professor of geology taught a new quarter course, "Earth's Fury in Iceland," and the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano brought the coursework to life.

Research abroad

  • Diabetes researchBanco Santander and the State University of New York system contributed funding to enable 30 students in science-related fields from Oswego and other SUNY campuses to study at Oswego's Global Laboratory partners in Brazil over two years. The college made the case for the grant with the help of the eight partnership agreements Oswego already had in place in Brazil as well as its numerous course and travel offerings there over the years.

  • Tyler Maxon, a senior chemistry major, spoke at Quest 2011 on his work with professor Webe Kadima on plants native to the Congo that help diabetic patients. In summer 2011, Caleb Hayes, senior biology major, accompanied Kadima to Congo to advance the project.

  • Students interested in astrophysics from Oswego and other Upstate New York colleges pursued research at a Global Laboratory partner in Taiwan in summer 2011, with support from the National Science Foundation.

Service abroad

Haiti workshop
  • Oswego faculty redeveloped a class on ethnocultural aspects of trauma to focus on Haiti following the earthquake that devastated the island in 2010. Eight students and three professors traveled there on the anniversary of the quake to help where needed. "There's a match between our skills and our areas of competency and what the community is requesting, and that's beautiful collaboration," said professor Barbara Streets.

  • Oswego formalized an agreement with the Peace Corps that allows selected graduate students to combine service in America's signature volunteer-abroad program with their studies toward a master's degree.

  • A faculty member who is a native of Sudan along with the director of the college's African and African-American studies program coordinated a campus effort that contributed thousands of books to a South Sudan university, and officials of the new nation visited and spoke on campus.

Internationalizing Oswego

Border Crossings
  • A communications faculty member created a alternative reality game called "Border Crossings" to help students and others in the community to learn and talk about controversies surrounding U.S.-Mexico relations in a safe space that diffused some of the emotion and discomfort that controversy tends to trigger.

  • Artswego, the college's performing arts series, mounted performances by music and dance groups with an international flair in 2010-11. "With upbeat performances blending cultures of five continents, this season offers outstanding entertainment with a broad worldview," said Mary Avrakotos, series coordinator.

  • At International Day 2011 in the Campus Center, students learned about other nations both overseas and, with visitors representing Iroquois nations, from within U.S. borders. Students who had already studied abroad shared their experiences with those exploring that possibility.

  • GENIUS Olympiad
  • High school students from around the world competed in science and art at SUNY Oswego in summer 2011 through the first GENIUS Olympiad, sharing diverse cultures as well as intellectual discovery.

  • An Australian Fulbright Scholar used Oswego as a base to study how schools in New York deal with workforce development as baby-boomer vocational teachers retire, comparing it to his country's experience.

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