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SUNY Plattsburgh Celebrates International Week

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Five international education programs at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh have received grants in conjunction with International Week (Nov. 15-19). These small grants of $500 each are given by the International Education Office at SUNY Plattsburgh to enhance the breadth of student educational experiences or to support student scholarships.

The Oaxaca, Mexico study abroad program, coordinated by Dr. Charles Simpson, professor of sociology and criminal justice and coordinator of Latin American studies, and Dr. Anita Rapone, professor of history and Latin American studies, provides a unique opportunity to study grassroots development, have a Spanish language immersion experience and conduct field research during the fall semester program.

A Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management course taught during the fall semester by John Parmelee, lecturer in the program, includes an international field trip to Aruba during the winter break. The trip provides students with a detailed look at innovative tourism management approaches at a Caribbean resort destination.

Project H.E.L.P., with leadership from Cori Matthews, director of the Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism, and Oscar Flores, lecturer in foreign languages and literature and Latin American studies, has developed an alternative spring break in Nicaragua for the spring 2005. This will be an international service learning opportunity that has been designed with Project Hope, a Plattsburgh-based non-profit organization with programs in Nicaragua.

The International Student Services Office and its Associate Director Tarek Elshayeb will establish an innovative international photography contest in spring 2005. The contest will award both international and domestic students for their photos that promote peace and international understanding.

An interdisciplinary course on sustainable development, offered by Dr. Ellen Fitzpatrick, associate professor of economics and finance and Latin American studies, and Flores during the spring 2005 semester, will include an international field trip to the Guadalajara region of Mexico. This innovative course will explore the indigenous communities and local economy in this region.

"It is significant that four of these international activities have been designed as part of a regular semester at SUNY Plattsburgh," said Dr. Bryan Higgins, director of international education. "We realize that many students find it difficult to study abroad for a whole semester. These new alternatives will allow more students to gain international experience and hopefully serve as a stepping stone in their global understanding."

Plattsburgh's long tradition as an international gateway for trade, immigrants, visitors and ideas was celebrated during International Education Week 2004 at SUNY Plattsburgh.

A series of speakers and international education awards showcased the importance of global issues in higher education. The College's special combination of 28 study abroad programs, over 300 international students from 50 countries, more than 200 courses with international content and faculty with expertise and commitment on international and global issues has created a unique global learning community within the SUNY system.

"SUNY Plattsburgh's overall set of international education activities makes it a unique global learning community with the SUNY system," said Higgins. "We are working hard to enhance our educational options and highlight Plattsburgh as a gateway to global and international understanding."

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