Our annual Worldwide Directors Meeting was last week and all CIEE site directors were together in Portland, Maine. It is always a special time when we are able to bring staff from all across the globe to one location where we can connect and learn from each other. Along with Health, Safety, and Security training and review of our academic policies, our site directors all participated in a workshop entitled Diversity and Inclusion, Institutionalizing CIEE’s Core Values. It was an illuminating discussion and made me reflect on the steps CIEE is taking to make study abroad accessible to all students from all backgrounds, and what more we can do to ensure that our programs are truly inclusive.
One very positive step I am pleased to announce on this front is that Quinton Redcliffe, currently student life director at our Cape Town Global Insitute has been promoted to the newly created position of Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Study Abroad, effective September 1. In this role, among other responsibilities, Quinton will be responsible for guiding the development and implementation of policies and programs that advance CIEE’s historic commitment to diversity and traditionally underrepresented students. I cannot think of a better person than “Papa Q” to support a diverse population of students participating in study abroad programs.
I'm also happy to announce that CIEE has awarded 2019 Generation Study Abroad Access Grants to California State University Northridge (CSUN) and Gallaudet University to support two international education programs focused on Deaf students. The $20,000 grants recognize innovative programs that increase access to international educational opportunities for students in groups that are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad.
Lastly, I'd like to share that a group of exceptional first-year Howard University students, the second cohort of Bison STEM scholars, are just beginning their two-week stay at the CIEE Global Institute in Berlin where they will participate in a STEM-themed Intercultural Communication and Leadership seminar. This is the first year of a 3-year partnership with Howard, designed to help ambitious students interested in STEM-related degrees and careers gain a global perspective at the very start of their college experience.