Valuing diversity locally and around the world

November marks several important dates that remind us at Brenau University of our mission to challenge students to live extraordinary lives, including increasing their global awareness.

This week Brenau University celebrated International Week, which this year focused on Asia, and I hope you joined us for one of the many events and activities that took place.

We established the Miller Institute for Global Education to coordinate globalization efforts across the university to support our institutional mission. Earlier this year, Brenau reopened study abroad with a service learning project at a small rural school in Panama. 

At the end of November, we will welcome several dignitaries from Panama for the Nov. 29 Panamanian Culture Day to celebrate our partnerships that have brought 38 Panamanian students to Brenau. Just a few weeks ago, I returned to Panama and also visited Costa Rica to continue to expand these agreements. 

I am proud that three of our faculty from the  College of Business & Communication faculty were in Costa Rica this week for training sessions to teach entrepreneurial skills to local 100 executives, in a major effort of multiple government agencies and the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica.  

This week, I served on an international webinar panel hosted by one of our partner universities in Panama, UDELAS, with a focus on the future of higher education in a post-COVID world.  My colleagues on the panel included presidents from universities in Qatar, Guatemala, Cuba and Panama.

We care deeply about our students and about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. That is why, in addition to our global initiatives, we celebrate the culture and the heritage of so many groups throughout the year. November also is Native American Heritage Month, and it’s important that we learn about the cultures that make up our uniquely American experience.

Brenau’s vision is to empower individuals from diverse backgrounds and equip them for success through transformative experiences. Perhaps nothing is more transformative than education, especially when we incorporate the varied experiences, heritage and culture that we all bring to the university.

Until the next post, please follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn for more of what’s happening at Brenau.