Office of Global Engagement Newsletter

Spring 2015

Upstate International Month Started in March
Clemson featured first "Global Symposium"
International Awareness Workshop
OGE Students and Staff attended SCAIE Conference
Clemson hosted Cross-border Innovations in Forestry with the Canada Center
Global Partnership Spotlight: Amrita University in India
Student Led Initiatives: SAGE's first English Corner launches first class
Giving Back
Other Headlines

Upstate International Month in March: "Experience the World in 30 Days!"

On February 27th at 7 PM, the gala launching March’s Upstate International Month kicked off, exhibiting this year’s theme, “A World Sensation.” Four weeks of food-tastings, language immersion, faith congregations, music venues, sporting events, art exhibits, galas, colloquiums, book readings and more awaited the people of Greenville and South Carolina’s upstate, marking the series’ 3rd year. These festivities were hosted by International Center in Greenville, a hub of internationally themed language classes and clubs, and supported by sponsors such as Clemson University and Michelin, who both contributed financially and hosted several events of their own.  During the kick-off gala, attendants promoted, celebrated and educated each other on cultures from over 100 nations around the world!

Featured Events:

- International themed concert   - International costume party and trivia night
- International film festival   - “Flavors of the World” food tastings
- Interactive dance programs   - Michelin international art contest
- International parade and soccer   - International alcohol tastings
- Foreign Language Week   - St. Patrick’s Day at the Children’s Museum

And many more!

“Upstate International” is a one-of-a-kind event, hosted by one of the few states in the nation to dedicate an entire month towards the celebration of its state’s rich international diversity and community vitality. This progressive and wholesome idea truly shows the state’s dedication and awareness to the times, which are defined by globalization and fostering a stronger sense of harmony among diverse international businesses and community members. With its three pillars of “welcoming, educating and celebrating,” it will remain an exemplary model for the infusion of a culturally aware and open-spirit within the state’s residents.

Clemson University, a platinum sponsor for this event series, hosted and participated in it's own events:

Event Date & Location
Intercultural Communication Training for Faculty/Staff March 10th: Hendrix Center, 3:30-5
“Flamenco Vivo” featuring Carlotta Santana March 11th: Brooks Center
International Leaders in Education Programs Symposium March 11th: Hendrix Center, 1:30-4
Clemson “Millennium Drive” Auto Exhibition  March 28th: CU-ICAR Greenville, 12-5
Clemson “Global Symposium” Research Colloquium March 28th: Madren Center, 8:30-4:30
Clemson University International Festival March 29th: Bowman Field, 12-4
“Introducing India” seminar for Clemson Faculty/Staff March 31st: Hendrix Center, 3:30-5

We look forward to seeing the continued community impact of this month-long celebration, and encourage all to take advantage of the festivities hosted around Greenville and in Clemson through this and next year. More information on Upstate International Month is located on their website.

Clemson Global Symposium

Today, global thinking, worldly innovation, and international networking have become imperative skillsets; as a top-ranking institution, Clemson’s international programs help to prepare students to succeed and lead in this newly globalized contest. Inspired by their studies and time abroad at Oxford University, Clemson alumni and Duckenfield Scholars rallied around this sentiment of international collaboration, and last year began planning the first Clemson Global Symposium. Working with representatives from Creative Inquiry, Service Learning, the Honors College, Office of Global Engagement and college offices, the Duckenfield scholars organized and moderated Clemson’s Global Symposium as a colloquium to celebrate the international activities and interests of Clemson students. The event took place on March 28th —during Upstate International Month. This Symposium was designed to both foster awareness of cross-cultural understanding and engage members of the Clemson students as global citizens; inspiring each other to take on global responsibilities and pursue research with international impact, both locally and overseas.

The day began with a keynote address by geomorphologist, Dr. Ken Addison of Oxford University. His presentation on Global Climate Change opened the floor to a daunting but necessary conversation on the global consequences our Earth’s current climate change. Over the remainder of the day, Clemson alumni, students, staff and faculty showcased their research and work abroad as well as work conducted in the U.S. but with global impact and implications. The myriad of experiences discussed exemplified the essence of what it is to be a global citizen. The presentations ranged from Study Abroad 101 to Teaching English in Nepal, from Fulbright opportunities to the interdisciplinary approach of Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries. International students hosted informational discussions about their home countries, and a roundtable discussion of postgraduate international opportunities was presented by faculty and staff members. 

The symposium is hoped to be the first of many in Clemson’s future. As an annual event, the aspiration is that it will serve as a catalyst for the university to be a more inclusive one—one that makes the development of deeper and more reciprocal relationships with our international faculty, students, staff in and outside of Clemson a top priority. The event had four expected outcomes: to create an annual forum for cross-cultural learning and discussion, to increase student cross-cultural understanding in service, research, and business, to engage the students in global responsibilities and problem solving, and to expand campus-wide international engagement through the participation of Upstate International month. It suffices to say the event’s goals were met, marked by the apt attendance of presentations and lively discussions. This event has the capacity to expose students to the many forms of global engagement and opportunities of international study, service, as well as collaboration with international students. The greatest challenge to engaging others in international work is bypassing the fear of the unknown; by capturing and sharing these student narratives, others can begin to make leaps of their own, armored with renewed confidence and the knowledge of what to expect.

"Clemson is Global" Workshop Series on International Awareness

Clemson University is home to scholars hailing from more than 80 countries worldwide, attracted to the region by international industry and Clemson’s strong reputation for academic excellence and innovative research. It’s clear that Clemson’s global imprint grows more each year, and with this expansion the community must work with the diverse faces new to the Clemson fold. It is the hope of Clemson’s OGE staff that by educating, informing, sharing, and celebrating the cultures and international diversity present in region, the faculty and staff will be more receptive to a heterogenic climate. In accordance with the buzz brought on by Upstate International month in March, Clemson hosted a series of “global” workshops and discussions designed for faculty and staff. These four sessions highlighted the customs of Clemson’s top two international countries of origin, strategies for intercultural communication, and the heritage of South Carolina’s international population. 

Immigration in South Carolina 
A discussion about the history and nature of international migrations to South Carolina, presented by Dr. Diane Vecchio, Furman University. 
Intercultural Communication Training 
An interactive training exercise designed to increase intercultural awareness and introduce specific communication strategies. 
Introducing India
A focus on the second-most populated nation in the world and its diverse cultural landscape, presented by Dr. Uttiyo Raychaudhuri and an international student panel.
Considering China 
A focus on the social and cultural richness of China, the country from which the largest international student population on campus originates, presented by Dr. Yanhua Zhang and an international student panel.

Clemson Staff and Students attend SCAIE Conference

On the morning of February 6th, educators and university administrators across South Carolina assembled at Furman University for the annual South Carolina Association for International Educators Conference. There, aspiring and established members of the international community in university administration networked, brainstormed, conceptualized, and discussed; all sharing their professional experiences and strategies with cohorts across the state.

This conference is an annual feature of international education development in the Upstate, and frequently sifts through themes of university internationalization and globalization: homestay programs, visa processing techniques, improving 3rd-party study abroad programs, language school curriculums, enhancing international services, etc. Representatives from Furman, USC, College of Charleston, Clemson University, and Presbyterian College all were present. Clemson was well-represented; out of the nine presentations, five were moderated by the institution’s staff and faculty. Nine out of the thirteen Clemson Office of Global Engagement staff members attended the meeting, five of whom gave presentations throughout the day. Bryony Higgins, a staff member of Clemson’s International Services Office, remarked on attendance, “Clemson’s strong presence shows their dedicated commitment and support towards the field of international education.”

For presenters, it was a wonderful opportunity for professional development; a platform to showcase their new initiatives, discuss impediments, and share innovative ideas for the optimization of international development. For listeners—including the twelve Clemson students invited to present and attend—the chance to join the conversation on globalizing college campuses is significant. Cultivating a strong professional network as well as incorporating new ideas into their field is an invaluable additional experience to their education.

Perhaps what was most striking about this conference was its amiable energy; the atmosphere emanated a sense of solidarity rather than competition. Instead of flaunting impressive achievements for recognition, all administrators were on complete equal grounds. Successes and setbacks were humbly shared to portray the efforts towards streamlining international student services and study abroad programs; providing an instructive and reciprocal backdrop for the attendants. Bryony relates how relaxing and helpful the atmosphere was, “This was a comfortable place for me to network and meet up with people that I am normally on the phone with asking for help. We all shared ideas that would help each other out instead of the individual.” This poignant sense of consolidation between institutions, which usually navigate through such fiercely competitive atmospheres, is emblematic of the dedication these universities have to diversifying and globalizing their schools. 

The professional determination embodied by these SCAIE members is a model for other conferences and in international education; with this in mind, all can launch their programs so much farther knowing they can rely on the mutual body of knowledge shared between SCAIE members. Clemson eagerly awaits the return of the convention next year and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the 2016 SCAIE conference.

Clemson Hosts Cross-Border Commercial Innovations in Forestry Event with Canada Center

This event showcased the latest innovations in the forestry sector with a goal to commercialize cutting edge technologies needed to keep the industry cost-efficient. The forum brought together innovators looking to expose new technologies applicable to the forestry industry, as well as provide a networking opportunity in business and research. This event was hosted by the Clemson-Canada Center, the Wood Utilization & Design Institute, and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. Click here to see the full story.

Stronger ties to India open doors for students and scholars

A new partnership that is strengthening ties between Clemson University and India could open new opportunities to collaborate on research and for students and scholars to study abroad. Clemson has signed a memorandum of understanding with Amrita University in southern India. The nation is the world’s second largest by population with 1.2 billion people and is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. The agreement could lead to new research collaborations and study-abroad opportunities, including exchange programs for students and scholars.  It could also mean new service-learning opportunities in India for Clemson students.

Amrita University is one of India's premiere research and teaching institutions and has been ranked one of the best Indian universities by the Ministry of Education. It is accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council and has received the council’s highest grade, an “A.” The partnership was initiated by Anand Gramopadhye, Dean of the College of Engineering and Science.  Gramopadhye said the partnership fits with the Grand Challenge Scholars Program. The components are: hands-on project or research experience; interdisciplinary curriculum; entrepreneurship; global dimension; and service learning.

“Our partnership with Amrita hits all the high notes,” Gramopadhye said. “We will focus on electricity, clean water and many of the other challenges the world faces.” Amrita is increasingly being recognized internationally as an institute of repute, officials said. The university has established various research centers in areas that correlate with projects at Clemson. Areas that overlap include nanotechnology and energy, health sciences, molecular and nano-medicine, biotechnology and life sciences, wireless networks and applications, robotics and haptics, and learning technologies.  

A Clemson team last December visited three of Amrita’s campuses, including a teaching hospital.

Those from Clemson included Sharon Nagy, Vice Provost of Global Engagement, and representatives from Clemson’s Civil, Industrial, Mechanical and Bioengineering Departments.

Clemson and Amrita University share the mission to bring about change in all levels of society, both within their local communities and beyond, officials said. A key part of that mission for the College of Engineering and Science is the Grand Challenges Scholars Program. In a letter to President Obama in March, more than 120 U.S. engineering schools pledged to educate a new generation of engineers equipped to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing society. Dean Gramopadhye was among the signatories. He also co-hosted ASEE’s Engineering Deans Institute’s annual conference, where the Grand Challenges Scholars Program was one of the centerpiece topics.

Amrita has been successful in taking research from labs to low-resourced communities to improve their standard of living. Various research centers at Amrita are developing innovative solutions through its program, "Live-in-Labs." The areas of focus include agriculture, energy, water, sanitation, housing, cooling technologies, communications, free health care, education and skill development. This outreach program, involving students and faculty from around the world, provides students and researchers an experiential learning opportunity in which they directly interact, observe, and study, while living in rural communities.  Students design projects that address problems and implement, test, and eventually demonstrate innovative, affordable, and comprehensive solutions. 

If you are interested in learning more about the emerging collaborative projects with Amrita University, the Clemson delegates from the December visit would be happy to share more information with you. They included Sharon Nagy in the Office of Global Engagement; Melur Ramasubramanian from Mechanical Engineering; Jimmy Martin and Jennifer Ogle from Civil Engineering; Kapil Madathil from Industrial Engineering; and Delphine Dean and Naren Vyavahare from Bioengineering.

Student Led Initiatives: SAGE's Free English Tutoring launched first class

Student Ambassadors of Global Engagement (SAGE), a creative inquiry course composed of eight Clemson undergraduates, launched their first “English Corner” on January 28th.  The English Corner is an hour-long class held twice a week catered to international graduate students. Its’ dual emphasis focuses on improving student’s English oral-communication skills and confidence with American classroom culture. Many of Clemson’s international students hold TA positions and are expected to instruct Clemson’s native English-speakers; being college students themselves, SAGE volunteers are coincidentally qualified to teach them about American class etiquette and teaching styles.

The creative inquiry, now branded SAGE, commenced in the fall semester of 2014 after recent Clemson graduate, Becky Cibulskis, felt there was a need on campus to provide instruction for teaching English as a foreign language. For the entire fall semester, SAGE students assessed the international student climate at Clemson so as to effectively propose new ways to help them improve their English language ability. SAGE students researched what universities across the nation were doing as well as sought programs in and around Clemson that could help them. Clemson University boasts a large student population of 21,000 students, and gauging the total effort to provide for the international students proved to be a gargantuan task—many pockets of students and faculty around campus had been doing the same thing. Marshalling the combined effort of Clemson’s faculty, staff, other students, and local language schools culminated in SAGE’s “English Corner”. Each semester SAGE students will receive formal training by a visiting TESOL instructor from English for Life. “Because we’re receiving formal training on how to teach English to fluent speakers, there is a lot more direction behind this initiative. We are much more prepared than we would have been if we had jumped right into it,” says Caroline Cornish, a founding SAGE member.

Three months of preparation paid off for the SAGE members; their initial success was unfounded. On the first day over 45 students bustled in to the congested room. Overwhelmed by the unexpected deluge of interest, SAGE volunteers had to run down the hall to find more chairs mid-lesson. Aside from the exciting turnout, it was rather emotional—“After the first class I was on an academic high! The group member’s [tutee’s] ideas were bouncing off of each other and the motivation of the group as a whole was very contagious,” beams SAGE member Paige Atkins. After a successful launch of the class, students are now tasked with outlining SAGE’s future development beyond the maintenance of their English class. The general goal of SAGE is to provide services for the international students, staff, and faculty associated with Clemson and to bring students into the conversation of Clemson’s internationalization process. Keeping this in mind, these students could take the future of the group in any direction. For now, the students will place an emphasis on bolstering the campus climate for international students, in more ways than helping them with their English. Current projects include the production of an orientation video for incoming international students as well as an international alumni outreach program. Beyond this, SAGE’s future is still uncharted, and with the fires of the globalizing world igniting more of Clemson’s campus each day, who knows what lies on the horizon for the creative inquiry.

Interested in joining SAGE’s Creative Inquiry or volunteering for the English Corner? Contact Caroline Cornish at for more information, and make sure to join their facebook group for updates on the class.

Giving Back

The financial support towards this office makes all the difference in our goal to effectively provide for Clemson’s students, faculty and staff. Your supporting donation is an investment in Clemson’s success felt by individuals and the community as a whole. Help Clemson make ripples beyond the campus and across the globe! Click here to donate to OGE today.

Stay Involved!
The Office of Global Engagement is located on the 3rd floor of E-Martin Hall. This office is comprised of three departments--Global Partnerships & Initiatives, International Services, and Study Abroad--and is administrated by the Vice Provost, Dr. Sharon Nagy. 

Comments or questions? Please feel free to contact us and share your OGE or newsletter related ideas! Email Caroline Cornish at 

Headlines from The Newsstand

We want to CU in the International Spotlight. Professors, students and projects from across the colleges are working to make the world a better place. Please see the stories in the Newsstand for highlights of international projects and recognition. Have a story you'd like to see in the Spotlight? Contact the Office of Global Engagement today!

Clemson researchers designing wetlands to clean Canadian mining water

Clemson theater professor to teach in Romania as a Fulbright scholar

Shifting job market set stage for delegation’s visit to Clemson University

Clemson doctoral student wins international tourism award

Symposium encourages students to become globally engaged

International car cruise and festival coming to CU-ICAR

Read More ›