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Community Engagement And Partnerships

Community engagement and outreach programs and services that share the university's international resources with the community and state are an important part of the mission of UMSL Global.

We have forged strong partnerships with individuals and organizations in the area to develop and deliver programs to enrich and improve the cultural, educationa and economic life of the community. These partnerships enable us to better inform more people about the university and our programs, attract wider audiences, and play an important role in planning and conducting a wide range of programs.

In fact, we are the state's only university with a comprehensive, global education outreach program. For public audiences, UMSL Global sponsors programs that serve to increase interest in and understanding of other cultures. Offered in partnership with community organizations and featuring the university's growing cadre of faculty with international expertise, these public programs create a forum for informed discussion of world affairs and U.S. foreign policy and their impact on our region. We also assist precollegiate teachers and schools, which are now called upon to provide students the knowledge, skills and sensitivities required by our global economy and society.

Connecting St. Louis Communities to Global Issues and Events

UMSL Global's annual State of the World Conference brings business people, alumni and others from the community together with faculty and students to discuss critical global issues that impact our community. A central event for the annual May observation of World Trade Month in St. Louis, this conference is a collaboration with the World Affairs Council of St. Louis and the U.S. Export Assistance Center and its partners and the St. Louis Center for International Relations. UMSL Global is linked to St. Louis' ethnic communities through endowed professorships in African/African-American, Chinese, Greek, Irish and Japanese studies. These partnerships are vehicles for exploring the territory where ethnicity intersects with global events, issues and U.S. Foreign policy. In 1994, UMSL Global created the Missouri Japan Network, its first statewide vehicle for helping communities develop linkages to other societies. A partnership with Obirin University in Tokyo extended this teacher training project to Japan. In 1995, we inaugurated the prestigious Global Citizen Award. The Award highlights the university's commitment to educating students for a world in which the responsibilities of citizenship are global. It carries a medallion and cash prize.

Serving Teachers and Schools

UMSL Global conducts, in cooperation with the university's Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education and the Missouri Geographic Alliance, an Annual Geographic Education Conference for teachers and UMSL education majors. We serve educators statewide with the Missouri International Studies Resource Collection. A library of exemplary global studies teaching materials for grades K-college, the Collection includes videos, curriculum units, children's literature, and cultural artifact kits for ten countries/cultures. New acquisitions will focus on serving the course and program created by our endowed professorships in international studies.

E. Desmond Lee Global Ethnic Collaborative 

Based in UMSL Global, the Collaborative offers conferences, workshops, cultural events and performances that enhance awareness of and respect for the region’s rich ethnic heritage, identify and nurture fresh voices and visions promoting cultural harmony, focus greater attention on the local dimensions of global affairs, and prepare St. Louis to design the strategies and mobilize the resources needed to play a leadership role in a globally interdependent world.

The Collaborative directs the outreach efforts of the six endowed international professorships housed in UMSL Global. As part of the mandates of the endowed professorships, the professors and International Studies and Programs make special efforts to develop and conduct programs in cooperation with other organizations in the community.

The most visible program of the Collaborative is the International Performing Arts Series, supported by resources from the endowed international professorships, which brings five internationally recognized performance groups to campus each year. The nineteenth season began in Fall 2017 and is one of the major performance niches for the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The series celebrates the cultural diversity of Saint Louis and introduces campus and community audiences to less well known artistic traditions especially those that represent and illuminate performing arts of the countries and/or cultures of the endowed professorships.

Partners: The series is supported by Saint Louis Irish Arts, Karakas Family Foundation for the Advancement of Hellenic Studies, the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, Alliance Francaise de St. Louis, Dance St. Louis, Saint Louis Chinese Association, and the Goethe Institut of Chicago.

India Initiative 

This initiative was organized by UMSL Global and members of the Indian community in St. Louis to promote closer cooperation between UMSL and the community. Among the goals are: present cultural programs to introduce India’s rich cultural life and heritage, present programs about business opportunities and public affairs issues in India, to increase the number of Indian students at UMSL and to offer a host family program for Indian students.

Shibusawa Seminar 

Since 2000, UMSL Global has been the partner of the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation, Tokyo, Japan, in presenting this international seminar on Japanese studies. The seminar, now held in alternate years in Japan and the USA, brings together a select group of experts to present seminar papers on topics of importance in Japanese studies and U.S.-Japan relations. The University of Toronto Press has agreed to publish a series of books based on the papers presented at the seminars.

The seminars honor the memory of Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931) who helped establish the first national bank in Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and more than 500 companies including Tokyo Marine Insurance, Tokyo Gas, Tokyo Electric, Oji Paper, and the Tokyo Imperial Hotel. He also helped establish 20 universities and colleges and numerous social welfare organizations as part of his belief that business leaders had the moral obligation to pursue activities that benefited the community.

Partner: Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation, Tokyo, Japan.

Lentz Fellow in Peace and Conflict Resolution Research

UMSL Global established the Lentz Fellowship in 1993 with the support of the Lentz Peace Research Association and in cooperation with the Department of Political Science. Fellows conduct individual research on peace and conflict resolution and teach one course each semester in political science.

Partner: Lentz Peace Research Association (St. Louis).

Joint Center for East Asian Studies of University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University

The Joint Center for East Asian Studies was established in 1991 by the universities to combine the resources of an independent private university, known for its program in East Asian humanities and law, with those of a public university that has strengths in social sciences and business.

The Joint Center makes available to each campus the curricular strengths of the other by encouraging students to enroll in courses available on the other campus, by encouraging faculty and student interaction through a joint colloquium series, and by coordinating outreach efforts to the broader educational, business and legal communities.

Through the Joint Center the teaching of Chinese and Japanese language was begun on campus. Now UMSL students may take at least the first four courses of each language on our campus and through a cooperative agreement may continue more advanced studies in Chinese and Japanese on the Washington University campus.

Partners in the Gulf Region

UMSL Global has coordinated efforts to provide assistance and support to two developing private universities in the Gulf Region, the Modern College of Business and Science (MCBS) in Oman, and the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) in Kuwait. International Studies and Programs leads the campus effort to provide technical assistance to the two institutions, both academic and non-academic, and to evaluate their efforts to insure quality control.

Modern College of Business and Science opened in 1996 and offers degrees in information technology, business, computer science and economics.

Gulf University for Science and Technology opened in Fall 2002 with approximately 500 students and now enrolls approximately 2,000 students. We are developing some courses in business, computer science, economics, and nursing to offer for GUST. We are also assisting GUST in developing its first graduate program, the MBA, and two new undergraduate programs: logistics and management, and architecture/environmental relations.<

Springboard and Young Audiences of St. Louis offers arts, culture, humanities, math and science programs to schools and community groups throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area, Eastern Missouri, and the Metro East region of Illinois. Springboard/Young Audiences offerings emphasize “hands-on” and “minds-on” activities that are aligned with state and national education standards. They also work closely with classroom teachers, helping them to grow professionally.

Dr. E. Wendy Saul, UMSL Global’s Dr. Allen B. and Mrs. Helen S. Shopmaker Professor of Education in Collaboration with Springboard, works closely with Springboard/Young Audiences in planning and delivering programs to teachers and schools.

UMSL Global Resource Library

For more than 30 years, the UMSL Global Resource Library has helped introduce students in the St. Louis region to the world’s cultural diversity, global issues and ecological interdependence, by bringing an international perspective to studies across the curriculum. The library loans innovative materials (K-college),to faculty on campus who teach international courses, UMSL students, especially education majors, and pre-collegiate educators throughout Missouri. Special classes introduce pre-service UMSL education majors to the Library and innovative methods for teaching about world cultures. Among the Library’s most heavily utilized resources are videos, curriculum units, and “cultural artifact kits” which give students hands-on examples of items of everyday life, cultural and educational materials from other countries. Currently, kits are available on Africa, China, India, Islam in the Arab World, Japan, the Arab World, Mexico, Poland, and Vietnam.

In Fall 2007, UMSL Global Resource Library became a satellite location for educational resources of the St. Louis Art Museum including “touch kits” (e.g., Ancient Egypt, Art of the Americas, and Masks) and curriculum packets (e.g., Africa, American folk art, and Native America).

Partners: St. Louis Art Museum and Springboard/Young Audiences of St. Louis.

Japan America Society of St. Louis 

The Japan-America Society of St. Louis (JAS) is an organization that promotes interest in and education about Japan and U.S.-Japan relations. Since October 2002, International Studies and Programs has provided administrative support and programmatic activities for the organization. JAS is a non-profit, non-political organization comprised of people of both American and Japanese heritage. The society was founded in 1967 and is a member of the National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS), located in Washington, D.C.

St. Louis Regional International Partnership

The St. Louis Regional International Partnership is an alliance of internationally-focused organizations in the region who support efforts to increase international trade, education, cultural exchanges, and world understanding to improve the social, cultural, and economic well being of the St. Louis region. The partnership organizes annual World Trade Month activities each May.

Partners include: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Missouri District Export Council, Saint Louis University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association, Traffic Club of St. Louis, U.S. Export Assistance Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, Webster University, World Affairs Council of St. Louis, and World Trade Center Saint Louis.