Dear International Alumni,

We are delighted to report that Provost Marilyn Sheerer has named Dr. James N. Gehlhar to be the next Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs. Dr. Gehlhar comes to us from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where he was director of its Center for International Education for sixteen years. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and earned his PhD at Edinburgh University. Dr. Gehlhar is an expert on Middle Eastern affairs. He completed secondary schooling in Beirut, lived in Turkey for two summers, and spent three years with the Peace Corps in Iran.  He speaks Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, and some German and French as well.

Particularly important to his assignment at the ECU Office of International Affairs is Dr. Gehlhar’s expertise on the promotion of study abroad, international student recruitment and support, and international and intercultural programming. Under his direction, UT-Knoxville was for many years the national leader in sending students overseas through the International Student Exchange Program. He also ran the University’s highly successful Fulbright, Boren, and Humphrey Fellowship programs. He is himself the recipient of Fulbright awards to Germany, Japan, and Korea. He is well known in the profession and has served as head of several national boards for international exchange and received numerous awards for outstanding service.

Dr. Gehlhar will be joining ECU during the summer. He and his spouse, Mhairi, look forward to joining our community.

Charles H. Lyons
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of International Affairs

Bowles Opens ECU Global Education Conference

Chancellor Steve Ballard and President of the University of North Carolina system Erskine Bowles stand with international visitors during the Global Partners in Education Conference held at ECU during May.

Erskine Bowles, president of the University of North Carolina system, welcomed 18 international visitors and educators to East Carolina University May 19 during the opening of a four-day conference on global education.

Bowles offered opening remarks to the first-ever Global Partners in Education conference, May 19 through May 22, setting the tone for discussions about the importance of international education and strategies leaders can take to foster more opportunities.

“[This type of collaborative program], I believe, is absolutely critical to the future, not just of this university, but also our entire state,” Bowles said.

Bowles added that he has talked with business leaders across the state who say they need their employees to have “critical thinking, analytical thinking, and communication skills. But the most important is the ability to work in team with people with different backgrounds and beliefs.”
“I came to ECU and saw this as an example of how we could do that,” Bowles said. And as the collaboration between ECU and its international partners continues, it will “produce young people ready to work in the global economy.”

The conference, part of ECU’s Global Academic initiatives program – which has fostered connections to dozens of nations with its Global Understanding programs since 2003, is being led by Rosina Chia, assistant vice chancellor for global academic initiatives, and Elmer Poe, associate vice chancellor for academic outreach.

“The formation of the Global Partners in Education represents the coming together of professors and administrators from around the world to enhance the international experience of their students through direct collaboration,” Poe said. “The partners will move these experiences to the next level of excellence.”

“The purpose of the conference is to formally establish the Global Partners in Education. The conference will result in goals for improvement and growth of the programs in the coming years. Groups will begin working on those goals [soon],” said Chia.
One of the conference participants was Alla Nazarenko, representing Moscow State University in Russia. During her introduction, Nazarenko said, “[This program] connects us beyond borders and gives us the chance to understand other cultures and people. And I’m sure it will serve for a better world.”

To date, more than 600 ECU students have “met” their academic counterparts in countries that include The Gambia, Turkey, Venezuela, and China. In the past five years, the Internet-based course has expanded to 21 partners in 18 countries, using Web technology to provide a relatively inexpensive way for students – and faculty members – to go global through shared courses, lectures, and research projects. The Global Understanding program complements ECU’s student study abroad programs.

The leaders and administrators of these partner programs – from Malaysia, Peru, Algeria and India, to name a few – will spend four days discussing strategies to improve and expand international courses to students, both in the United States and around the world.

“Our partner universities are committed to the program and are excited to visit ECU for this first meeting,” Chia said. “Planning has begun for the 2009 meeting in Beijing and the 2010 meeting in Lima.”

In March, ECU’s Global Academic Initiatives project received honorable mention in the 2008 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education.

~ECU News Bureau

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International Members of the ECU Community

Dr. Edvaldo Pereira Galhardo

Dr. Edvaldo Pereira Galhardo is a clinical instructor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Brody School of Medicine. Dr. Galhardo came to ECU in 2002 as a Fulbright fellow in an international cooperation program between Brazil and the United States to complete PhD research in the Department of Radiation Oncology. In 2006, Dr. Galhardo returned to ECU to join the Medical Physics Team and since then has been working directly with patient treatment and conducting research in radiation therapy. Dr. Galhardo describes cancer as a disease that knows no bounds in terms of those who are victims and concludes that “the way to care about a person who is sick is the same all around the world.”

Dr. Galhardo sums up his experience in North Carolina by stating that, “My wife and I enjoy living in North Carolina. We have had the opportunity to meet people from different parts of the world and learn about their culture, religion, food, and so on. I can say that life in Greenville has been a great cultural enrichment for us…”

Yuji Taniguchi

Yuji Taniguchi, undergraduate student, ECU School of Music

Life is not predictable. Who would have thought that I would be in North Carolina today? When I graduated from high school in Japan, I never imagined I would be living in America because to me America was a country seen only on TV or in a Hollywood movie.

I attended Tokyo School of Music in Japan, after which I worked part-time and engaged in music-related endeavors such as performing in a rock band as a drummer and doing creative work as a singer-song writer. Because of my interest in learning English, I traveled to Australia to study the language and eventually developed an interest in music therapy. This led me to California where I attended a community college and then transferred to East Carolina University. My interests in English and music have been most influential in my experiences.