Meet Our New IRA in Namibia

Meet our new International Resident Assistant in Namibia, Jamila!

 

Jamila staff photo cgee

 

Jamila is from Santa Barbara, CA, and joined CGEE from a job in Washington D.C. Before moving to DC, Jamila earned her Bachelor of Arts in Human Development at the University of California, San Diego and a Dual-Masters of Social Work and Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. Jamila has worked with various students (middle school to college age) for approximately 10 years. She enjoys supporting youths’ transformation from learners to talented leaders, who are prepared and excited to make the world a better place. Jamila is excited to explore all of Namibia’s wonderful attractions, restaurants and communities.

Generosity, Love, and Support After Earthquake

A special message from Ann Lutterman-Aguilar, CGEE-Mexico Site Director:

Despite the terrible tragedies caused by the recent earthquakes in Mexico, people are recovering amazingly quickly and demonstrating the incredible warmth and generosity of the Mexican spirit. Small mom and pop businesses have been giving out food and supplies to survivors of the earthquake, as have hardware stores and other businesses.  Almost everywhere you go, you see people who have set up relief collection centers in their homes, and people going to drop off donations. Many schools are serving as shelters for people whose homes were destroyed or damaged in the earthquake, and our state university is helping to coordinate relief efforts throughout the state. The government has opened up toll roads and made them free so that people can travel more easily and inexpensively during this time.  Even a lot of banks have stopped charging a fee to withdraw money regardless of whether it is your bank. These are just a few of the endless examples of the overwhelming love and solidarity being shared by ordinary citizens and all kinds of institutions.

The international response to the earthquake has also been tremendous.  On Friday, I witnessed the arrival of 15 Canadian women rescue workers with their rescue dogs. They received a huge round of applause everywhere they went in the earthquake because people could identify them as a result of the vests that both the women and dogs were wearing.  And the Canadians aren’t alone.  People from the United States and Cuba and all over the world have been helping out in person and through donations.  As a result, students and customized program participants have an incredible opportunity to learn from a wide range of people about what schools, social workers, activists, ordinary citizens, governments, and businesses do to respond to emergency situations.

Our current semester students were with their host families during the last (and worst) earthquake here last Tues., September 19, and they and their Mexican families were all fine.  In addition, the staff in our study center are all fine, and no one lost a home or has had to evacuate, although a few staff members have some damage to their homes. We are among the lucky ones, as are all of our current host families and all of the host families in the neighborhood of Plan de Ayala.

While lives and homes were lost in Cuernavaca, most of the largest tragedies took place in the southeastern part of the state of Morelos, closest to the epicenter of the quake.  Towns such as Jojutla and Axopian and Tenancingo were devastated.   Ixtlilco el Grande, where many CGEE students (especially in the Social Work program) have participated in rural homestays lost at least 15 homes, some of which belong to former host families. Those who haven’t been to Ixtlilco but have studied in Mexico may have learned about the circulatory migration between that town and Minneapolis from Augsburg adjunct professor Raziel Valino, who is completing her doctoral dissertation on that topic. She reports that the host families are physically fine and recovering from the trauma.  Even as they work to rebuild their own homes, they are helping out the other towns in their region that have suffered greater loss. Again, the show of solidarity is very inspiring.

Amatlan de Quetzalcoatl, where numerous CGEE groups have had homestays, also suffered from the earthquake.  Like Ixtlilco, Amatlan did not suffer the loss of lives, but numerous homes were destroyed, including that of elderly farmer Dona Irene Ramirez, who has often given talks about her heirloom corn and her views of GMO corn.

If you have already donated to earthquake relief in Mexico, thank you.  If you haven’t and would like to, there are many great organizations that could use your help.  The following link provides a few great suggestions for how to help:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/reader-center/donate-mexico-earthquake-.html.

CGEE-Mexico is currently trying to compile a list of host families who lost homes in Amatlan and Ixtlilco that we can share so that you can know how your former host families are if you have not already been in touch with them. We are also hoping to set up a mechanism to channel funds directly to the CGEE host families in Amatlan and Ixtlilco who lost their homes. Therefore, please stay tuned for updates.

Thank you,

Ann Lutterman-Aguilar

CGEE-Mexico Site Director

 

UPDATE: To donate to our campaign for host families, please visit the go fund me page at: https://www.gofundme.com/earthquake-relief-cgee-host-family

Welcome New Assistant Provost

Welcome to our new Assistant Provost for Global Education and Experience, Patrick Mulvihill, M.P.A.

Patrick joined Augsburg CGEE on August 1 and brings 20+ years of experience advancing social justice and change through global education, experiential learning, program development, and community development.  At Augsburg, he will offer strategic, curricular, and operational leadership for our global education programs and initiatives, both domestically and internationally.

Most recently, Pat served 12 years as director of operations at the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA).  HECUA, a consortium of 24 colleagues and universities, offers off-campus academic programs rooted in interdisciplinary, community-based experiential education. Throughout his career, Pat has demonstrated a deep commitment to equity, to educating an intentionally diverse mix of students, and to building intercultural competence.

Pat earned a bachelor’s in history from St. Olaf College and holds the Master of Arts in Public Affairs from the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota.

Earthquake Updates

We have confirmed that all CGEE staff and students are safe following the earthquake. Alumni, friends, and family – thank you all for you thoughts of love and support! We will be posting more updates here on our blog as they become available.

Student Profile: Caleb

Caleb completed two of CGEE’s semester programs in a year, Central America and Southern Africa! Here is his profile with reflections on what he learned during his year abroad:

Student headshot photoName: Caleb Encarnacion-Rivera

School: Clark University

CGEE Programs:

Social Change in Central America: Exploring Peace, Justice, and Community Engagement (Spring 2016)

Nation Building, Globalization and Decolonizing the Mind (Fall 2016)

Major: International Development

Most valuable experience: There are so many things I found valuable during my time abroad with CGEE.  In Central America, the most valuable experience was being able to live in homestays.  Homestays allowed me to build and cultivate long lasting relationships I will cherish for the rest of my life.  Living in homestays enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of the regions I was living in through the lens of local people.  Living in my home stays gave me new family members that I will never forget.  In Namibia, my internship was definitely the highlight of my experience.  I absolutely loved every moment of being able to serve in the city I was living in as well, as learn and grown from directly working with Namibian youth.  My internship gave me the ability to not only learn or study in a foreign country, but gain work experience, and establish new networks beyond that of the United States.

Why encourage others to study abroad with CGEE: Both programs are life changing in numerous ways.  I will cherish these moments for the rest of my life.  If you are looking for an authentic study abroad experience these are the programs for you!

My Journey to Guatemala

This is a guest blog post by a Mary Witt Scholarship recipient, Libby M. Libby recently returned from a customized program with Xavier University-Occupational Therapy to Guatemala in May 2017. Thanks for the great reflection, Libby!

My time in Guatemala was one that I will never forget. During the first week I had the opportunity to live with a host family. My host mother was beyond hospitable and kind. She made delicious meals and we talked through the nigh about our families and friends. On my last day staying with her she even allowed me to try on traditional Guatemalan clothing. But I think my favorite part of staying with my host family was being able to try the delicious homemade hot chocolate, which consisted of chocolate made from my host grandmother who makes her own natural chocolate. It was absolutely amazing. The time even allowed me to improve my awful Spanish, through hand gestures and broken Spanish I somehow got through the week communicating with my host family who did not speak any English at all. Hopefully one day I will be able to visit them again.

Continue reading “My Journey to Guatemala”

Welcome to our New Program Coordinator

Welcome to our new Program Coordinator in Namibia, Alex Sikume!

Alex Sikume Staff PhotoAlex Sikume is the new Instructor for Political Science and Social Change.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Management majoring in Policy Analysis from School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, China. He further holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Political Science and Industrial Psychology from the University of Namibia.

Alex worked for the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development for ten years as a Development Planner dealing with issues of local government operations, administration and management. In 2011 he worked for the United Nations Development Programme as a Programme Officer. He further worked as Technical Advisor under the Building Local Capacity Project for Southern Africa within the Management Sciences for Health. Continue reading “Welcome to our New Program Coordinator”

National China Delegation

Augsburg student, Tylan Mitchell, was chosen to participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) Emerging Leaders: US-China Study Abroad Delegation. Tylan is a junior majoring in Management Information Systems.

Tylan is one of just 20 students from around the country chosen to participate. This elite delegation of STEM, Business, and Trade students all had exceptional coursework in their fields of study. He will have the opportunity to network with high-achieving peers from the black community and engage an intercultural experience to a country that is a leader in STEM and Business fields.

Delegates have almost all program and travel costs covered by CBCF. They met in Washington, D.C for a briefing with government officials before departing for two weeks in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. They will brief officials in D.C on their experience before returning to Minnesota. The program will take place June 1 to June 18.

During the program, students will study Mandarin, Chinese history & culture, and interact with Chinese leaders in science and technology. Included is a tour of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in Beijing, lectures and workshops about China’s economy, education system, art, and history, and US-China relations.

“The CBCF is committed to providing students with a global perspective,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of the CBCF. “The China study abroad program will allow our students to see the educational and career opportunities that are available to them internationally.”

The China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) organized and administered the program in collaboration with the CBCF.

Learning Through Experience

This is a guest blog post by Clark University student Charline K, participant on the spring 2017 CGEE semester program “Nation-building, Globalization, and Decolonizing the Mind” in Namibia & South Africa. Thanks to Charline for the wonderful reflection and photos!

During my time in southern Africa, I was able to learn many important theories and concepts. This experience also allowed to grow and experience things that I would not have in the United States. I will share two experiences that helped me reflect inwardly about topics in my field of study; International Development and Political Science and myself. Continue reading “Learning Through Experience”