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MSI Presidents Gather in Berlin to Develop Ideas to Expand Access to Study Abroad

Eleven presidents from some of the country’s best minority-serving institutions (MSI) gathered on November 4 at CIEE's new Global Institute - Berlin for the inaugural Study Abroad Leadership Workshop for Minority Serving Institutions.

George Wright
George Wright, President, Prairie View A&M University

Developed in collaboration with the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, the full-day leadership workshop was designed to prompt conversation around the importance of exposing students from MSIs to international education opportunities.

According to a 2014 report by the Institute of International Education, less than 10% of undergraduates study abroad before graduating. Of that already small portion, only 7.6% are Hispanic, 7.3% are Asian, and 5.3% are African-American. CIEE is committed to increasing access to study abroad by traditionally underrepresented student groups, and the Leadership Workshop represents an important step in this effort. 

Workshop attendees discuss ideas to expand access to study abroad for more students at minority serving institutions.

Attendees of the workshop included:

  • Joseph I. Castro, California State University, Fresno
  • Wayne Frederick, Howard University
  • Mildred Garcia, California State University, Fullerton
  • Willie Larkin, Grambling State University
  • Elmira Mangum, Florida A&M University
  • Michael J. Sorrell, Paul Quinn College
  • Vinton Thompson, Metropolitan College of New York
  • Henry N. Tisdale, Claflin University
  • David Wilson, Morgan State University
  • George Wright, Prairie View A&M University

The workshop featured a panel discussion around Putting Study Abroad into Action moderated by Marybeth Gasman, director of the Penn Center for MSIs, that offered the presidents concrete ideas on overcoming the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture to expand access to study abroad to students at their institutions.

Michael McRobbie
Michael McRobbie, President, Indiana University

Panelists included Andrew Gordon, founder and president of Diversity Abroad; Beth Donaldson, vice president of Global Enrollment Management at CIEE; Aaron Bruce, chief diversity officer at San Diego State University; Joti Sekhon, Winston-Salem State University; and Dr. Keshia Abraham, interim dean of Arts & Sciences at Florida Memorial University.

“The importance of study abroad for every student today is well established, yet we know that many institutions are finding it difficult to create a robust set of international programs for students and faculty. We heard from all of our member schools that the importance of having support from top university leaders cannot be overstated,” explained James P. Pellow, president and chief executive officer of CIEE. “With the Penn Center for MSIs being the leader in championing high-quality programs for Minority Serving Institutions, this partnership to sponsor the first Study Abroad Leadership Workshop for Minority Serving Institutions is an important contribution to the field and to shaping the lives of many students from MSIs.”