Sustainability focus of International Education Week
30 Oct 2014
Source: University of Buffalo
By: SUE WUETCHER
UB’s annual celebration of International Education Week (IEW) Nov. 10-14 will focus this year on the topic of sustainability, with the keynote speakers and other events bringing a global context to the subject.
The keynote speakers this year are Wilson Center staff members Roger-Mark De Souza, director of population, environmental security and resilience, and Lisa Palmer, public policy scholar. Their talk, “Global Sustainability: Interconnectedness, Resilience and the Path Forward,” will take place at 4 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Student Union Theater, North Campus.
In their talk, De Souza and Palmer will focus on ways to build resilience to natural and human-made stresses by investing in youth, women and communities, while exploring how integrating concepts like women’s empowerment, reproductive health, community engagement and food security can lead to better policy and actions to cope with adversity.
They will also present the stories of innovators who are developing new ideas and models of social change to address global and local sustainability. By sharing these stories, they will discuss the surprising ways that the broader integration of sustainability and conservation practices and policies can open the door to resilience.
De Souza leads the Wilson Center’s Global Sustainability and Resilience Program, Environmental Change and Security Program, and Maternal Health Initiative. Before joining the center, he served as vice president for research and director of the climate program at Population Action International, and director of foundation and corporate relations at the Sierra Club. Prior to working at the Sierra Club, he directed the Population, Health and Environment Program at the Population Reference Bureau, where he designed and implemented research, communications and capacity-building projects in the U.S., Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Before joining the Wilson Center, Palmer was a journalist, reporting almost exclusively on climate change, the environment and business sustainability. Her work has appeared in such publications such as Slate Magazine, Nature Climate Change, The Guardian, Yale E360, The Yale Forum, Scientific American and The New York Times, among many others.
In keeping with this year’s theme, other IEW events aim to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and draw attention to various sustainability efforts UB has undertaken as part of its effort to achieve climate neutrality and create a better future through sustainability.
These include presentations of student research on sustainability issues; a tour of Greiner Hall, certified “gold” under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system; and a screening of “No Impact Man,” a 2009 film that follows the Manhattan-based Beavan family as family members abandon their high consumption, Fifth Avenue lifestyle and try to live for a year while making no net environmental impact.
The Greiner Hall tours will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Nov. 11, starting in the Greiner Hall lobby; the film will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 11 in 107 Capen Hall.
A goal of UB’s IEW celebration is to highlight the university’s international student population, as well as the international efforts of UB faculty and students. Events will include student presentations on holidays in Iran, and traditions, economics and business opportunities in Tibet and Nepal; career-related sessions featuring job-search advice from School of Management alumni, and discussion of careers opportunities in Asia — including jobs in sustainability fields; and the “World View: Study Abroad Photo Contest and Exhibition,” a display of photos taken by students who have taken part in the wide array of study abroad programs offered at UB.
The “World Bazaar” celebrates the differences and commonalities of all people, cultures and abilities, and will offer attendees a wide range of performances, cuisine and demonstrations.
No International Education Week would be complete without the traditional dance and musical performances, and interactive displays by UB international student clubs. These activities will take place all week at noon in the Student Union Lobby, and will feature Argentine tango, Asian-American hip hop, traditional Bengali and Punjabi folk dances, Indian fusion and Filipino bamboo dance.
View a poster with the full schedule of IEW events.
IEW events are organized by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, with generous support from AT&T; Bank of America; and Haylor, Freyer & Coon Inc. UB sponsors include the Office of Alumni Relations, Asian Studies Program, Campus Living, English Language Institute, Intercultural & Diversity Center, Office of International Education, Study Abroad Programs, UB Sustainability, Undergraduate Academies and the Office of Global Health Initiatives in the School of Public Health and Health Professions.
An annual UB tradition since 2001, IEW showcases the rich cultural diversity of the campus community, provides insightful analysis of issues of critical importance worldwide, and highlights the university’s international programs and outreach.
The celebration is particularly relevant at UB. With more than 6,000 international students, the university ranks in the top 20 of 2,700 accredited U.S. universities in international enrollment, according to the Institute of International Education. The university has exchange agreements with more than 80 institutions in more than 30 countries.