To enhance it growing international focus, Lindenwood University plans to launch in 2009 a Center for International and Global Studies that will be at the heart of an expanded international studies program designed to foster increased diversity and cultural awareness on the campus.
Award-winning and longtime anthropology professor Ray Scupin, Ph.D., developed the concept and will serve as the center’s director, working with Ryan Guffey, associate director of the center and assistant professor of international studies, to designate a physical location for the center’s headquarters.
“There are many organizations in different countries around the world who’ve inquired if Lindenwood has an international studies degree program,” Scupin said. “I’m excited to be able to tell them about the changes to the program and about this center that will oversee it.”
The center will manage the university’s international enrollment, which has increased an estimated 17 percent from 2007 to 2008 alone. At this time, 751 international students from 75 countries are enrolled at Lindenwood.
The center also will undertake corporate fundraising efforts, work to obtain grants for faculty to conduct international research, and manage the student Intercultural Club.
A new master’s degree in international studies will be offered in the fall of 2009, supplementing the existing bachelor of arts degree.
“The degree is seen as quite worthwhile and beneficial,” Scupin said. “Graduates can use it get ahead in government, non-governmental organizations, the United Nations and almost all forms of international business.”
Long-term plans under the center’s direction include the creation of a peer-reviewed e-journal and a guest lecture series to increase cross-cultural exchanges.
Scupin also hopes to eventually invite faculty from outside the U.S. to teach at Lindenwood as part of a visiting professor program, expand student exchange options to include more countries than the current choices of France and Costa Rica, and develop a student mentor program through which international students are assigned local students to assist in navigating the American university system.
For more information about the Center for International and Global Studies at Lindenwood University, please contact Scupin at (636) 949-4730.