Faculty Recognition Highlights International Education Week

Faculty Recognition Highlights International Education Week

The University of San Diego's Associate Provost of International Affairs Denise Dimon, PhD, started this week — which is International Education Week nationwide — with an appreciation for USD's rise to the No. 2 ranking for undergraduate study abroad participation percentage in the new Institute of International Education's latest Open Doors Report.



Participation by students in study abroad, of course, is critically important. "Study abroad prepares students to handle uncertainty and ambiguity, takes them out of their comfort zone, enhances language skills and provides an opportunity to allow for an appreciation of different cross-cultural perspectives," she said.

Another important element of USD’s success in study abroad is the effort put in by undergraduate, graduate and law school faculty.

"Our faculty offer approximately 50 undergraduate courses abroad, across all majors, each year, in Asia, Latin America, Europe and Africa," said Dimon, who is also an economics professor in the School of Business and director of the Ahlers Center for International Business. "Students and faculty learn together, sharing experiences, experiencing different cultures and new ways of looking at the world."

IEW Events Honor Faculty

At two different International Education Week campus events, Dimon and International Center staff recognized USD faculty members for their contribution to the internationalization that envelopes the campus and beyond.

On Tuesday, at an event to celebrate USD's International Center's 10-year anniversary, several faculty members were recognized for receiving an International Opportunity Grant. Faculty and staff at USD submit an application for varied funding requests to aid their pursuit of international research, professional development, furthering a passion within their respective discipline and more. More than 250 IOGs have been distributed through the years, Dimon said.

Two veteran USD English Department educators, Cynthia Caywood and David Hay, were recognized for their 15-year run as co-teachers and faculty facilitators of a London Summer Program. The theatre class enabled Caywood and Hay to introduce countless students to some of the finest in live British theatre productions, deepen their understanding of Shakespeare all while exploring London and taking in its culture.

On Wednesday, faculty were at the forefront for a luncheon program that included a panel of five professors who've led students on study abroad trips as well as naming this year’s International Impact Award recipient.

The panelists — Dr. Patricia Marquez (Dean, Kroc School of Peace Studies), Dr. Mitch Malachowski (Chemistry), Dr. Michèle Magnin (French), Dr. Frank Jacobitz (Mechanical Engineering) and Dr. Erika Nash Cameron (Counseling and Marital and Family Therapy) — spoke on how study abroad inspires them.

Stories ranged from Marquez learning a Ghanaian dance and seeing rhinos up close in Uganda to Magnin, who grew up in Paris, seeing her childhood city explained through multiple courses she helps organize with other USD professors. Each professor shared one instance in which their study abroad trips helped them better connect to students. Marquez termed it as "having a window into their world." Cameron, perhaps, said it best: "It's so wonderful to see a student's tangible growth that goes beyond just a letter grade."

Dimon then announced the recipient of the International Impact Award, which has been in existence since 2013. This year's winner is Michèle Magnin, PhD, a professor in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures since 1990.

"She has been the driving force behind the success of USD's Paris program for many years now, leading many USD students in Paris each summer and providing support for faculty,” her nomination read. “She assists colleagues teaching in Paris every step of the way, from conceptualization of the course, organizing unique field trips, mentoring faculty and students, and making sure that the Paris program delivers the best possible cultural experience.”

Magnin, who is on sabbatical for the 2017-18 academic year, was born and raised in Paris until age 19. In addition to teaching courses in Paris each summer, a ritual she states, "even when I retire, this is one job I don't want to give up," she’s a constant source of knowledge and support for fellow faculty. 

Magnin's impact also includes being active on the International Center's International Study Abroad Committee, bringing international-oriented events to campus and doing research on creative writing, women writers and contemporary civilization. Currently, Dr. Magnin’s research is in collaboration with the director and head curator of the Marguerite Durand Library in Paris. She’s creating an online scholarly edition of century-old unpublished texts by Durand, who was a feminist writer, journalist and founder of the 1897 newspaper La Fronde in Paris.

Magnin was selected from an impressive list of nominees: Cynthia Villis, PhD, Assistant Provost, Institute of College Initiatives and TRiO; John Halaka, PhD, Professor of Visual Arts; Amit Kakkad, PhD, Business Management Professor and Director of the Center for Peace and Commerce; Orly Lobel, SJD, Professor of Labor and Employment Law; Lance Nelson, PhD, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies; Jo Ellen Patterson, PhD, Professor in Counseling and Marital and Family Therapy; Jennifer Freeman, MA, Kroc School of Peace Studies’ IPJ Associate Director for PeaceMakers Programs; Octavio Rodriguez Ferreira, JD, MA, Trans-Border Institute and Justice in Mexico Project; Randy Willoughby, PhD, Professor of Political Science and International Relations; Pengeheng (Phil) Zhu, PhD, Business Associate Professor of Finance; and Carsten Zimmermann, PhD, Business, Associate Professor of Management. 

International Education Week Continues

Remaining International Education Week events at USD are in the evening.

All USD international student athletes will be honored at intermission of tonight’s 7 p.m. West Coast Conference women’s volleyball match between the No. 11-ranked Toreros and Santa Clara. A pre-match reception is at 6 p.m. in the Warren Hospitality Suite in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Tickets, while supplies last, are free and available for pick-up at the International Center in Serra Hall 201. All reception attendees must have a reception/game ticket.

On Friday night, the International Student Organization Holiday Dinner and Dance will be held from 7-9 in the Hahn University Center Forums. The event celebrates Fall holidays around the world, features an international buffet dinner and a DJ and dance floor. All USD students are welcome to attend.

— Ryan T. Blystone

Post Contact

USD News Center
(619) 260-4681

Contact Information

International Center
Serra Hall 201
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: (619) 260-4598
Fax: (619) 260-5924

Click to see map to Serra Hall 201
Building Location on Campus Map

View Map and Building Location