Category Archives: Uncategorized

Here I Go Again

In May I had an awesome experience as I traveled to Switzerland with my Global Perspective Program study-abroad fellowship.  It was my first trip to Europe. It was amazing and I learned so very much.  Now I am off again, heading to Sweden with some of my family.  This trip will not be filled with academic appointments and learning agendas, but I’m positive I will still be in learning mode!

We will be heading out towards Washington DC for our flight out. As I write, I am at the “far-farm” getting the fur babies settled and ready to meet their care-taker.  It was a wild adventure just traveling out to the farm an hour away…perhaps I will share that story later. I would rather not recount those moments just now. We did have a nice celebration dinner last night in honor of my husband’s completion of his step one medical exam (we are all glad that is over)!

A few more quiet moments for me to take a breath before I get geared up for the second round of pack up and travel. I am hoping to do a post or two as I go along if I have internet access.  It will be nice to collect two more country stamps on my passport – Iceland (where we have a layover) and Sweden.

And, yes for the record, I did look up the University of Stockholm. They have a counseling center!  If they were not on their summer break, I would have for sure reached out to meet and tour!

Let’s see where this adventure takes me!

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Global Perspectives Shared At the Swiss Embassy in Washington DC

Another exciting opportunity to gather with the VT and Swiss Global Perspectives Program (GPP) Cohort 2017 in Washington, DC to present about Higher Education as a Public Good.  It was great to be able to have most everyone attend our presentation at the Swiss Embassy on Friday, June 23rd. There were a few who were not in attendance, but were missed and remembered!

Throughout the entire trip, I have gained an overview of how higher education is set up in some European countries and how I compare or contrast this to my working knowledge of how higher education is set up in the USA. Personally, I see education as both a private and public good.  Private, in the fact that your education should be about increasing one’s own knowledge and understanding; yet, public because higher education as a whole should be for the betterment of the communities in which it serves.

Our GPP cohort was broken into three groups to discuss perspectives in the following areas:  Massification of Higher Education: Smart Solutions for Open Global Higher Education; Global Higher Education in the Post Truth Era: Importance of Fact Finding and Critical Thinking Skills; and Communicating Science in Global Higher Education.  Each group posed interesting thoughts and questions on ways for us to think both globally and forwardly.

We also heard the guest speaker, Dr. Mary Sue Coleman, President of Association of American Universities, give her thoughts on the current landscape of higher education. She charged us with being innovative, creative, and flexible in ways we teach students to apply and use knowledge.  Dr. Coleman stated that innovation and creativity can create new pathways for higher education in the global landscape.

Overall the meeting was powerful, enlightening, and served as a reminder of how we all face similar challenges no matter where we are in the world. As the GPP 2017 cohort “circled up” in our chairs one last time, we shared what we learned, what we wished were included, and a recommendation to help make the next trip better. Even though I may have some recommendations for things different, I do not wish one single experience was different. The trip has given me insight and caused me to think differently about me and the education system moving forward. So, perhaps, the trip was perfect. Perfect in that it allowed seamless things to happen, but also allowed for blips or imperfections that kept us all grounded.

No, I do not believe I would change a thing.  Except maybe I would have had one more gelato before I left…. 🙂

Thank you goes out to the Swiss Embassy for hosting us, and as always feeding us well! Thanks also to our Swiss cohort members for traveling our way for this meeting. May you have safe travels back to Switzerland!

When Tragedy Strikes

Today, as I am sitting on campus at Virginia Tech, my heart goes out to the students, staff, faculty, and friends of Ohio State University with the scary and sad events that occurred today. While I was not a student at VT during the tragic day of April 16, 2007, I was a graduate student at another university. As students, we are all connected in some way; it is very much our family. As a student at VT today, we remember and have programs and systems in place. We will not forget what happened. It is still something that is talked about, felt, and mourned.

It was comforting to hear that the OSU student notification system was working and did a good job of sending out that safety warning. As I type this, sitting only a few hundred yards away from the memorial of the people who died at VT in 2007, I have gratitude that others have learned from the tragedy from VT and other schools who have had these critical incidents. Because of the tragic events in the past, there are safety systems, notification systems, and thoughts put into maintaining the safety of those who are on campuses around the country – and hopefully around the world.

As a counselor, I feel deeply for those who were impacted in today’s events. There are so many people that were impacted and not just the ones who received a physical injury. I hope for healing for the injured and healing for those hurting. Please be aware of the ambiguous injuries that others may have experienced. Having the violation of feeling safe in classrooms, on campus, or at work can cause problems too. Ask if others are ok, seek counseling if you need it, and know that there are places you can go for assistance.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of OSU and their community. Be safe out there everyone.