YALI: Mandela Washington Fellows Make Their Mark at Texas Tech University
When the Mandela Washington Fellows arrived at Texas Tech University in mid-June, they knew there would be some adjustments. Lubbock is a long way from the homes of the 25 young African leaders, who hail from countries like Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa and Burundi.
Three weeks later, there’s one thing they’re still trying to adapt to.
“The weather has been very unpredictable,” Sidney Chahonyo, of Kenya, said amid laughs from the some of the other fellows. “It’s 112 degrees in the morning and then raining in the afternoon.”
Thankfully, the predictably unpredictable West Texas weather hasn’t slowed the fellows in their quests to learn as much as possible about Texas Tech, Lubbock and the United States. The group is part of the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) which was established by President Barack Obama and empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training and networking opportunities.
What Freedom Means: Ambassador Tibor Nagy shares thoughts on July Fourth
Ambassador Tibor Nagy, Texas Tech University’s vice provost for International Affairs, has had a long, illustrious career in foreign service, with administrative stints in Zambia, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Togo, Cameroon and Nigeria before becoming the U.S. Ambassador to Guinea from 1996-1999 and the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia from 1999-2002.
Long before he represented America on the world stage, he was one of the millions of people outside our borders, trying to become an American. For this Fourth of July, Nagy shared his story and what the idea of freedom means to him:
“I came to the U.S. as a political refugee in 1956. My dad was a high-ranking member of the Hungarian military, and in 1956, when the Hungarian people decided to try and get rid of the Soviet occupation and get rid of the Communist regime, my dad, along with most of the Hungarian army, decided to join the people instead of the occupiers. And as a result, there was a 10-day period of freedom, Oct. 23 through Nov. 3. When the Soviets came back in with 2,000 tanks, it didn’t take long for them to overrun the country, and my dad knew he was going to be charged with treason and executed. So one day in November 1956, he took me for a picnic that ended up in first Austria and then the United States. It involved a night crossing, walking across a very dangerous border; it involved arriving in a country with nothing, including not knowing the language; and it involved not having anything at all for a while. Then it involved coming to a second country nine months later and starting all over again. But the nicest thing was the American embassy in Vienna helped us so much that, even as a young boy, I remember thinking, ‘If I ever make it to America, my dream is to become an American diplomat.’ So some dreams do come true.”
Dingus Memorial Scholarship Awarded to Meghan Miskin for Fall 2017
As one of the first students to declare her major in the Global Studies program at TTU, Meghan Miskin was eager to apply her love for history, culture, and world travel. She grew up in a household that embraced cultural exchange and missionary work. Meghan wanted to make a difference in the world. Three years ago she decided to travel to Russia with a campus organization called CRU. The decision changed her life and career plans. “I fell in love with the people, the language, and the history of Russia.”
This experience led her to travel back to Russia two more times during her undergraduate studies. While studying at TTU, Miskin also participated in the Model UN competition. This unique experience paired with her love of culture and languages led her to pursue an internationally focused career path. After graduation, Miskin made the decision to begin working on a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics with a certificate to teach ESL. Her ultimate goal is to live abroad, teaching English and helping people in need. If she could live anywhere in the world, she would choose Jordan. “Yes, it is a desert, but the people are kind and the language is beautiful.” “I am slowly trying to learn the language and I think it would be a wonderful place to live and try to help people.”
The Dingus Memorial Scholarship is awarded each August for the academic year. Applicants must be majoring in areas related to Political Science, Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, Law, Mass Communications, or History. The student must also demonstrate a deep interest in international relations, the UN, and have a financial need. The scholarship application opens in March.
Early Childhood Instructor, Doctoral Student bring Expertise to Ethiopia
On her recent trip to speak at an education conference at Jigjiga, Shine and doctoral candidate Andrea Parker wanted to make a difference for school children – not just the educators. So in addition to speaking about the importance of education for young children, the pair also put their words into action, donating 200 children's books to Ethiopian elementary schools.
This summer the Office of International Affairs hosted its first ever Summer Dance Series. Folks gathered for three fun evenings of international dance in the Hall of Nations at the International Cultural Center. Each event had a live band and an instructor who gave a brief history of the dance and taught the steps to the participants. The featured dances were Contra Dancing with the Hub City Contra Band, Tango with the Double T Tango Band, and Irish Set Dancing with the Yellow Rose Celei Band.
International Dog Series
The Office of International Affairs is proud to host its annual summer photography exhibit “Putting on the Dog: Dogs without Borders”. This is the eighth year the OIA has observed the dog days of summer with an exhibit of photographs that show dogs in all their international diversity. Each photograph is accompanied by an exhibit label that informs the viewer about the dog’s breed and country of origin. Images in the exhibit were submitted by Texas Tech faculty, staff and students as well as photographers locally, throughout the state and a few outside of Texas. During the well-attended reception on July 13, there was a screening of the documentary “My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story” which explored the special bond between humans and dogs through candid interviews with notable celebrities. The exhibit will be on display through October 13, 2017.
Marcia M. Abbott, Adela-May Baxleyova, Fran Bohannon, Bill Brown, Catherine Buscemi, Amanda Cypert, Christy Czerwien, Rachel Dolle, Deanna Dorado, Charles Elliot, Sandy Fortenberry, John Franklin, Margaret Freeman, Shayla Hammock, Kathleen Harth, Larry Hess, Kippra Hopper, Lisa Huntsman, Deb Johnson, Susan and Lee Johnson, Cathy Jung, Rita Kent, Amy Kim, Bethany Kuwitzky, Lynley Lewis, Rachel Massey, Roxanne McDaniel, Samrat Moitra, Holly Moore, Heather J. Norville, April Pilley, Thelma Pilley, Martin Pothier, Katherine Shaw, Ricky Sherfield, Carol Smith, Adrianna Sotelo, Christena Stephens, Stacy Stockard, Charlie Stogner, Beth Wadsworth, Jocelyn Young, Veronica Young
Teacher Professional Development this summer @the Cultural Corner of TTU
Collaborating with our Cultural Corner partners- the National Ranching Heritage Center and the Museum of Texas Tech University- the Office of International Affairs K-12 Global Educational Outreach unit welcomed over 50 Lubbock area teachers during a professional development workshop in late June. The workshop focused on informing teachers about the variety of free field trip opportunities that the Cultural Corner has to offer during the school year. Professional Development opportunities of this type are vital for local teachers to learn ways in which TTU’s Cultural Corner can expand and develop the global competencies of their students.
Your Place to Interact with Other TTU International Alumni and Scholars
The Office of International Affairs is thrilled to have a new division of International Relations committed to our International Alumni and Scholars! We are working from the ground up to keep you informed, keep you connected, share your success with a global audience and have you collaborate with us and other TTU alumni! We are reaching out to update our database, and we hope you will keep in touch.
In the coming months, you will see a new website and new communication tools where you will:
hear about TTU events in your home country,
get access to resources and opportunities,
connect with other alumni,
have the opportunity to create a Texas Tech International Alumni Club in your area,
find out what other international alumni and scholars are doing,
tell your stories and achievements, and
learn about opportunities to volunteer and support a rapidly growing global Texas Tech University.
This will be your site, so let’s have fun with it and explore ways to make a difference in your world!