Monday, November 29, 2010

@USCCD and an Effective way to Highlight the Twitter Conversation for Summit Attendees

Two weeks ago I attended the U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy in Washington, DC.  It was a great several days of meetings and I'm happy that I was able to attend.  I hope to post more about the Summit here on IHEC Blog in the days and weeks to come as there are several things I want to write about.  

Something that caught my attention was the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy's use of Twitter.  I'm not really talking about their tweets (which I did follow and occasionally retweet).  Specifically, I'm referring to the Center making the Twitter conversation from and about the Summit available to the entire Summit community..  Prior to one of the lunch plenary sessions the Center displayed the Twitter conversation in real time on the large screens (pictured above) for all in attendance to follow.  I saw several people take note and watch the screens for several minutes.

 I also discovered that the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy made available two standing and rather large monitors out in the exhibit hall/coffee break area that also ran the real time Twitter conversation for attendees to follow (two photos in this post).  Again, several people stopped to watch and follow the conversation.

Finally, the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy did something really great (and something quite simple really) to engage participants in the Twitter conversation.  On the back of their Summit program they printed the hashtag (#citizendiplomacy) to be used for the Summit to follow the Twitter conversation as well as the address of their Facebook page as another way to engage Summit attendees (picture below).

I don't know the official/final Summit registration numbers but I think it was between 600-700 attendees.  There was considerable Twitter chatter from and about the Summit and I would say it  rivaled the Twitter conversation during the #nafsa10 conference in Kansas City last May.  

Many conferences don't even create a #hashtag for attendees to use and those not able to attend to follow along.  This, in my opinion, is a [HUGE] missed opportunity as it literally takes 30 seconds to think of a good #hastag for your event and post it to various spaces for people to pick-up and follow.  Organizations never need to post to Twitter during their conferences (although it is nice and a great way to engage attendees and others)...just set a #hashtag and let others do the tweeting for you!

So this is a tip of my hat to the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy for a great way to engage Summit attendees in the Twittersphere and to bring the Twitter conversation from and about the Summit to all in attendance!!

Photo credit:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Alcohol and U.S. Students Abroad

Back in mid-October, University of Washington researchers released a study about alcohol use by U.S. students while studying abroad.  I wouldn't say they results were surprising but it was really the first major study on this topic (to my knowledge).  As someone who follows international education news I saw that this research study was picked-up my numerous media outlets including some like the LA Times.  My question is, why didn't any of the major international education organizations touch this topic?  Do we only talk about the rosy side of study abroad?  Would it be good for the field to say something like "we welcome such research and we are concerned with the findings and will work hard to better prepare our students for their studies abroad about the dangers of alcohol consumption."  Thoughts?

For the sake of self-disclosure, I certainly consumed a beverage or two during my two high school exchange programs and my university study abroad program.

You can link to the UW press release "When in Rome: Study-abroad students increase alcohol intake" summarizing the research results here.

Photo credit:  mark.watmough

Friday, November 19, 2010

"All Around the World" by Ozomatli

The following snippets of information about the band Ozomatli comes from their website

In their fourteen years together as a band, celebrated Los Angeles culture-mashers Ozomatli have gone from being hometown heroes to being named U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors.

In 2007, the reach and power of that voice went to new global heights. The band had long been a favorite of international audiences-playing everywhere from Japan to North Africa and Australia-and their music had always been internationalist in its scope, seamlessly blending and transforming traditions from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East (what other band could record a song once described as “Arabic jarocho dancehall”?), but last year, they entered the global arena in a different way.

They were invited by the U.S. State Department to serve as official Cultural Ambassadors on a series of government-sponsored international tours to Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East, tours that linked Ozomatli to a tradition of cultural diplomacy that also includes the esteemed likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong.

In places like Tunisia, India, Jordan, and Nepal, Ozo didn’t just play rousing free public concerts, but offered musical workshops and master classes and visited arts centers, summer camps, youth rehabilitation centers, and even a Palestinian refugee camp. They listened to performances by local musicians and often joined in for impromptu jam sessions with student bands and community musicians. Most shows ended up with kids dancing on stage and their new collaborators sitting in for a tabla solo or a run on the slide guitar.

In the case of Nepal, the band’s trip was part of a celebration of the country’s newly ratified peace accord and they arrived with a direct message: “different instruments but one rhythm, together we can make a prosperous Nepal.” Their concert, which drew over 14,000 people, was a historic one-Ozo were the first Western band to do a concert in Nepal and the event was the country’s first peaceful mass gathering that was not a protest or religious ceremony.

For the U.S Embassy in Nepal, Ozomatli were a model of how diversity promotes change. According to an official embassy release, “Ozomatli is living proof that diverse backgrounds make a stronger and more prosperous whole. Ozomatli’s nine members are committed to addressing social issues of local, national and international importance and they use the power of their own diversity to achieve this.”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tell President Obama that you are committed to citizen diplomacy!

If you believe in the value and power of citizen diplomacy then please take a moment to electronically sign a letter to President Obama.  The letter is available for you to sign on the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy website here.  

This is a great, easy and quick way to have your voice heard.  Additionally, if you support this effort (and I really hope you do) please forward the link to others you know and encourage them to take a few seconds to sign the letter!

Photo credit:  MShades

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Heritage Foundation recommends eliminating all Department of State exchange programs

On October 28, 2010, the Heritage Foundation published their Backgrounder (#2483) entitled “How to Cut $343 Billion from the Federal Budget” by Brian Riedl.  In this report, the Heritage Foundation recommends eliminating all Department of State exchange programs.  You can access this Backgrounder here.

News of this Heritage Foundation recommendation was reported to the international education community and other interested parties by the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange on Monday, November 8th in their Policy Monitor (and via Twitter and by NAFSA: Association of International Educators on Friday, November 12th on their Blog (and via Twitter

I was surprised to read about the Heritage Foundation’s position in their recent Backgrounder. In the March 20, 2009 issue of the Backgrounder, Bruce Klingner argued that North Korea may be the most intractable foreign policy challenge facing President Barack Obama. Klingner offered several policy suggestions for the U.S. to consider beyond the six-party talks including, but not limited to, expanding public diplomacy efforts including facilitating “formal student and cultural exchange programs.”

Also of concern to me are recent statements made by Senator-Elect Pat Toomey [R-PA] a week before the elections during national interviews on both Fox News and CNBC about proposed budget cuts to Federal international education programs as a way to offset some of the cost of the tax cuts he proposes. Video of both interviews with Toomey where he discusses this issue were embedded in this October 28, 2010 IHEC Blog post.

Photo credit:  Abhisek Sarda

Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, at the 2010 IIE Open Doors Press Release

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

International Students Contribute $18.8 billion to U.S. Communities

Today, on the first day of International Education Week, NAFSA released its annual economic impact statements that calculate the financial contribution international students and their families make to local communities and states through tuition, fees, and living expenses. International students contributed an incredible $18.8 billion to the United States economy in the 2009-2010 academic year, which is a $1 billion increase from the previous year.

At, you can find the statements, which contain the following information organized by state, institution, and congressional district:

·  Number of foreign students enrolled
·  Cost of tuition and fees
·  Cost of living expenses (including those of dependents)
·  U.S. financial support
·  Total financial contributions of foreign students and their dependents

On the NAFSA blog, Katie O’Connell go into a little more detail as to why these statements and other contributions of international students important are for advocacy: Foreign Students Bring $18.8 Billion to U.S. Communities – and Much More.

Photo credit:  Public Domain Photos

Follow the Twitter conversation from the U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy ~ November 16-19, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Video Remarks for International Education Week 2010

How do you use Open Doors data?

Today, the Institute of International Education has released its Open Doors 2010 report.  This morning I attended the Annual IIE Open Doors Briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. so I haven't had time to fully review and synthesize all of the new data.  I love looking at and manipulating the Open Doors data to see what additional information can be gleande from this data collection effort.

How do you and/or your institution/program utilize Open Doors data?

You can access the 2010 Open Doors report online at (new website this year!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

President Obama Calls for Doubling Student Exchange Programs with Indonesia

The following video snippet is of President Obama speaking at the University of Indonesia on November 9, 2010 calling for more collaboration between U.S. and Indonesian scientists as well as doubling student exchange programs with Indonesia [discussion on this issue begins at the 3:40 minute mark].

You can also read the text of a joint press conference between U.S. President Obama and Indonesian President Yudhoyono in Jakarta on November 9, 2010 via this White House press briefing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My plans for International Education Week 2010

Next week (November 15-19, 2010) is International Education Week here in the United States.  I will be in Washington, D.C. (I arrive in town late on Sunday, November 14th) and I'm really looking forward to the various activities I have planned (so far as I still need to make and finalize some plans) related to international education.  I'm providing my schedule below in case any IHEC Blog readers will also be participating to see if there is a way to possibly connect.  

Monday, November 15th from 9:00am to 11:00am  I'll be at the Institute of International Education's Annual International Education Week Open Doors briefing, "New data on international students and scholars in the United States and Americans studying abroad" to be held at The National Press Club – Washington, DC. Opening speakers: Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary for Educational & Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State and Allan Goodman, President & CEO, Institute of International Education. Will anyone else be there? 

Monday, November 15th from approximately 12:00pm (departing immediately from IIE's Open Doors briefing) to 5:00pm or so I'll be doing some research for my dissertation at the National Security Education Program (NSEP) office.

Tuesday, November 16th to Friday, November 19th I'll be attending the U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy where I hope to meet many colleagues whom I've only had the pleasure of connecting with in new media spaces.  As of now, my schedule on Tuesday the 16th is completely open until Registration opens for the Summit at 3:00pm.  I'm hoping I can spend some more time at the NSEP office on Tuesday reading through their various documents and reports or head to the NAFSA office to do some research in their awesome library (their hard copy blows my Bury Book International Education Library & Archive out of the water but I take them on electronic resources!).  Maybe, I should just be a tourist for half the day in D.C.  Will anyone else be attending the Summit?

I'll be tweeting from all locations as well as posting to IHEC Blog's Facebook page (maybe not so much during my dissertation research activities).  I think IHEC Blog posts may be limited next week, however.  You can follow the U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy on Twitter at #citizendiplomacy as well as the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy at

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Diversity in International Education - A Hands-On Workshop Summary Report

Back on September 21st, the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) and Diversity Abroad hosted a unique hands-on workshop focusing on diversity in international education at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in collaboration with the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), the Institute of International Education (IIE) and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). This is free workshop was supported by a generous grant provided by the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation.  Over 100 study abroad leaders from universities, colleges and various organizations attended this workshop. 

The Summary Report from this workshop entitled "Diversity in International Education - A Hands-On Workshop" is now available for download at

I was honored at the invitation to contribute comparative data on the diversity of higher education and study abroad for this workshop and you can find these data sets in the Summary Report.  While it is a bit outdated (a major update is planned for all my annotated bibliographies post dissertation) you may find interested in an annotated bibliography on underrepresentation in education abroad that I compiled which you can access here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What's with the name "Bury Book International Education Library & Archive"?

For my 700th IHEC Blog post I thought I would talk a little about my Bury Book International Education Library and Archive.  From time to time I mention my personal international education library in posts here on IHEC Blog as I'm proud of the literature I have collected over the years.  As you can see in the photos embedded with this post, the physical hard copy materials of my Bury Book International Education Library and Archive fit onto two book shelves at my home office and make nice stack of boxes in the corner of my office at The University of Chicago where I work as Senior Adviser for International Initiatives in The College.  My electronic collection of international education materials is quite extensive and currently stands at 8,693 pieces (3.81 GB of space).  I have not stepped foot in a library to obtain any piece literature for any of my graduate program courses or dissertation work.

So why did I come up with the name Bury Book International Education Library and Archive?  Well, I got the name from my daughter.  My daughter is a voracious reader and has been that way since she was very young.  When she was two years old she had to sleep with all of the books read to her at night and the pile of books in her bed continued to grow and grow until they would fall on top of her in the middle of the night.  She's been creating her own books since age three and that practice continues to this day (she is now nine).  About three years ago we were having a conversation about all of her books she said she wanted to create a library for children who didn't have books to read at home and that she would call it the Bury Book Library because you "bury your nose in a book when you read it."  I liked where she was going with her library idea and how she came up with the name so I asked her if I could adapt the name Bury Book into the name of my international education library and she thought that would be a good idea.

In the last three weeks I have received inquiries/requests for access to my Bury Book International Education Library and Archive (it's been a bit busy and I haven't responded yet but I will soon. Sorry!).  Access is possible but it will take some coordination as the majority of my collection is in my home office as well as on the laptop I use for my International Higher Education Consulting side business and related work.

I have received three significant donations from senior international educators and researchers and it is some of these donations that constitute the archive portion of my library.  For instance I have several boxes of personal notes, communications and other materials from a former NAFSA Region V chair of the early 1990's.  This same person is now working to gather similar materials from her/his days as chair of SECUSSA of NAFSA do donate to my collection.  For a person like me who enjoys researching the historical side of the field these NAFSA Region V documents were a most welcomed addition to my collection.  Perhaps this will be the topic of a future IHEC Blog post but if any readers would like to make a donation (non-tax deductible [U.S.]) of any or all international education related materials in their personal collection please know that I will treat them well and will do my best to make them as available as possible to others.  Please feel free to contact me at about potential donations or with any questions.

From time to time on IHEC Blog's Facebook page I will be posting a picture of a cover of one of the more unique/rare publications (with citation) I have in my Bury Book International Education Library and Archive. For instance, recently I posted the following (publication donated by senior scholar in the field):  U.S. Universities: Their Role in AID-Financed Technical Assistance Overseas, A Report from Education and World Affairs by Richard H.Wood (1968)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Impacts: Does Academic Exchange Matter? Cultural Diplomacy, Scholarly Internationalism, and American Studies since World War II

This free conference, sponsored by the Austrian-American Educational Commission, is scheduled for November 18-19, 2010 at the Amerika Haus, Friedrich Schmidt Platz 2, 1010 Vienna (U-2 Station: Rathaus).

A description of the conference from the website follows:

The aim of this conference organized under the auspices of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Fulbright Program in Austria in 1950 is to highlight ongoing research on the various topics related to academic exchange and to stimulate further reflection on the state of cultural diplomacy, scholarly internationalism, and the their ultimate impacts on foreign relations.

Conference participants are required to register free of charge in advance at  More information with full schedule details is available at

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Cultural Diplomacy as a Listening Project?" ~ 2010 Cultural Diplomacy Conference

This one day conference hosted by the International Communication Program of American University’s School of International Service is scheduled to take place Monday, November 8, 2010 from 12:00pm-4:30pm and is co-sponsored by the MountainRunner Institute and the Public Diplomacy Council.

A description of the conference from the website follows:

During a moment of increasing global commitment to soft power goals, of the renewed relevance of cultural diplomacy, but also of persistent questions regarding the assumptions and failures of the practice of cultural diplomacy, this conference trains attention on the seldom discussed challenges of “listening,” as these are understood, or not, and as these have informed, or fail to inform, public diplomacy.

Open to the public, this conference seeks to feature international voices in the ongoing conversation about cultural diplomacy. The meeting will further be organized around three plenary speakers, with each followed in turn by a respondent. Together, each plenary and respondent will explore different accounts of the implications for “listening” in terms of kinds of approaches to cultural diplomacy:

Plenary 1: New Social Media and Public Diplomacy 2.0

Plenary 2: Educational, Cultural Exchanges

Plenary 3: Cultural Intelligence: Does it include listening?

Bringing stakeholders in cultural diplomacy together, and asking them to address the challenges of “listening” as part of the work of diplomacy, this conference also aspires to lay a foundation for how best to move forward, at American University and as a community, to begin to institutionalize the work of listening, with cultural diplomacy a more fully realized engagement of dialogue.

Expected speakers:

Nicholas Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy, USC
Rick A. Ruth, Director of the Office of Policy and Evaluation, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Edward O’Connell, President, Alternative Strategies Institute, Inc.
Sherry Mueller, President, National Council for International Visitors
Andrew Kneale, Cultural Relations Project Manager, British Council USA
Ben Connable, former head, Marine Corps Cultural Intelligence Program
J.P. Singh, Associate Professor of Communication, Technology and Culture, Georgetown University

More information on this conference is available at

Monday, November 1, 2010

H.R. 2647: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Sec. 1101 "Authority to employ individuals completing the National Security Education Program

During my recent dissertation research activities I discovered an interesting (and big) change to the service requirement for the National Security Education Program.  More on this as I learn about it.

H.R. 2647: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Sec. 1101 "Authority to employ individuals completing the National Security Education Program" states the following:

Subtitle A—Personnel
Section 802 of the David L. Boren National Security Education Act of 1991 (50 U.S.C. 1902) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ‘‘(k) EMPLOYMENT OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS.—The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, or the head of a Federal agency or office identified by the
Secretary of Defense under subsection (g) as having national security
     ‘‘(1) may, without regard to any provision of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service, appoint to a position that is identified under subsection (b)(2)(A)(i) as having national security responsibilities, or to a position in such Federal agency or office, in the excepted service an individual who has successfully completed an academic program for which a scholarship or fellowship under this section was awarded and who, under the terms of the agreement for such scholarship or fellowship, at the time of such appointment owes a service commitment to such Department or such Federal agency or
office; and
     ‘‘(2) may, upon satisfactory completion of two years of substantially continuous service by an incumbent who was appointed to an excepted service position under the authority of paragraph (1), convert the appointment of such individual, without competition, to a career or career conditional appointment.’’