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Monday, March 27, 2017  
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5th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference: Embracing the Future of Global Education


Last week, a record number of professionals gathered together in Minneapolis to Embrace the Future of Global Education at the 5th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference. More than 50 sessions and workshops were facilitated by more than 100 presenters, a number representing approximately one-fourth of those in attendance. It truly was a community effort that left attendees inspired, and equipped to operationalize new ideas for advancing diversity and inclusive excellence at their campuses and organizations. Diversity Abroad’s CEO and Founder, Andrew Gordon, reiterated the importance of this community approach during his welcome address:

“Our success in creating equitable access to global education will be a shared success. No one person or institution will solve this challenge -- we, as a community will. We use that word ‘community’ very intentionally. The Diversity Abroad Community is comprised of individuals, organizations and institutions, large and small, all with a common goal. And when we succeed, we will succeed together.”

Immediately following these welcome remarks, Jane Hyun, Global Leadership Strategist, described the concept of “flexing” in the workplace to leverage talent across diverse teams during the keynote address. The interactive dialogue included hands-on activities, audience participation, and meaningful exchanges on this timely topic. In conjunction with the professional sessions, the 2017 Diversity Abroad Conference welcomed the voices and perspectives of a group of talented student leaders who participated in the 3nd Annual Global Student Leadership Summit. Students split their time between sessions designed specifically for study abroad alumni from diverse backgrounds and all-conference plenary sessions.

New to the Diversity Abroad Conference, the 2017 event featured the inaugural Innovation Competition, sponsored by CAPA The Global Education Network. Before a panel of judges and the conference attendees, nine teams presented their innovative ideas and programs that support internationalization efforts on campus and abroad. The top prize, a check for $3000, was awarded to Miami Dade College to provide homeless students with the opportunity to participate in education abroad programming. A check for $1000 was awarded to Syracuse University for their proposal to expand access to deaf students in education abroad. And, due to an unexpected onsite contribution from CAPA, a check for $500 was awarded to Depauw University to encourage underrepresented students to participate in multiple abroad experiences.

In celebration of 10 years of Diversity Abroad, the 5th Annual Conference -- together with the Global Student Leadership Summit and the MSI Summit on Global Education -- set the tone for the next decade as we embrace a diverse and multicultural future. We hope you join us in Miami on April 7-10, 2018 for the 6th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference!


The 3rd Annual Global Student Leadership Summit in Review



From March 19-22, Diversity Abroad hosted The Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS) at the University of Minnesota during the 5th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference. 50 students from campuses across the country converged to participate in an intensive three-day summit that sought to provide much needed space and time for students to critically reflect on their global experiences, particularly as young leaders from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

Now in it’s 3rd year, GSLS is a unique opportunity for recently returned study abroad alumni to process what it means to be a minority abroad, and how intersecting identities impact one’s cross-cultural experiences. Intensive dialogue-driven sessions on the role of identity and intercultural competencies were coupled with more practical workshops on transforming from student to professional, such as how to craft a sharp elevator pitch and write a strong resume.  

GSLS kicked off with welcome remarks from Diversity Abroad CEO and Founder, Andrew Gordon. After telling students about how his own experiences overseas inspired him to start Diversity Abroad, he introduced Keynote Speaker, Latanya Mapp-Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global. Ms. Mapp-Frett set the tone for the summit by telling students how the most successful moments in her career were influenced by skepticism from those in her inner circle. She challenged students to trust their gut, and to make choices that they felt were right, no matter how wrong others thought they might be.

New components to GSLS this year included the opportunity to hear from industry professionals across various sectors about the benefits of being globally minded. Students met representatives from tech companies, international law offices, the U.S. State Department and Peace Corps to hear them speak about their experiences abroad, and how global competencies are valued in their respective fields. Students then had an opportunity to mingle in a more relaxed environment during the Career Reception, where additional guests from the State Department, the School of International Service at American University, and the Public Policy and International Affairs program joined industry professionals to meet with students and answer questions about future opportunities abroad.

With more than 21 college campuses and 6 education abroad providers nominating 50 students with study abroad experiences around the world, GSLS truly has become a one-of-a-kind space for diverse students to process how their identities shape who they are both overseas and in the U.S. We look forward to welcoming the next cohort of global leaders in Miami for the 2018 Diversity Abroad Conference!

2nd Annual MSI Global Education Summit in Review


The 2nd Annual Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Global Education Summit, sponsored by IES Abroad Berlin was designed to enhance the institutional capacity of MSIs to integrate international education efforts into the campus climate.

We reached our goal of creating a community through the numerous networking opportunities, sessions, and workshops, connecting participants with the resources and tools needed to develop or enhance the effectiveness of their internationalization efforts at MSIs. The Summit offered workshops on the comprehensive internationalization of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), successes and challenges in education abroad at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), and private-public partnership grants to boost global education at MSIs.

The Lunch & Fireside Conversation with Shaw University President Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy and Andrew Gordon, CEO & Founder of Diversity Abroad addressed the impact of global education on the future of MSIs and offered participants the opportunity to reflect on three critical questions: How can campus internationalization play a vital role in the competitiveness and effectiveness of MSIs? What are successful strategies, programs, and initiatives in global education at MSIs? And how might institutions engage the private sector to enhance campus internationalization?

The Summit was attended by 60+ professionals from 18 HBCUs, 9 HSIs, 1 Asian Pacific Islander Institution (API), and 13 higher education organizations supporting the advancement of MSIs. The MSI Global Education Summit has become the premier forum for networking, sharing of best practices, and collaboration among colleagues from like institutions to reach a common goal - ensuring that students from MSIs have the skills, knowledge and experience to be successful in the 21st Century. Where will you be on April 7-8, 2018 when we gather again for the 3rd annual MSI Global Education Summit in Miami, Florida?