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International Ed Week spotlights Diplomacy Institute, student diversity

University of Houston-Clear Lake is celebrating International Education Week between Nov. 16-20, with the aim of spotlighting the be nefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

The 14 events scheduled for the week are co-sponsored by the Office of Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the International Advisory Board, the Office of International Admissions, Education Abroad, Hunter Hall and the Office of Global Learning and Strategy.

As part of International Education Week, UH-Clear Lake's newly-founded Diplomacy Institute (DI) is celebrating the launch of its first-ever Diplomatic Lecture Series just as the United Nations is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its own founding. Vice Dean of the Houston Consular Corps Charles Foster will deliver a special lecture entitled "Fostering Diplomatic Relations through the Houston Consular Corps" on Nov. 16 at 10 a.m. via Zoom.

"This is a great opportunity to affirm that the work we're doing with the DI is in alignment with the establishment of the United Nations, and recognizing that so many of the world's nations are engaged in armed conflict or other hostilities," said Clinical Assistant Professor of Political Science Edmund 'Butch' Herod. "It's serendipitous that UHCL has established the DI during a time of critical need in working toward peaceful resolution of differences."

With the celebration of the UN's anniversary and the launching of events in the DI, Herod said that we could begin to work through a more respectful dialogue about how we resolve our differences effectively. "The lecture series is one part of that," he said. "Faculty, students and the community can hear perspectives about the need for diplomacy in the world, give them pause to think about being more civil, and to do what's needed to find peaceful resolutions for conflict."

Assistant Vice President of Global Learning and Strategy Gigi Do said that Houston is one of the most international and diverse cities in the U.S. and UHCL was placing a premium on promoting international culture and relations. "Diplomacy underlies all human interactions and is essential to the core beliefs of our Global Learning and Strategy mission and goals that are embedded in our university, our communities, and our nation," she said.

Firoj Gurung, SDEI's coordinator of the International Student Programs, said that another highlight of the week's events would be the Global Expo and Cultural Extravaganza. In previous years, these were two events that were held separately but this year, will be combined into one in-person event on Nov. 19 from 1-4 p.m. at the Recreation and Wellness Center.

"President Blake, (Vice President of Student Affairs) Aaron Hart, and (Assistant Vice President for Global Learning and Strategy) Gigi Do will all speak about the importance of global engagement and education," he said. "We'll have a flag ceremony and 10 tables for the Global Expo element of the event. The tables will be used to represent different cultures, nations and regions, followed by cultural performances. After that, we'll have a closing ceremony."

He said that because the event would be in person, seating was limited and strict COVID-19 safety guidelines would be enforced.

"This year's events are targeted to our faculty, staff and scholars to create more global engagement," Gurung said. "We work and study among people who come from all over the world. They all create the benefit of sharing what they know about international education, and also provide the platform. We see students who come here to for the opportunity for global engagement, and we hope these events demonstrate that we can all participate in local, national and global events and we can do all of this here at the university."

To learn more and to participate in International Education Week events, go online.