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Word from the Director

The Center and its staff spent much of the early part of fall semester completing a complicated and time-consuming move from its Goodbody offices to new accommodations in the just-completed building for the School of Global and International Studies. In the process we joined all of the other Title VI Centers and related international departments to create a centralized site for IU’s grand initiative to expand international programming in both Bloomington and abroad. One of the subtle but immensely beneficial consequences of the new building is that the formerly dispersed international units now find themselves in close proximity on a daily basis, with substantial opportunity for their faculty, staffs, and students to talk and plan together.

Even as we were heavily involved in the move to new quarters, the Center organized its own initiative to develop collaborative efforts with a small group of Minority Serving Institutions that we had identified for outreach commitment during the current four-year cycle of Title VI funding. We approached the first of these—Bennett College, a private four-year historically black liberal arts college for women in Greensboro, North Carolina—with the idea of sending a small team to encourage attention to the Central Eurasian region. Through presentations and conversations with campus and classroom audiences, my colleagues—Assistant Director Kasia Rydel-Johnston, Persian specialist Paul Losensky, and graduate student Amita Vempati—introduced our region, suggested what might be done to raise interest in it at Bennett, and provided inspiration by offering grants to faculty willing to develop courses and to students to attend IU’s Summer Intensive Language Program. Spring semester will see us learning from our Bennett experience as we pursue outreach to a second MSI.


Happy Holidays,

Edward J. Lazzerini