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Going global with higher education

Taking a deeper look at where education and globalization combine, what it means for Weber State University, why it matters and how that intersection is directing today’s norms were the topics of the Higher Education Administration Lecture Series on April 5.

Dr. Brett Perozzi is the current Vice President of Student Affairs at Weber State. (THE SIGNPOST/ ISRAEL CAMPA)
Brett Perozzi is the current vice president of student affairs at Weber State. (Israel Campa // The Signpost)

Brett Perozzi, vice president for student affairs, lectured to roughly 70 people from all over the globe for the Internationalization and Higher Education Administration Lecture Series.

The series has conducted three of their four scheduled — and open to the public — topics, which have been “The Future of Higher Education in The Post-Covid World — International Perspectives” and “Global and Intercultural Competence.” The third and most recent topic was Perozzi’s lecture on student affairs and services in global perspective.

Among the attendees was Yimin Wang, senior international officer in the Department of International Affairs at Weber State University.

The main focus was on the role of educators, such as academic advisors and other instructors, who work towards the successes of WSU’s student body. Additionally, they discussed ways to implement and open up to foreign systems, ways of thinking about and approaching any common goal and what connecting and interacting between cultures on a day-to-day global scale means.

“Cultural exploration and global learning is an essential part of a well-rounded education,” Wang said. “And is becoming exceedingly important in the globalized world and economy.”

Student Affairs globally has become very important in the student's well being academically and personally. (THE SIGNPOST/ ISRAEL CAMPA)
Globally, student affairs has become very important for the student's wellbeing, both academically and personally. (Israel Campa // The Signpost)

Wang pointed out that the world of internationalization comes down to almost all human interactions, whether they be social, technological or economic, things at some point have to be considered and looked at through an internationalized lens by those people with a strong foundation of knowledge, volition and openness.

Perozzi, who has been studying the Chinese system for about six years, still doesn’t fully understand it. During his past speeches, Perozzi has noticed that people tend to be interested in the different education models, so he intentionally took on a more academic slant in Monday’s lecture.

“Quite frankly,” Perozzi said. “The way we do things in the United States might not always be the best way. I sometimes fall into a trap sometimes a little bit when thinking the way we do things in education might be the best way, and yet, you remain open and look at other models and what other countries are doing. We might modify to some extent how we operate also.”

Dr. Yimin Wang is the current Senior International Officer and is setting up these lectures to help inform the Weber State community about Higher Education. (THE SIGNPOST/ ISRAEL CAMPA)
Yimin Wang is the current senior international officer and is utilizing these lectures to help inform the Weber State community about higher education. (Israel Campa // The Signpost)

Another WSU attendee, supporting Perozzi, was Kimberly Love, program administrator in WSU’s Division of Online and Continuing Education. In her daily job, she doesn’t always have the opportunity to work one on one with the WSU student body; nonetheless, when she does, she tries to do so by understanding who each student is and where they are before giving any advisement or direction to a student.

For Love, it is not too far of a jump for people to turn this basic rule, which she calls “knowing their story,” into other aspects of that person’s normal circle.

“Everything we do in life is an interaction with someone else,” Love said. “And we should take the time to know their story, why it is that they see things the ways that they do and why they feel about things the way that they do.”

Love explained taking a walk in others’ shoes — even for just a little bit — because people can have differences, and for Love, that’s the key to true empathy.

“This lecture series has given our students, our faculty and our staff an opportunity to engage with global citizens,” Love said. “This is so vital because we are a state that has an international feel about us, and for Weber State to lead and provide international experiences to teach about intercultural competencies is absolutely essential in a world with a global economy and global communication systems.”

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