think: international CWRU Newsletter, January 31, 2014

  • Case School of Engineering Offers Historic Myanmar Study Abroad Program
  • Global Talk Spring Series Kickoff


Center for International Affairs
Tomlinson Hall, Room 143
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7031

The Center for International Affairs provides leadership, expertise, and support to the Case Western Reserve University community in order to cultivate a dynamic international presence and to inspire a culture of global understanding and responsibility.

Case School of Engineering Offers Historic Myanmar Study Abroad Program

Congratulations to Dan Lacks, Professor of Chemical Engineering, and 13 graduate engineering students for developing and participating in what the U.S. Department of State recognized as the first U.S. college course in Myanmar.

For the last 50 years the people of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) have experienced violent protests, censorship and the government shut down of major universities. Recently, peaceful and free elections were held and leaders of the Union of Myanmar have been working to rebuild the country’s education system. 

As part of a Fulbright program, Dr. Lacks has been assisting one of the top engineering schools in the country, Yangon Technological University (YTU), with curriculum development.  He made headlines when he created a two-week intensive course titled “International Engineering Entrepreneurship.” The course included 13 CWRU graduate students and 13 graduate students from YTU and other Myanmar universities working together in an active learning environment, which is not a common teaching style in Myanmar.  Communication was an important component of the course as students focused on the intersection of engineering and business, with an emphasis on international perspectives and addressing questions such as: How are businesses different in the US and Myanmar? Why do these differences occur? How do we most effectively interact with people from other cultures to make our ventures more successful? What technical/engineering opportunities exist in Myanmar that are different from the US?
Professor Lacks experienced first-hand the isolation of Myanmar and was able to contribute in a significant way to the reopening of the country and the education system.  He summed it up modestly, “Myanmar has been totally closed off from the world for such a long time – it was exciting for our two groups to interact.”

Global Talk Spring Series Kickoff

The Center for International Affairs is excited to announce the Spring 2014 Global Talk Series!

The Global Talk Series was created in order to provide CWRU faculty and staff with support, guidance and information regarding international programs, research, and activities.  Our Center continually monitors international programming trends and best practices in order to assist faculty and staff with integrating international dimensions into all facets of CWRU.
Our first series was held last semester (Fall 2013) and included themes focused on exploring opportunities in Brazil, tips for faculty study abroad advisors, cross-cultural communication, developing international agreements, and risk management for faculty-led programs.  The series included and supported over 80 faculty and staff – not bad for the initial unveiling.

We are kicking off the Spring 2014 Series on Thursday, February 6th:

Thursday, February 6, 2014:  12-1:30pm
Inamori Center (Lower Level Crawford Hall)                   
Discover best practices (across the country and at CWRU) in developing new CWRU short-term faculty-led study abroad programs from a panel of CWRU faculty. The panel will discuss how to get started, resources available, curriculum design, how courses become approved, risk management policies, logistics, and everything else that you need to know to create your own study abroad course. All levels of experience with short term programs welcomed!

We hope will join us for this initial session and explore future topics:

The Global Talk series is open to all faculty and staff with lunch provided.  An RSVP is required by the Tuesday before the event date.

If you have ideas for future topics or if you would like to collaborate with us, please feel free to contact the Center for International Affairs.


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