Fall 2016 Edition

Dear Global Studies Alumni,

As the Fall 2016 semester comes to an end, we would like to inform you of some crucial developments that have taken place in LAS Global Studies. For AY 2016-17, we adopted the approach of “consolidation and growth” in our annual staff retreat. The objective is to solidify our presence in the Midwest and nationally, as a premier program for interdisciplinary study of global issues as well as invest in the ‘quality of student experience at Global Studies’. Here are a few highlights of what we have been up to in the fall 2016 semester.


New leadership

Professor Thomas Bassett, who served as the first faculty director of LAS Global Studies finished his term in August 2016 with several successes under his belt. Professor Bassett’s leadership helped the program expand its curricular offerings and bring Global Studies to the front and center of conversations on experiential learning and career readiness at the University. His successor will be Professor Zsuzsa Gille from the Department of Sociology. Professor Gille works in transnational and global sociology, studying environmental and food problems, primarily in Eastern Europe and the European Union. Professor Gille will start in her new role in August 2017. Dr. Timothy Wedig is serving as the Interim Director of the program for AY 2016-17.


New programming

Starting fall 2016, Global Studies started accepting students to the new campus-wide undergraduate Minor in Global Markets and Society. This minor was created to fill the gap left by discontinuation of the Certificate in Global Business Culture, run by the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER). The Minor in Global Markets & Society allows students to study the interdependencies between global businesses, government institutions and individuals in a constructive manner. Students pursue a track complementing their current major to gain practical, marketable skills that are desired by emerging global companies. You can find more information on the minor here



Our students had a particularly strong year with respect to scholarships. 
-    Catherina C. & Bruce A. Bastian Scholarships for fall 2016 study abroad were awarded to Hanna Udichas (Brazil), Matthew Ruby (Ecuador), Karoline Ross (Thailand), Elizabeth Bradshaw (Senegal) and, Miroslava Osorio (Spain).
-    Thulin Field Work Experience Scholarships for fall 2016 were awarded to Matthew Ruby (Ecuador). 
-    Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarships (FLAS) were awarded to the following students: 

  • AY 2016-17: Nellie Cocks for Chinese and Clay Bahl, Camilia Martinicia & Isamar Mata for Arabic
  • Summer 2016: Renee Keyvan for Persian and Hanna Udichas for Portuguese
  • AY 2015-16: Hilary Allen & Christine Kausal for Portuguese, Renee Keyvan for Persian, Theresa Pham for Arabic, Jane Kanter for Wolof and, Vicky Prince for Chinese

-    Fulbright Awards were given to Lauren Colby and Morgan Hollie to conduct post-graduate research. 
-    Leah Matchett became a Marshall Scholar and chose to pursue her graduate education at Oxford University. 
-    Isamar Mata received Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Jordan.


Experiential learning: Research & Study Abroad

In fall 2016, we continued to encourage achievement of the University’s integrated learning outcomes among our students through coursework and co-curricular activities. Four students pursued distinction projects this semester:

  • Aline Sredni: Exploring the Relationship Between Coup d’États and Constitutional Provisions- a Study Across Government Types
  • Emily Smith: Climate Change causing Drought, Economic Downturn and Migration in the Middle East: Case Studies of Turkey and Syria
  • Kalina Gajda: Meanings of Abroad Volunteer Tourism: From the Perspective of College Students
  • Vinh Quach: Facebook Usage Amongst Chinese International Students

Several other students continue to pursue our new capstones in Undergraduate Research Assistance and Internship. You can find more information on these capstone options here.

We also had 18 majors study abroad in fall 2016 semester. South America was the most popular destination with 9 students, followed by 3 each in Asia and Europe, 2 in Africa and 1 in the Middle East. We covered the experiences of some of these students via the Global Studies Spotlight Facebook feature run by our Global Studies Leaders and on our website’s homepage.


Post- Graduate Preparation

Under the leadership of Professor Bassett and Dr. Wedig, we have worked towards improving the career readiness of Global Studies majors through graduate school and career workshops. In fall 2016 semester, we hosted Global Studies alum Chris Goodman who discussed Careers in Washington D.C. and Jessica Tran, advising staff for International student & Scholar Services who spoke on United Nations’ Habitat III Conference on Housing and Urban Development. For students interested in pursuing graduate school, we hosted a Graduate School Prep-Workshop with Jeremie Smith, Outreach and FLAS coordinator of the Center for Global Studies and Global Studies alum Aleli Alcaide.


Call for Alumni Participation 

We are always looking for ways to extend our Global Studies community beyond the campus. As alumni, you are uniquely placed to guide our students advance in their post-graduate careers. You can engage in the following ways:

  • Stop by our office when you visit the Champaign-Urbana area.
  • Speak to our students through guest lectures. 
  • Get your profile covered on our website and social media globalstudies@illinois.edu.
  • Tell us about exciting internship and job opportunities in your current organization, to help current Global Studies majors get out there and succeed!

We have exciting developments lined up for spring 2017 semester, and will ensure that you stay updated about them. We wish you happy holidays and a great year ahead!

Global Studies Team