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A screenshot from a Zoom meeting.

School of Global Studies China programs completes first virtual global leadership program

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The School of Global Studies and Partnerships (SGSP), the Center for Ethical Leadership, and the American Red Cross Missing Maps jointly offered a month-long virtual leadership development program titled #GlobalLeaders – Rise to the Challenge.  Fifty-four international students from 16 countries benefited from the month-long leadership program this fall.  

The purpose of the #GlobalLeaders Program is to provide a platform for gaining leadership skills and offer support to international students in their learning journey and promote opportunities for engagement in meaningful discussions beyond the classroom.  The program was initially established in 2015 by the Office of China Programs to offer undergraduate Chinese international students leadership opportunities as part of the China Program initiatives.  Over the past few years, this program has impacted over 160 Chinese students at Oklahoma State University (OSU).  This year, for the first time, Dr. Vivian Wang, the Director of Global Partnerships, has initiated the program's expansion to all international students at OSU.  Marcia Sun, Graduate Assistant of SGSP, coordinated the program and facilitated zoom sessions. 

There are four major components in the program, and each segment was delivered and facilitated remotely via Zoom.  These segments included three one-hour leadership seminars and cultural dialogues focused on social issues, including an enrichment activity that involved a virtual tour and a volunteer activity with the American Red Cross. Interactive features such as breakout rooms, group discussions, icebreaker activities, interactive presentations, and cooperative learning with external platforms were purposefully designed and incorporated to enhance virtual engagement.

The month-long leadership program concluded successfully in late October.  An overwhelming number of participants have expressed an ongoing interest in exploring more volunteering and service-learning activities through the American Red Cross and would look forward to being engaged in future leadership opportunities.  Many attendees perceive this program to be an excellent chance for personal growth.  The impact of this leadership program extends beyond the campus and local communities.  The authentic experience that the participants can obtain from the program permeates through international boundaries. It capitalizes fully on the rich possibilities of global engagement. Ultimately, these types of programs will enhance global understanding and interconnectivity for all.

The Center for Ethical Leadership Assistant Director Josh Taylor said, "Cultural competency is integral to effective leadership, and there is no better way to learn that than through interacting with leaders from different cultures. We are always grateful to partner with the China Programs office to create leadership development opportunities for our international students as well as our domestic students. It is through partnerships like this that OSU is able to create multicultural leadership programs resulting in dynamic, globally-minded leaders."     

A participant in the program and a graduate student in the department of Research, Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics, Paola Sainz Sujet said, "When I first read about the Global Leaders Program in the Graduate Memo, I thought it had interesting topics and a nice schedule, so I decided to apply. By the end of the program, I can tell you that it was so much more than just interesting topics! The whole experience taught me so much. It was informative, wonderfully organized, and fun! The facilitator from the leadership workshops, Sarah, was so generous in sharing her knowledge and expertise with us, and she did so in a way that we could feel we can be great leaders as well.  Although this was an online experience, I can tell you that somehow, the program coordinator, Marcia managed to create an interactive environment and made sure we had a voice. Getting to know people from so many countries and learning how they feel about leadership was enlightening.  Thanks to this program, I know that I am a better leader and a better version of myself that comes with learning. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Lyn Putnam | School of Global Studies and Partnerships | 405.744.5496 | lyn.putnam@okstate.edu

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