World Leaders Forum: Student Participation at the Columbia Global Centers

Date: September 11, 2014 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Columbia University Morningside Campus Teatro, Italian Academy

In this World Leaders Forum discussion, Columbia faculty and students will have a dynamic conversation on student participation at the eight global centers.

Discussion participants will include Professor Safwan Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development; Professor Susan Pedersen, James P. Shenton Professor of the Core Curriculum, concerning her project to expand research opportunities for undergraduates; Presidential Global Fellows; and students from the Global Scholars programs. This will be a firsthand opportunity for students to discuss ways in which the Columbia Global Centers network can be leveraged to address issues that matter to them. These discussions will illustrate the interdisciplinary collaboration being exhibited through the centers across the world.

About the Columbia Global Centers:
To maintain its status as one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, Columbia University embarked on establishing a deliberate approach regarding international engagement. This strategy has demanded the creation of new structures that allow the University to increase its global scope and enrich diversity of academic experience. The Columbia Global Centers are nimble hubs that provide a foundation for students, faculty, affiliates, and alumni to explore academic opportunities. The centers encourage new relationships across schools, institutes, and academic departments at Columbia. Attuned to the priorities and unique circumstances of its host region, each center leverages the University's diverse intellectual capacities and pursues a set of university-wide core activities that evolve over time based on the active engagement of faculty and students. Some of the centers' programs and research initiatives are country-specific, some regional, and an increasing number are multi-regional, even global. The network is in its infancy and each center has started by building strong links with universities and institutions in its respective region. The long-term ambition is that many programs will have a global reach and involve multiple centers in the network engaged in truly global conversations.

About Professor Susan Pedersen's project:
This project, entitled "Enhancing the Research Component of the History Major," aims to expand the research opportunities for undergraduate history majors doing senior theses on European history topics or on topics in other fields using sources from European archives.  This will be done in two ways: (1) by providing summer research grants to enable some ten rising seniors to conduct some four to six weeks of research in European archives, and (2) by supporting mentoring activities throughout the year culminating in a three-day workshop in July for these students, two graduate student mentors, and two Columbia faculty members at the Columbia Global Center Europe (CGE) in Paris.

Those two programs will be embedded within an 18-month framework of instruction and support sustained by the History Department and our partners in the Columbia University Libraries and at Columbia Global Centers | Europe. Paul LeClerc, Director of the Paris Center, and Barbara Rockenbach and John Tofanelli, respectively Director of the Humanities and History libraries, and Research Librarian for the Anglo-American Collections at Columbia, will assist in developing this pilot program.  The project will also take advantage of the global center in Istanbul as well as its extensive network of contacts and collaborations throughout Europe.

About the Presidential Global Fellows:
Funded by Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger, the Presidential Global Fellowships provide first-year undergraduates who are seeking to develop a strong global foundation and a deeper understanding of the world around them with a unique opportunity to enrich their Columbia education beginning in the summer after their first year of college.

Each fellowship underwrites participation in a Columbia summer study abroad program (including tuition and fee waivers, round-trip travel to the program site, and a living allowance recommended by the program), and also provides enhanced advising and programming before, during, and after the summer that supports the recipient in developing personal global education plans.  Fellows will have special meetings with President Bollinger before and after the summer to help them develop their thinking about global education and their development as global citizens.

About the 2014 Global Scholars Program:
The 2014 Columbia University Global Scholars Program Summer Research Workshop "Contemporary Cities of Eurasia: Berlin, Moscow, Ulan Bator, Beijing" offered students the opportunity to participate in a comparative learning, research-oriented program in Berlin, Moscow, Ulan Bator and Beijing. The 2014 program was centered on the theme of "Socialist and Post-Socialist Cities of Eurasia." Students explored the histories, cultures, built environments and lived spaces of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Mongolia and China through travel and site visits to major cities of the "Eastern Bloc." Students traveled from Berlin to Beijing, including a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Beijing, under the guidance of Columbia faculty members Charles Armstrong and Catharine Nepomnyashchy. Students investigated how the common problems of urban life in the twentieth century were addressed in the USSR and societies influenced by the Soviet model, and how the collapse of state socialism in the Soviet bloc and its transformation in China shaped the development of cities there in the twenty-first century.


Co-sponsored by the Columbia Global Centers.