On Thursday, October 15, faculty and students gathered in McGregory Hall for the official dedication of the Center for International Programs. With the idea for the space originating in the 2012-2013 Strategic Plan, the center is located on the first floor of McGregory Hall and opened its doors this fall to become the consolidated home of the Off-Campus Study Office, the Lampert Institute, the New York 6 Consortium and the Office of International Student Services.
“The new Center for International Programs is very much focused on helping Colgate students become global citizens. The space helps students prepare for their study abroad experience, helps reintegrate student[s] back to Colgate after study abroad and engages our international student population. We would like for students to see the Center as a one-stop shop for all things global at Colgate,” Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Initiatives and Professor of Economics Nicole Simpson said.
Available to all students, whether they choose to study abroad or not, the seminar room makes it possible to communicate with people around the world through built-in speakers and microphones, while the lounge and kitchen spaces are open to groups who are focusing on events with a global perspective. All of the spaces within the center are available to book on the Event Management System (EMS), allowing the events to be student-driven.
“We have a lot of Colgate students studying abroad throughout the world, as well as many international students that come to Colgate from all over the globe. But we’ve never really tried to integrate those two groups in meaningful ways. So this is a space where, say, the Korean group on campus could host a gathering and if there is a student who studied abroad in Korea, he or she could come back to this place to process and think about their experiences there. I think a lot of our students study abroad, but when they come back they have no real opportunity to reflect on what their experience was like. This is a hub for all thing international, not just one or the other,” Murray W. and Mildred K. Finard Associate Professor in Jewish Studies, Associate Professor of Religion and Director of Jewish Studies Lesleigh Cushing said.
Many people were involved in the center’s creation, including former President Jeffrey Herbst and former Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas Hicks, who both worked to further the project during their time at Colgate. Along with Professor Simpson, Assistant Dean and Director of International Student Services Christina Khan and former Director of Off-Campus Study Kara Bingham were instrumental in designing a center that not only housed these various internationally-focused groups, but also was located in a place that students could easily access.
Sophomore Colleen Heaney expressed her appreciation for the center, as it will allow her to have a place to discuss her anticipated study abroad experience.
“As a sophomore expecting to study abroad next fall, I’m really excited to have a space on campus where I can go to talk about my thoughts and expectations for studying internationally, as well as have a space I can come back to and people to talk to when it’s all over,” Heaney said.