Lesa Griffiths, professor of animal and food sciences, and former director of the Institute for Global Studies, will be among those honored on Nov. 18.

Global education leaders

UD leaders in global education to be honored Nov. 18


10:23 a.m., Nov. 11, 2011--A reception recognizing University of Delaware leaders in global education will cap off International Education Week at UD on Friday, Nov. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m., in the Lerner Hall Atrium. The invitation-only event for faculty, staff and administrators is hosted by the Institute for Global Studies (IGS), the English Language Institute (ELI) and the Division of Student Life. 

 “This is a celebration for all of those who contribute to the University’s international education efforts,” said IGS Director Matthew Robinson, professor of business administration.

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Honored at the event will be UD’s recent Fulbright faculty and Salzburg Global Seminar participants, as well as Lesa Griffiths, former IGS director, and Janet Louise, an instructor at the English Language Institute who has dedicated more than 25 years to international education in China and Japan.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

UD’s Fulbright faculty participants for 2010–2012 include Gonzalo Arce, electrical and computer engineering; Martha Carothers, art; Patrick Gaffney, marine biosciences;  Stuart Kaufman, political science and international relations; Ajay Manrai, business and economics; Beth Ann Morling, psychology; Jean Pfaelzer, English; Susan Strasser, history; Jack Puleo, civil and environmental engineering; and Ismat Shah, materials science and engineering.

The Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent, nongovernmental organization that seeks to challenge present and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. UD’s 2011 Salzburg participants include Joan DelFattore, English; Paul Head, music; Kathleen Matt, health sciences; Kathleen Minke, education; Lloyd Shorter, music; and Gregg Silvis, University Library.

Lesa Griffiths, professor of animal and food sciences, returned to the faculty of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in August after nearly a decade of service as associate provost for international programs and IGS director. 

During her tenure as director of the Center for International Studies, which later evolved into the IGS, Griffiths expanded faculty participation in the University’s study abroad program, which has been viewed as a national model, secured funding for the Middle East Partnership Initiative and other novel programs, and engaged faculty and students in research and educational opportunities around the world. She served as the principal investigator or co-investigator on more than $18 million in international academic projects involving UD faculty during that period, including projects with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S. Agency for International Development.   

“Lesa Griffiths played an instrumental role in the growth and development of international education at UD through her work as director of the Center for International Studies and then the IGS. The impact she has had on our UD students and faculty is truly incredible,” said Deputy Provost Nancy Brickhouse. “Also, through her work with grants and contracts, she has created numerous opportunities for those from abroad to learn about the United States and to interact with our students and faculty.” 

Janet Louise, an instructor at the ELI, will retire in June 2012 with 25 years of service, although her interest in other cultures and languages has spanned three decades, according to ELI Director Scott Stevens. Prior to her UD career, Louise was a teacher-trainer at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China, in 1984 -- well before China’s explosive economic development began. She later served as a visiting professor to Kobe Shoin Women’s University and coordinated exchange programs with Kobe Shoin hosted by the ELI for 15 years.

A passionate advocate for international education, Louise has published and presented on cross-cultural women’s issues and mentored and taught English as a second language to some 4,000 international students throughout her career at the ELI, where she has demonstrated a unique gift for lowering the stress of second language learning, a process she describes as “lowering their affective filter.”  

“Well-versed in the challenges of adjusting to a new culture, Janet Louise has counseled hundreds of students through the adjustment to a new language and culture,” Stevens noted. “It’s little wonder that one of her students recently wrote in a course evaluation: ‘About my teacher, Janet Louise, I can say one word: the perfect teacher.’ ”

Article by Tracey Bryant

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