NOV. 24 -- Trine's annual Study Abroad program in collaboration with International
Community Services on Nov. 18 was a central part of International Education Week.
A highlight of this year's program was the first international fashion show that featured
approximately three dozen students and community members in clothing representative
of their native countries. A panel of judges awarded prizes to the top two participants
in the categories of children, women and men. The show closed the program that included
students who have studied abroad, a local celebrity, a singer from a neighboring college,
a trio of singers/musicians from Trine and young dancers.
The program, billed as one of the group's most dynamic programs ever, was designed
to provide a unique and entertaining learning experience appropriate for all ages.
In opening the program, Haseeb Kazi, Ph.D., director of the Study Abroad program, asked everyone to observe a moment of silence for "the people of Paris and
around the globe who have suffered and given their lives for good causes." Paris was
hit with a wave of ISIS terror attacks on Friday, Nov. 13.
"This program is all about diversity; how you value diversity in education and culture
and what does it teach us; the gifts of diversity with a focus on Study Abroad," Kazi
An inspirational message from Stuart Jones, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment management,
stressed the importance and value of diversity.
"I wish you could see what I see -- look around," Jones told the audience, encouraging
everyone to stand and meet someone new. Trine is fortunate to have nearly 400 students
representing 20 countries, he said, because it increases diversity and opportunities
to learn from each other.
"Let’s educate one another and celebrate diversity. Let’s heal the world and make
it a better place," Jones said. Moments earlier, Jones told the audience he is a fan
of the late Michael Jackson and especially appreciates the hit song "Heal the World," which
many consider an anthem for world peace.
His message was not lost on the audience or other presenters. Golnaz "Goldie" Matthews,
host of the "The Goldie Show" on WFFT channel 55, referenced Jones's remarks when she spoke about her experiences
as a person of Iranian descent. Diversity is a key reason America is successful, she
"I worked in different industries, learning about places and the culture," she said,
adding her life has "come together as one of many challenges.” When the U.S. was rocked
by terror attacks Sept. 11, 2001, she was working as a general manager at a fast food
restaurant when a patron hurled a cup of coffee in her face. "That did not stop me,"
she said, nor did it change her view on America and Americans.
After that incident, she was invited to speak at a nearby school. The first question
a sixth-grader posed to Matthews was “Do you hate Americans?” She quickly told the
student “No, it was just one person.”
“Hatred is not everything. Move on and love one another; understand culture and move
on,” she said. “Learning and moving on is very important.”
She closed by asking everyone to keep their roots intact while learning about other
cultures, to never give up because dedication and persuasion are important, and to
respect each other because respect is most important.
Another guest to the stage in Fabiani Theatre was Paresh Mishra, Ph.D., an assistant
professor at IPFW who shared his singing talent. The Buehrer sisters, Elyse, August
and Iris who are Trine students, also sang and performed "Heal the World" after being
inspired by Jones.
Tanya Sharma, daughter of Trine associate professor Sameer Sharma, Ph.D., performed
a dance with her friends Emily and Nicole Rodriguez. Sharma's older daughter Vidhi
Sharma performed a solo dance.
Trine Study Abroad students Khalid Albakr, Jimmy Bailey, Barbara Dyrcz, Shelby Frailey
and Padraig Murphy told about the educational adventures they experienced while studying
outside of the U.S.
Special guests included a team from IPFW and Andaz Ahmad, Ivy Tech's director of Media
Services, Instructional Design & Online Technologies, with friends, family and a student.
Outside of Fabiani Theatre in the Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center, tables
were set up with information about many different countries, including Palestine,
India, Ukraine, Tanzania, Colombia, Argentina, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Japan
and China. The Study Abroad Club also offered information to visitors.
Door prizes were given throughout the evening.