Global Connections, Spring 2013


Welcome to another issue of Global Connections, a newsletter designed to give the BU community greater insight into the diversity of the University’s engagement around the world. I encourage you to review the highlighted activities as well as links to resources available to support the international initiatives of our faculty, staff, and students.

If you have any questions about the activities or resources provided in this newsletter, please contact us at BU Global Programs at Thank you for your interest.

With best wishes,

Willis G. Wang
Vice President and Associate Provost for Global Programs

In this issue:

COM, SPH, and CGHD Team Up to Win Prestigious Gates Award

The Boston University Program on Crisis Response and Reporting (PCRR) is a bold, multi-disciplinary initiative that seeks to examine the intersections between public health and journalism in documenting and drawing attention to complex health challenges and the global response. Exemplifying BU’s strategic goal to foster greater interdisciplinary connections within the university, PCRR draws on the expertise of scholars and practitioners from the College of Communication (COM), the School of Public Health (SPH), and the Center for Global Health & Development (CGHD). The PCRR works in close collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, D.C., an independent news organization dedicated to promoting high-quality international journalism on complex topics.

Defining “crisis” broadly, the program looks at:

  • High impact epidemics such as malaria and HIV, natural calamities such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and quiet ongoing crises like child marriage.
  • Responses to these epidemics, including from national and local governments, United Nations and other international bodies, foreign assistance donors, civil society, and others.

A critical objective of the collaboration is to explore the separate, but sometimes overlapping mission and tensions between the disciplines of journalism and public health.

To date, this four-way collaboration has led to three high-profile events plus the annual summer placement of two BU students as Fellows to work in the Pulitzer Center’s DC office and then travel to the field to report on global health topics.

What’s next for PCRR?

Building on the remarkable experiences of three Pulitzer Fellows to date, the program is now embarking on the Pamoja Together Global Foreign Aid Student News Network. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and in conjunction with two universities in Western Kenya, eight BU students will travel to Western Kenya to partner with local students to report on the promise, successes, and challenges of foreign health and development assistance. A mix of graduate and upper-level undergraduate students – recipients of fellowships offered by the PCRR – will give voice to the perspective of people living in aid-recipient countries.

Kenyan partner universities are Great Lakes University of Kisumu and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (formerly Bondo University College. The PCRR fellowships are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation together with COM, SPH and CGHD.

BU Now Full Member in EU PhD Program

In February 2013, Boston University was elevated from associate to full partner status (non-degree granting) in the Global Erasmus Mundi (GEM) program, a multi-university double doctoral degree program on “Globalisation, the EU, and Multilateralism”, funded by the EU Commission. The GEM consortium of 10 member universities, including Warwick, LUISS, Geneva, Fudan, Waseda, ITAM, and UN (UNI-CRIS) University, and coordinated by the Free University of Brussels (ULB), engages in joint supervision of GEM doctoral candidates, provides shared training programs, and supports international mobility, international seminars and joint workshops. Boston University is the only American university that is a GEM partner.

Membership in the GEM consortium advances the goal of internationalizing doctoral programs in the social sciences (political science, history, economics, sociology) as well as in law, business, philosophy, and beyond. Full member status provides greater opportunities for BU graduate students to be hosted in partner institutions without incurring fees, facilitating access to that institution’s research facilities and faculty and provides funding for research related activities and conferences for our faculty and graduate students collaborating with top quality partner institutions around the world.

In its prior status as an associate partner, two BU PhD students received funding for travel to Beijing, including tuition and stipend for a summer school. One BU doctoral student who had just completed her PhD received a post-doctoral position at the Free University of Brussels, under another EU Commission grant involving BU (GR:EEN—Global Reordering: Emerging European Networks, a multi-euro joint research grant led by Warwick). One GEM PhD student came to visit BU for a short-term mobility grant, as a visitor to the Center for the Study of Europe, in collaboration with the Law School, and another will visit in AY2013-14. The relationship has also positioned BU for other bilateral collaborations with other member institutions – including the University of Geneva and Warwick University.

For more information about the Global Erasmus Mundi Program, contact Vivien Schmidt, Director of the BU Center for the Study of Europe.

Six BU Faculty Win Fulbrights

BU faculty representing CAS, CGS, COM, and SSW traveled to Austria, Germany, Japan, India, Vietnam, and the UK to teach, conduct research, and train aspiring professionals in their fields of expertise.

Austria Margaret Tyler CGS Humanities American Poetry From 1865 to the Present: The Sonnet, Lyric Address and Translation
Germany C. Allen Speight CAS Philosophy Lecturing and Research on Narrative Agency at the University of Lueneburg
India Pankaj Tandon CAS Economics Developing a Microeconomic Theory Textbook for an Emerging Economy
Japan Anita Patterson CAS English Nagoya American Studies
United Kingdom Michael Loman COM Film & Television Lectures to students at Kingston University in television studies. Builds on experience launching Sesame Street globally.
Vietnam Mary Collins SSW Social Welfare Policy Teaching students and faculty in the VNU social work department and training social workers in the field.

Faculty Support Development of Six New Study Abroad Programs

This summer BU Study Abroad will offer six new programs, an unprecedented number of new offerings launching in summer 2013. This large-scale effort drew on strong faculty involvement and support throughout the extensive planning process. The Summer Six, as they have come to be known include:

Impressive in scale and scope, these programs reflect Study Abroad’s commitment to work closely with faculty experts to create programs that complement and extend courses offered on campus and that also utilize BU’s program sites and resources abroad.

It typically takes one to two years to develop a new program from conception to launch. Before a program is fully approved it is evaluated for academic integrity, strategic alignment, health and safety considerations, and long-term sustainability among other considerations.

Throughout its 25+ year history Study Abroad has had the great fortune to partner with countless passionate, enthusiastic, and globally-oriented faculty. It is this strong and dedicated interest from so many faculty that creates an environment where new, highly innovative programs like the Summer Six are born. Stay tuned for what comes next!

International Students Plan Ahead to Work After May Graduation

Nearly 800 international students will look ahead to May graduation as the staff of the International Students and Scholars Office turns their attention to assisting students to apply for post-completion work permission. International students may choose to remain in the US and to apply for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) to gain practical work experience in their major field of study. Students in certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields may also qualify for an additional 17 month OPT extension to enable them to work for up to 29 months after program completion. The ISSO will offer group workshops and seminars throughout the spring semester to inform students about the OPT application process. Students are encouraged to schedule individual appointments with their ISSO advisors to apply now!

CELOP Hosts Japanese Cohort

CELOP hosted 49 students from Japan’s Ritsumeikan University for spring semester 2013. This is one of a number of intensive language and culture study abroad programs that CELOP hosts annually in Boston for international partner organizations and universities in Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.

The Ritsumeikan students were enrolled in a short term intensive program of English language and culture, and American history and politics. They participated in language exchanges with the Japanese language department, an activity that became the topic of Professor Mariko Henstock’s presentation at the BU Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching (CEIT) 2013 Instructional Innovation Conference, titled “Examining the Bi-Directional Benefits of Language Exchanges.” In addition, the Ritsumeikan students enriched their experience with visits to BU College of Arts and Sciences classes as part of the program’s over-arching goal of orienting them to American academic life and culture. The Ritsumeikan program has been held annually since 2005.

Did You Know…?

Emergency Planning

All international activities, from single research trips abroad to large-scale student programs, need to be prepared for the health, safety and security issues that may arise. Review the detailed checklists for emergency management and planning in the Global Operations Toolkit before your next trip.