After almost three months working with the Center for Global Studies, I can definitely say I now have a better feel of what the Center does and its purpose on campus. When I applied to this position as a Graduate Assistant, I was drawn by the fact that the Center’s interdisciplinary research initiatives: justice, sustainability, and ethical leadership, however I was not really sure how a small office in Old Botany Building will be accomplishing all those things.
The Center for Global Studies does a tremendous amount of job bringing top quality speakers from all over the world to raise awareness on global ethical topics not only in Penn State, but also in State College, PA. Every speaker who comes to the university to discuss cultural or global matters is promoted by the Center and with these events, the CGS manages to have a strong impact on the local community.
My experience so far has been very hands on, and this month we were given the opportunity to plan our own event for International Education Week. Penn State’s International Education Week aims prepare Americans for a global environment and to celebrate the benefits of international exchange. As soon as I got the opportunity to plan an event for this week, I decided to do it on a topic that I believe needs more global awareness and it is also very near and dear to my heart.
I decided I wanted to help raise awareness on the current political situation of my home country, Venezuela. This is a relevant current topic that is not receiving as much media coverage as it should due to conflicts of interests between foreign governments and Venezuela’s government.
For this event I decided to contact an expert on this subject, Alfredo Malaret, a Venezuelan graduate student from Penn State’s School of International Affairs specializing on Development Policy and International Security Studies.
Planning an event is always time consuming, you have to pay attention to details, make sure you get the right venue, create a flyer and a press release to promote it properly, and constantly communicate with the speaker to make sure that you both are on the same page. However, despite the fact that it is hard work, it is very rewarding, especially when you are given the opportunity to work on something that matters to you.
I am infinitely thankful for this opportunity, and I am looking forward to see all the hard effort pay off with a successful event.
Venezuela: From Dictatorship to Democracy will take place on November 11, 2015 at Chambers 108 from 4:15-5:00 p.m. If you are interested in learning more about this topic I invite you to join us and expand your global knowledge!