NAFSA: The world comes to Denver

International education at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus took center stage in early June as 10,000 professionals poured into Denver for the NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference.

NAFSA last brought its annual conference to the Mile High City about 20 years ago, said Cecile Schoberle, director of marketing and communications, Office of International Affairs at CU Denver | Anschutz, so this was a major event and CU Denver | Anschutz took full advantage.

“It’s the biggest international educators conference of its kind in the world, and what better way to introduce them to Denver than to have this annual conference here,” Schoberle said of the week-long conference. “It’s tremendous having all these people – from Albania to Zimbabwe and everywhere else around the globe and the U.S. – in our backyard getting to see the beautiful CU Denver campus and learn about our many international education programs.”

The educators exchanged program information and ideas at the Colorado Convention Center (CCC), but also enjoyed several campus tours of nearby CU Denver, as well as an international film festival at the College of Arts & Media Community Theater in the Tivoli Student Union.

Sessions on inclusion, health, business

They also enjoyed these presentations at the CCC by our experts:

  • “Inclusion and Impact: Collaboration Between U.S. Diversity and International Offices” by John Sunnygard, executive director of CU Denver’s Office of International Affairs; and Brenda Allen, PhD, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus.
  • “Managing International Risk: A Collaborative Approach” by Alana Jones, deputy director, Office of International Affairs, CU Denver International Education; Essi Ellis, emergency manager, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus; Faith Perry, director, university risk management, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus; and Chris Puckett, associate university counsel, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus.
Madhavan Parthasarathy at CU Denver

Madhavan Parthasarathy, director of the CU Denver Business School’s entrepreneurship program and the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, talks about high-impact global learning experiences at a CU Denver-hosted NAFSA global learning colloquia.

During the week, the Terrace Room at CU Denver’s Lawrence Street Center filled with scores of attendees for NAFSA Global Learning Colloquia on “Business Education: Strategic Partnerships for Student Global Learning” and “Health Professions: High-Impact Global Learning Experiences & Curricular Design.”

The health professions colloquia featured Madiha Abdel-Maksoud, MD, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology and director of the Master of Public Health-Global Public Health Programs, Colorado School of Public Health; and Kari Franson, PharmD, PhD, associate dean for professional education, CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The business education forum featured Madhavan Parthasarathy, PhD, director of the entrepreneurship program and the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, and Manuel Serapio, PhD, faculty director of the Institute for International Business and the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).

CU Denver hosts one of 17 national CIBERS

Timothy Duvall, PhD, senior program officer for international and foreign language education, U.S. Department of Education, introduced the forum, highlighting the way the U.S. Department of Education is able to respond to security and economic challenges through programs that build capacity and expertise. One way is through the CIBER network of 17 universities – CU Denver is among that elite group, and the only CIBER in Colorado – that launch initiatives to increase U.S. global competitiveness.

In the panel discussion about “Strategic Partnerships for Student Global Learning,” Parthasarathy and Serapio explained how entrepreneurial and CIBER programs are strengthening collaborations in the community, especially at community colleges and minority-serving institutions, as well as increasing student global learning and research.

Heart of ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem’

“Just like Stanford University is at the heart of Silicon Valley, the Denver entrepreneurial ecosystem has at its heart the CU Denver Business School and the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship,” Parthasarathy said. He gave examples of how the center and the Business School are opening international education doors to both CU Denver students and community college students, including through a Certificate in Entrepreneurship with an International Entrepreneurship Badge.

Serapio explained how the Business School is working with the Community College of Denver to embed a cross-cultural business badge within CCD’s Introduction to Business course.

Lloyd Lewan, EdD, former chairman of Lewan & Associates and dean emeritus of Semester at Sea, delivered the session’s keynote on “To Be a Leader.” Lewan spoke about the importance of educating future leaders for the reality of global interdependence.

In addition, during the conference CU Denver’s Office of Global Education received an award for its work on Generation Study Abroad and the launch of a new study abroad program. The award was presented at an Institute of International Education breakfast reception.

Brittany Dunnigan of the CU Denver Business School contributed to this report.

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