Diversity Award to CGIS Associate Director

Pardip Bolina, Associate Director of the Center for Global and Intercultural Studies, was among those honored with a 2014 Distinguished Diversity Leadership Award. This award recognizes UM staff who demonstrate extraordinary commitment and dedication to diversity on our campus. Pardip was honored for her efforts to promote understanding of diversity issues within the context of education abroad. Her initiatives included establishing a diversity abroad reading group for her CGIS colleagues to facilitate discussion around how LGBTQ, race, low SES, and first-generation status impact our students' experiences abroad. Pardip was selected as one of 20 participants in the CIEE diversity abroad future leaders summit and serves as member of the NAFSA sub-committee on underrepresented students.

CGIS Diversity Programming Interns

Mylaica Conner and Adelia Davis, CGIS Diversity Programming Interns, participated in the first annual Global Student Leadership Summit, which met in conjunction with the third annual Diversity Abroad Conference. Over 20 students from campuses across the country came together last March in New Orleans to network with one another and with professionals in the field of international education. Adelia also participated in a panel presentation on how identity and diversity issues played a role in her experience abroad. Mylaica and Adelia are pictured here with CGIS instructor Timothy Corvidae, who also attended the conference.

First Bonderman Cohort Returns, New Bonderman Cohort Departs

The Bonderman Fellowship offers 4 graduating LSA seniors $20,000 to travel the world. They must travel to at least 6 countries in 2 regions over the course of 8 months and are expected to immerse themselves in independent and enriching explorations. Bonderman Fellows engage with cultures, people, and areas of the world with which they are not familiar, providing an opportunity to develop entirely new perspectives.

The University of Michigan is 1 of only 2 schools—along with the University of Washington—to offer the Bonderman award. Fellows make their own travel itineraries and, because this is meant to be an individual experience, cannot engage in formal study at a foreign university, conduct formal research, or travel with a guest or organized group for longer than 10 days.

The first Bonderman cohort began returning to the US in April, each fellow returning with stories and reflections about their incredible experiences, including many insights about diversity around the globe. Louis Mirante's blog offers a good flavor of the Bonderman experience. This spring, GCIS also selected its Bonderman Fellows for the 2015–16 academic year, our second cohort of talented, innovative, ambitious scholars eager to experience new things and think deeply about multicultural realities around the globe.

Two UM Students Receive Prestigious Boren Award 

Megan Cansfield and Nicholas Theodoracatos were awarded Boren Scholarships from the National Security Education Program for the 2015–16 academic year. Megan is an undergraduate student in International Studies, Chinese Studies, and Political Science currently studying Mandarin at the Beijing Foreign Studies University in Beijing. Nick is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering currently studying Korean at Yonsei University in Seoul. Both students were awarded the full amount they requested from the fund—Megan received $15,850 and Nick received $20,000.

LSA Senior Wins Gilman Award

Grigoriy Opengeym, a UM senior majoring in Russian, was one of 800 American undergraduate students from 356 colleges and universities across the US to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 toward their study abroad costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Greg participated in CGIS’s Intensive Russian Language and Culture in St. Petersburg program.

MLK Day Circle of Unity Celebration

CGIS proudly cosponsors the Michigan Community Scholars Program’s Circle of Unity event each MLK Day. Students, staff, and faculty are all invited to this annual community gathering, which in 2015 featured a sing-along with Joe Reilly and Julie Buetel and performances by the Gospel Chorale and spoken-word poets.