International Educator - January/February 2013 - 41
| University of Michigan | Ann Arbor, Michigan
agement class in Ann Arbor that included two weeks in London looking at preparations for the Summer Olympics. The latter was one of a dozen “Global Course Connections” classes with travel embedded. Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs, pushed for the creation in 2002 of the GIEU program. Monts, an ethnomusicologist and trumpeter who led the U-M Symphonic Band on a tour of China and helped bring to Ann Arbor the only Confucius Institute devoted solely to the arts, said, “One of the things that I’ve tried to do here is not let these big, grand, university initiatives go without some kind of undergraduate involvement,” he said.
Close Ties with Ghana
Fittingly, some of Michigan’s strongest international ties are to Ghana, the country that Kennedy singled out in his remarks on the Union steps. Through a partnership with the Ghanaian Ministry of Health, the University of Ghana, and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, dating to the 1980s, the U-M Medical School has trained most of the country’s obstetrician-gynecologists and helped reverse a “brain drain” of young physicians who used to leave the country for training. Other schools, including Engineering, Public Health, and Social Science, also send faculty to teach and conduct research in Ghana and bring Ghanaian faculty and students to Ann Arbor. For a class project, biomedical engineering major Jack Hessburg and classmates spent weeks in Ghana accompanying obstetricians on their rounds in teaching hospitals, and back in Ann Arbor then designed a 17-inch plastic device to place a fabric sleeve around the baby’s head to aid midwives in deliveries. The device awaits approval by health authorities, but “the obstetricians and midwives we were working with were excited and cautiously optimistic,” said Hessburg.
Biomedical engineering senior Jack Hessburg designed a device to aid Ghanaian midwives.
Sending Engineers and Artists Abroad
The College of Engineering has made a big push to encourage students to study and undertake projects abroad. “We’re broad minded. We talk about study abroad, research abroad, volunteer experiences abroad, engineering projects abroad,” including solar car competitions, said Associate Dean James Paul Holloway. “The goal is not study abroad. The goal is for students to get outside their comfort zone.”
J A N + F E B . 13 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR
Associate Dean of Engineering James Paul Holloway
Amy Conger, director of international programs for the College of Engineering, says students seek a challenge as much as academic credit abroad.