Last week, in conjunction with our 3rd annual Diversity Abroad conference, Diversity Abroad hosted the first ever Global Student Leadership Summit! Over 20 students from campuses across the country came together in New Orleans to network with one another, as well as professionals in the field of international education.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be profiling the GSLS from the perspective of staff, students and featured speakers. We hope that you’ll consider joining us during next year’s annual conference in Atlanta, GA!
During the 2 ½ days of the Diversity Abroad Conference titled “Moving Beyond Barriers: Transforming International Education through Inclusive Excellence,” students engaged in workshops that explored everything from the role their identities played while they were abroad, to how those same experiences can inform their future careers. Session facilitators included a keynote speech by Dr. Aaron Bruce, Chief Diversity Officer at San Diego State University, a discussion by Charles B. Rangel Program Director Ms. Patricia Scroggs, and a presentation featuring Mr. David Levin, Senior Program Manager and Diversity Coordinator at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.
The GSLS schedule allowed students to converge with conference participants during the opening and closing plenaries, panel discussions and more. Students had the opportunity to speak directly with representatives from organizations such as the Gilman Scholarship and the Institute of International Education, as well as staff and advisors from institutions including the University of Michigan, Spelman College and the University of Washington.
Diversity Abroad Student Services Manager Deidre Ellis and I (Student Outreach Coordinator, Trixie Cordova) had the pleasure of leading the final group discussion to close out the summit. We gave students the opportunity to “sound off” about how their identities informed their experiences abroad, and asked students to give us their recommendations about ways that international educators can support nontraditional students in their efforts to go abroad.
It is our hope that the Global Student Leadership Summit continues to grow and thrive in the years to come. If you are interested in participating in next year’s summit, be sure to stay in touch with your study abroad office, and continue keeping a global perspective in all of your future endeavors. Hope to see you next year in Atlanta!