The Legacy of International Education

The Legacy of International Education

Why do we do what we do? Is it worth the time, energy and effort to work in international education? It’s been a pretty tough couple years so here’s to all those tirelessly striving to make the world a better place and who are celebrating International Education week! 

It was about 80 years ago when one of the first Saudi Arabian cohorts were chosen to study abroad in the USA, one of the students studied first at the University of Washington and subsequently UCLA. As we celebrate international education, its significance goes without saying that our international community is courageous, active and inspiring. Have we done it right? Could we improve? Of course we can. But what matters is that the purpose and intent is that you’re impacting each person leaving a legacy of generations to follow. 

Without a doubt, the hard efforts of global offices throughout the USA have tirelessly planned programming to celebrate global experiences and study abroad. Here’s a peek at a few school events planned this week!

  • Boston University Global Programs: Share a Piece of Your Identity and Culture: International Tongue twisters 
  • Shoreline CC: Auditions for a Kitchen in the World
  • UC Santa Barbara: THis is Me/Us–a Cultural Open Mic
  • Northeastern University Office of Global Services: Beyond Borders: Ireland
  • University of Minnesota: International Poetry Festival
  • St. Mary’s University: Exploring Our Spanish Connections- A highlight of the week will be a visit from The Honorable Cristóbal R. Valdés, Consul General of Spain, who will be the keynote speaker
  • University of Idaho: Careers Supporting Global Sustainable Development Goals
  • University of Nebraska Omaha: Cafe International
  • Webster University: Silent Disco
  • Kent State: Painting Mt. Fuji in Japan

The purpose of international education is summarized here-This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences. (https://iew.state.gov/)

80 years have come and gone but the profound impact on one of the first Saudi Arabian students can’t be forgotten. That same student went on to become an ambassador to 3 countries, sending his 3 children to study in the U.S. and, today his grandchildren are studying abroad. If there was any argument for international education, just look at the hundreds of students who studied abroad and influenced generations; politically, economically and socially. So here’s a shout-out to the many international educators who work in the world of international education and making a difference to those lives you touch every single day. 

About the author: Mim Phillips is a highly experienced leader who has transitioned successfully in several verticals focused on bringing my A-game to organizations; in each vertical using my skills: scale, problem solve, initiate and execute ideas aligning with organizational goals. Building partnerships and working in business development as a connector and relationship manager.

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Episode 29: Cultural Lens on U.S. Higher Education: Analyzing International Perceptions of 'Anti-Woke’ Discourse

Dive into a nuanced exploration of the global discourse surrounding higher education in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with esteemed international educators as we embark on a journey through the lenses of culture and international perspective, examining how global audiences interpret and engage with the ‘anti-woke’ discourse within the context of U.S. higher education. This engaging panel discussion will delve into the intersections of culture, ideology, and education, and the complex landscape of how international audiences perceive the ‘anti-woke’ narrative that has emerged within U.S. academia.

Whether you’re a senior international officer, or simply curious about the diverse viewpoints shaping U.S. higher education, this podcast episode will provide an invaluable space for critical analysis and insightful conversations.

Speaker Biography:

Fanta Aw is a distinguished leader in international education, renowned for her extensive contributions to global learning, cross-cultural understanding, and educational equity. With a deep commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and promoting educational excellence, she has significantly impacted the international education community.

Fanta Aw’s career has been characterized by her dedication to advancing global education initiatives, promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing partnerships that transcend borders. She has held influential roles in various organizations, advocating for the importance of international collaboration and learning experiences that empower individuals to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thought leader and visionary, Fanta Aw’s insights and expertise have shaped discussions on the future of international education, emphasizing the significance of equitable access, cultural exchange, and lifelong learning. Her work has not only elevated institutions but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace the transformative power of global education.

Date: September 14th, 2023
Time: 12 noon ET

Sponsored by:

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

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Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.

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