Monthly Archives: October 2014

Upcoming Event for International Week

As we all know we have International Education Week coming up here at Penn State. The event will be taking place November 12th through the 19th with plenty of movies, lectures, and events going on that week.  Us interns here at CGS have been given the opportunity to add to this week with our own events. I felt that this would be a good time to have people learn about extremism and Islam

For my lecture I hope to recruit a professor I work for to give a presentation on ISIS and how it threatens the stability of the Middle East and how it threatens everyone over the globe. I also want it to be made clear, just because this radical group has Islamic ideologies doesn’t mean that all Muslims support this. I feel that too many people misconceive the two ideas and mold them together since lately they have been the latest group to have extremist goals.  People have always had the idea that if a few of a certain group radicalize then the whole religion is and that isn’t the case. There have been many examples of this in the past with other religions too, take Christianity. Christianity led many crusades into the holy lands and murdered and killed thousands of people; that was a form of radicalization. You could even make the case that the Spanish Inquisition was another form or radicalization; and no one ever suspects the Spanish Inquisition (

My goal is to have a presentation on ISIS and perhaps even a question and answer segment afterwards. I feel that this event will draw a lot of people because of how relevant it is in today’s news. Every day I turn on CNN or Fox or I check BBC on the internet and its always ISIS this and ISIS that; if ISIS hasn’t been on your mind even just a little bit lately you must live under a rock. Originally I figured I would have my event towards the end of International Education Week, that way my speaker would have the max amount of time to prepare. The more I think about it however, the more I realize that since this topic will probably be so big that if we do it at the beginning of the week it’ll help draw attention to the rest of the events. Overall keep your eye’s peeled for this lecture coming up, it’s going to be great.

The Dragon


J. R. R. Tolkien once wrote, “It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” A month has come and gone for this internship, bringing both challenges and rewarding experiences. But, while I’ve been on the roller coaster of extension day clubs, writing newsletters, and delving into various other tasks, I’ve ignored (whether subconsciously or even partially so) the ‘dragon,’ if you will. Not a real dragon, naturally, but the dragon of my internship: planning my own event for International Education Week in November.

…Perhaps dealing with a real dragon would be less intimidating.

As a Global Ambassador, I’m used to giving frequent presentations. However, those have been pre-written and planned for me. This time, it’s my turn. I can’t say whether or not planning has ever been a strong suit of mine, because, truth be told, I’ve never had the opportunity to plan anything for such a renowned event. But, I can honestly say that delving into this project is both nerve-wracking and exciting.

The beginning stage has commenced. The planning has now begun. By writing this blog, words have been formed, the promise of the creation of an event made, and the reality of the ‘dragon’ has become a part of my (perhaps reluctant) consciousness. The more I think, the more I realize that I have a plethora of opportunities for events that I could plan. My broad interests in international travel, development, sustainability, culture, and integration have opened up many doors for me, as far as events go. It’s narrowing them down, now, that’ll be the hard part.

I don’t want to make any promises to you before I sit down and think more thoroughly about this event. In doing so, I’d be speaking before thinking, which one should never do (if you don’t recognize the allusion, I suggest reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). In any case, I can assure you that, whatever ‘dragon’ event comes of this planning, it will be mine and mine alone, encompassing my passions that I expressed to you earlier. Perhaps not all of them, but enough to catch a glimpse of me as an individual, and to (hopefully) begin to comprehend, and even appreciate, the dedication and persistence that I have to continue to broaden my international experiences and to contribute to the greater cause of a global connectedness and understanding between cultures.

An Event in the Making!


One of the stipulations of being a CGS intern is that at some point in the semester, you must plan and host a globally relevant event of some sort. The magnitude and open-endedness of this task make it both hugely daunting, and fairly exciting at the same time. This event is a chance to showcase what each intern is specifically interested in and present whatever that may be in the framework of a global context. In my case, my area of interest relates to sustainability, and my event will reflect that in some way.

Obviously, the hardest thing about planning any event is actually brainstorming what the event will even be. At this point, I’m fairly sure that my event is going to be a film screening followed by either a round table discussion or panel discussion about the film and its main themes. I prefer film screenings to lectures because they are always different based on the content of the film, and can be conducive to just as much learning as a lecture, but with more visual stimulation to keep people engaged. The panel or round table discussion following the screening will serve as a good way to discuss the topics presented in the film, and hear what others have to say as well. If the panel discussion does happen instead of the round table discussion, there will be expert opinion presented by Penn State professors and/or faculty.

One of the challenges of hosting a film screening is obtaining the rights to a film. With this in mind, I set out to find a film that would fit the bill of my event, and would have fairly accessible rights. A few days into my search, I came across the website, Global Oneness Project, which seemed to answer all of my prayers. Global Oneness Project is an online conglomeration of films and resources that are readily accessible for any class, event, or gathering of 10 or more people. The G.O.P explains their reasoning behind the availability of their films by saying, “Through film screenings, we hope to stimulate dialogue, support community engagement, and inspire action.” Most of the films explore fields like health, ecology, social justice, tolerance, etc. all around the world. This website seems like an absolutely perfect one to get my film from for my event.

As of now, the film that I will be choosing is “A Thousand Suns,” a 30-minute documentary that tells the story of the Gamo Highlands in the African Rift Valley. The film explores the ideologies of the people in this region, and examines their relationship with the earth, and how it has affected the land around them. Ideally, any discussion that will happen after the screening will focus on how globalization is affecting global ideology and man’s relationship to nature, as well as the impacts that globalization is having on the lives of traditional people. With any luck, I plan on having guest professors from the African studies department and possibly the international agriculture department join and direct the conversation.

Clearly, this event is still in the works. However, I am very, very excited about it already, and plan on making it one worthwhile. With that in mind, keep an ear out about my event! It will most likely be taking place in late November/early December, and all are welcome! It is sure to be an interesting and thought-provoking evening.