The Center for International Studies opens up opportunities for students

The Center for International Studies, or CIS, at Ohio University is an academic community that provides educational programs for students interested in global and international issues. The center offers programs in African Studies, Asian Studies, Communication and Development Studies, European Studies, World Studies, Latin American Studies, International Development Studies and studies on war and peace.

Patrick Barr-Melej, professor of history and interim executive director of CIS, described the interdisciplinary approach of the center.

“(CIS) is an interdisciplinary academic unit, which means that we offer academic programs that cover many disciplines at many colleges within the university,” Barr-Melej said. “We offer a global education in which students explore topics that reflect global concerns, ranging from development and sustainability to environmental concerns, culture and politics. “

As part of its complex goal, Barr-Melej said the mission of the center lies in the opportunities it provides to students and faculty through its global connections.

“I like to say that we are helping bring the world to Ohio University, and we are bringing Ohio University to the world,” Barr-Melej said. “The program really gives students the opportunity to explore their own personal interests in a global context, and we attract students from all over the world. It is therefore an extremely diverse academic unit. We are very enriched by the presence of students and associate professors at the center and staff from all over the world.

This semester, CIS is organizing various events to engage its members and educate the student body. In particular, Barr-Melej said this fall semester will launch a new series of events for the center, which will specifically focus on current events impacting international topics.

“Starting this fall, we will be hosting a series of topical global events in which we will explore important events in today’s world from the perspectives of faculty, students and others on and off. of campus to find out more about world events, ”Barr-Melej mentioned.

Bose Maposa, deputy director of graduate programs at CIS, said the specific areas of interest within CIS will highlight current issues affecting their respective regions of the world.

Along with current events, Maposa also said that the center will focus on the importance of social justice issues facing the world.

“I think the social justice aspect is an important point, so I look forward to more programming with Black Lives Matter and racial justice,” Maposa said. “Global movements are the raison d’être of the Center for International Studies. I am interested to know more about what we are developing with this.

Anastasiia Sakharova, a graduate student in Latin American Studies, said the events CIS will be hosting are beneficial for students as they shed light on other parts of the world.

“I really take the opportunity to organize events and be part of this international community that we have because we have a lot of international students,” said Sakharova. “Our center is very diverse. This is something that I really enjoyed because we get to know people from different parts of the world. We really have a lot of great events that can help us broaden our horizons. “

Sakharova said these benefits also apply to her own studies.

“I study Latin America and am from Ukraine, so in my country knowledge of Latin America is quite limited,” Sakharova said. “I always had to study more on my own. I really received this raw knowledge of the region from a political, historical or economic point of view. I really appreciate it.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place last year, the CIS has not been able to function normally. This year, however, Barr-Melej said the opportunities for the center are wider, allowing new connections between international students who make the center what it is.

“I’m very happy to be in person this semester,” Barr-Melej said. “Mainly because last year COVID-19 prevented many of our international graduate students from coming to Athens. So this year we have a large number of international graduate students in particular who were able to come to Athens and join us here. So having them here, teaching them in person and being able to share space with them at events and interact with them face to face – there is no such thing. We are so excited to be able to do it this year.

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