Achieving global peace can be done through means of international education and cultural engagement. That was the motto for this year’s International Studies Week at the Island University.
The event held to provide the Islander community with lessons on how international education and foreign exchange are tools towards global peace. On Nov. 13, a panel discussion and symposium were held with faculty members, who shared their international encounters and experiences. Professional assistant professor for English, study abroad teacher and symposium speaker, Tom Murphy, said the event allowed students to take steps toward camaraderie and understanding different cultures.
“Open your eyes and go somewhere new,” Murphy said. “Take chances to meet new people in new places. That’s very much what International Studies stands for.”
President and CEO of Magnum Producing, Avinash Ahuja, shared his experiences as a former international student at the symposium, along with a panel of four faculty members from the Island University. The panel discussion featured Dr. Anantha Babilli, Dr. A.N.M Waheeduzzaman, Dr. Jennifer Epley, Dr. Bilaye Benibo and Mr. Thomas Murphy. All speakers presented as part of the panel before speaking to event attendees in a Q&A session.
Engineering major and attendee of the International Studies symposium, Jordan Villarreal said he got more than just extra credit points from attending the event.
“I came and didn’t expect this big of a turnout, but I definitely see why people come to this event,” Villarreal said. “It was very interesting. It’s always nice to get out of the dorm rooms and do something different.”
Villarreal said he would come to the event again in the future because he felt engaged with the presenters’ messages.
Jennifer Epley shared her change of perception after teaching in Indonesia, Dr. Waheeduzzaman shared big data that showed distinctions in living conditions between countries, Dr. Benibo talked about his personal experience coming from Nigeria, Dr. Babbili shared his global and national observations being from India and Murphy talked about his experiences with the study abroad program.
“Put yourself out there and take chances,” Murphy said. “Do something you’ve never done before. This panel showed how taking that step forward to new people is a step towards peace.”