IFLE Newsletter - May 2015

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2015 Title VI Project Directors' Meeting

2015 Title VI Project Directors' Meeting


At the end of March, the International and Foreign Language (IFLE) Office of the U.S. Department of Education welcomed over 300 representatives from institutions of higher education from across the United States on the occasion of the 2015 Title VI Project Directors' Meeting. Organized once every four years, the conference is a chance for Title VI grantees to meet and network with peers and IFLE staff, while also attending technical assistance sessions and panel presentations on some of the most pressing issues in the world of international education today.


In attendance were representatives from institutions with the following Title VI grants: National Resource Centers (NRCs)Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) FellowshipsLanguage Resource Centers (LRCs)Centers for International Business Education (CIBEs), and Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Education (UISFL) programs.


The 2015 conference featured presentations and panel discussions on the theme of "Advancing Global Education: Innovation, Information, and Inclusion." Grantees had the opportunity to attend unique sessions including "Cuba: New Opportunities for Engagement," "Global Competencies for Global Business," and "Broadening Access to International Education by Engaging with Traditionally Underserved Institutions."


Title VI programs provide institutional and fellowship grant funding to strengthen the capability and performance of American education in foreign languages and in area and international studies. More than $63.3 million was awarded to colleges and universities in 2014 to strengthen global competitiveness, intercultural understanding, and national security through international studies and world language training.


Click the link below to learn more about the Title VI grants awarded in fall 2014.

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Competitions Under Way for Three Fulbright-Hays Programs

DDRA Fellow Christopher Butler in Nepal

Three of IFLE's Fulbright-Hays international education programs are currently holding competitions for the 2015 fiscal year funding period. The Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students who conduct research in other countries, in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of 6 to 12 months. The Group Projects Abroad (GPA) short-term program funds projects that support overseas training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for groups of teachers, students, and faculty involved in a common endeavor. The Seminars Abroad (SA) program provides short-term study and travel seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities for the purpose of improving their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. This year, IFLE will offer one Seminar Abroad to China for K-12 educators.


"All students need to develop global competencies to succeed in their careers and communities in the 21st century, and these programs provide critical support to help educators and students develop these skills," says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "They support a key part of the Obama Administration's efforts to offer our students real experience with the world beyond their borders—experience with languages, cultures and societies very different from their own."


Click the link below for information about curriculum developed for U.S. classrooms by Seminars Abroad participants to China in summer 2014.

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CIBEs Organize Faculty Development Trip to China

CIBE Faculty Development Trip to China, 2015

This January, the Center for International Business Education (CIBE) at the University of Colorado Denver organized a faculty development program to China. Participants focused on new developments in China's Five Year Plan, which depends on massive infrastructure projects and export-driven growth as primary models. The program was co-hosted by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education and co-sponsored by CIBEs at: Brigham Young University, Florida International University, George Washington University, San Diego State University, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, and University of Washington.

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FLAS Alumna Writes Young Adult Novel Inspired by 2010 Haiti Earthquake

Laura Wagner and her novel "Hold Tight, Don't Let Go"

Surviving the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010 inspired University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumna Laura Wagner to write the young adult novel Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go, published by Harry N. Abrams in January 2015. Wagner was in Haiti on a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship to study the Creole language when the earthquake struck. Wagner explains that the 2010 earthquake “literally felt like the end of the world.” Wagner was rescued by neighbors and friends after several hours trapped in rubble. She later wrote an article in Salon about the experience, which led to the writing and publication of Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go.

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DDRA Fellows Present Research at US-India Education Conference

DDRA Fellows at US-India Education Conference

Three Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) fellows were among the 89 presenters at the United States-India Education Foundation's Annual South and Central Asia Fulbright Conference, held March 1-5 this year in Hyderabad, India. Camille Frazier, fiscal year (FY) 2014 DDRA fellow in sociocultural anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, discussed “Authentic Producers and Conscientious Consumers: The Moral Economy of the Participatory Guarantee System in Karnataka.” Rachael Goodman, FY 2013 DDRA fellow in cultural anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, presented her topic “Poverty as Vulnerability: NGOs and Survival Strategies in the Kumaon Himalayas.” Kathryn Zyskowski, FY 2013 DDRA fellow in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Washington, presented on “Aspiration and IT Education in Urdu Speaking Hyderabad.” All three fellows are doing their dissertation research in India.

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IFLE Deputy Assistant Secretary Hosts Webinars for Grantees

Webinar with IFLE DAS Mohamed Abdel-Kader

IFLE Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Mohamed Abdel-Kader recently hosted two webinars for the IFLE grantee community. The first webinar, held on April 27, was a general session open to the entire grantee community and featured the theme "Ask the DAS". This kick-off session provided grantees with the chance to hear directly from the DAS and to ask him their questions in a more relaxed setting. The second webinar, held the following day on April 28, had a special focus on the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program and featured the participation of Senior Program Officer Tanyelle Richardson. The session mixed general information about IFLE and UISFL with targeted technical assistance for grantee institutions.


IFLE strives to provide great customer service and plans to use the webinar format more often in the coming months as a means of reaching out to and connecting with the grantee community. 


To hear about upcoming webinars and to receive more information about how to participate, please send an email to Carla White at carla.white@ed.gov.


IFLE and OCTAE Host Chinese Delegation

Chinese Delegation Visit

Ten officials from the Chinese Ministry of Education and Chinese technical colleges visited the United States from April 26 to May 8, 2015, at the invitation of the U.S. Department of Education. IFLE and the Department's Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) hosted the delegation on April 27 in Washington, D.C. IFLE Deputy Assistant Secretary Mohamed Abdel-Kader, IFLE Senior Director Lenore Yaffee Garcia, OCTAE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges Mark Mitsui, and Accreditation Group Director Herman Bounds spoke to the group about the trends, strengths, and weaknesses in the field of American career and technical education. During their two-week visit to the U.S., the delegation traveled to Washington, D.C., Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and San Francisco, California. In addition to participating in meetings with federal, state, and local government agencies, they also visited a range or academic institutions including technical colleges, skills training centers, universities, vocational high schools, think tanks, and educational research centers and labs. The delegation visit was made possible through the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program.


IFLE Staffing Updates

Since the last edition of this newsletter, IFLE has had a number of staffing changes:


Deputy Assistant Secretary Mohamed Abdel-Kader joined IFLE in September 2014. 

As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mohamed has the responsibility of encouraging and promoting the study of foreign languages and the study of other countries' cultures at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels in the United States. He coordinates with related international and foreign language education programs of other Federal agencies and leads IFLE's work in administering Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs. Prior to joining ED, Mohamed served as the Director of Development for the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and also managed the university’s advancement strategy in the Middle East, where he focused on major gifts and strategic engagement. He has advised a variety of clients on organizational strategy, doing business in emerging markets, intercultural communication, cultural competency in international philanthropy, and fundraising domestically and abroad.

Cheryl Gibbs has been promoted to Director, Advanced Training and Research Division. 

In this new position, Cheryl oversees the team administering the Title VI center-based programs, including the Centers for Business and International Education and Research, Language Resource Centers, National Resource Centers, and Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships. Cheryl has been at ED for 30 years, 17 of which have been spent working on international education programs.

New additions to IFLE: 

  • Maria Chang joined IFLE from Americorps VISTA. She will be managing the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program in the International Studies Division.
  • Carolyn Collins came to IFLE from the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. She will administer the National Resource Center and Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships grants for Canada, Latin America, and Western Europe in the Advanced Training and Research Division.
  • Ernest Ezuego joined the IFLE team as an intern from the University of Oklahoma at Norman and is working with the Advanced Training and Research Division.
  • Reha Mallory joined the team full-time after working as an intern for IFLE last summer. Reha will be managing the Group Projects Abroad program in the International Studies Division.

Read in-depth IFLE staff bios here.


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We want to hear from you! Do you have suggestions for webinar topics? Ideas for things to include in future newsletters? Send them to Carla White at carla.white@ed.gov.


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