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Inaugural International Education Month Set for Oct. 27-Nov. 19 at SUNY Cortland

Inaugural International Education Month Set for Oct. 27-Nov. 19 at SUNY Cortland


Catherine Porter, president of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA), an international organization serving English and foreign language teachers, will deliver the keynote address during SUNY Cortland’s first International Education Month, which runs from Tuesday, Oct. 27-Thursday, Nov. 19.

Porter, a professor emerita of French at SUNY Cortland, will present “English is Not Enough” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.

Porter’s talk is free and open to the public, as are all events of International Education Month, unless otherwise noted. These include lectures on many different topics from a global perspective, information on study abroad opportunities, musical performances of the world, a student performance of the musical “Sweeney Todd,” a tai chi demonstration, a dual-gender indoor soccer “futsal” match and meals featuring the cuisine of different countries prepared by students and College dining services staff.

For the complete schedule of International Education Month, visit the Web site For more information, visit the James M. Clark Center for International Education, Miller Building, Room 16, or call (607) 753-2209 or send an e-mail to

“SUNY Cortland has the challenge and obligation to educate a generation of citizens who are competent across cultures and who possess the knowledge and skills that are needed to be successful in the 21st century,” said SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum. “I welcome everyone to join us on our campus during this exciting month.”

“This year, for the first time — uniquely in the SUNY system and far beyond — Cortland will celebrate an International Education Month,” explained Stephen Burwood, who directs the College’s James M. Clark Center for International Education, which presents the month’s activities. “A team of faculty, staff and students has been meeting on a regular basis to plan for this phenomenon throughout the past spring semester and summer.”

Presented for the past eight years as International Education Week, International Education Month at SUNY Cortland is part of an initiative originally sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Education.

“We believe there is so much of significance occurring and contemplated in the field of internationalization on our campus that one week is no longer sufficient,” Burwood said.

“In an increasingly borderless world, the ideal of self-sufficiency is giving way to the reality of interdependence,” noted Porter about her planned keynote speech. “To meet such challenges as a threatened environment, a faltering economy, a potential pandemic or the possibility of nuclear terrorism, cooperation on a world-wide scale is required as never before. But cooperation implies mutual respect and understanding. It implies a willingness to negotiate on an equal footing. These conditions can be met only by people able to shift perspectives, take cultural differences into account and communicate in the language of their counterparts. English is not enough.”

Porter has served the MLA in the past as first vice president, second vice president and chair of its Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities. She served on MLA’s Delegate Assembly and the Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee and was an elected member of the Executive Council from 1996-2000.

An internationally recognized translator of scholarly works, Porter has translated 35 books. Over the years, she has been a reviewer of texts and translations for several university presses and reviewed translation grant proposals for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In 1996, the French Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research named her Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques, a title bestowed upon scholars who have contributed significantly to the advancement of French language and culture.

Other highlights of International Education Month include:

An “International Education Expo: a Showcase of International Education Endeavors,” will provide an opportunity to meet the SUNY Cortland faculty members, visiting faculty and students who are engaged in impressive, cross-cultural international education research and teaching, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, and Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. At each of the two expos, visitors may view the presenters’ projects, learn about their international education endeavors, and network with SUNY Cortland’s truly devoted proponents of global education and scholarship.

The first begins at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, when Orvil White, assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education, discusses “Education in Thailand.” At 6 p.m., Margaret Zeegers, a visiting professor of literacy from Australia, showcases “Education in Australia.” Finally, Ji-Ryun Kim, assistant professor of foundations and social advocacy, addresses “Education in Korea” at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday, the “International Education Expo” begins at 3 p.m. with a presentation on “Education in China” by Lin Lin and Shufang Shi, SUNY Cortland assistant professors of childhood/early childhood education. At 4:30 p.m., Janet Duncan, associate professor of foundations and social advocacy, focuses on “Education for People with Disabilities in Ukraine.” Gail Tooker, assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education, talks about “Education in Belize” at 6 p.m. The expo concludes at 7 p.m. with a lecture on “The Foundation Stage: Early Childhood Education in England” by Heather Bridge, assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education.

International Education Month ends with a presentation on “Global Workshop Skills: How to Succeed in the Global Economy” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.

Lynne Rosansky, provost of the Levin Institute, a free standing, system-wide institute within SUNY that aims to address key aspects and issues of globalization, and William Skipper, SUNY Cortland assistant professor and chair of sociology/anthropology, will serve as speakers.

“Globalization presents tremendous challenges as well as exciting opportunities for college graduates and the institutions attempting to prepare them for success in the global economy,” Rosansky noted.

Her program with Skipper will focus on what new global skills are required and what various efforts are being made in this area within the SUNY system, including the Levin Institute’s Global Talent Research Project, The Global Talent Index and “The SUNY Global Workforce Project,” a new, three-year collaborative project funded by the U.S. Department of Education that is being carried out by the institute, SUNY Brockport and SUNY Cortland.