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8 WKU faculty members selected for program to Bosnia-Herzegovina

Eight WKU faculty members representing seven departments and three colleges have been selected to participate in the fourth annual Zuheir Sofia Endowed International Faculty Seminar (ZSEIFS).

Designed to infuse international content into the teaching, research and service of its participants, the ZSEIFS is a signature, comprehensive internationalization strategy made possible by the generous support of participants’ academic departments and colleges and the Zuheir Sofia endowment.

Faculty members selected for the 2017 ZSEIFS to Bosnia-Herzegovina are Brent Bjorkman, Folk Studies and Anthropology; Jennifer Brinkley, Professional Studies (Paralegal Studies); Amanda Crawford, Journalism & Broadcasting; Marko Dumančić, History; Kate Horigan, Folk Studies and Anthropology; James Kenney, Journalism & Broadcasting; Yvonne Petkus, Art; and Cheryl Wolf, Counseling and Student Affairs.

Under the direction of co-leaders Dr. Jerry Daday, Sociology, Gina Dzelil, WKU alumna in Business and German, and Addie Cheney, Assistant Director of International Programs, ZSEIFS participants will spend one semester analyzing both individually and collectively Bosnia-Herzegovina from multiple disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach enables faculty to forge connections across disciplines, providing a richer, deeper exploration of the target country.

Culminating in a multi-week in-country program, the ZSEIFS faculty will visit cultural and historical sites, connect with counterparts at Bosnian universities, including WKU’s partner university, the American University of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and will have ample time to carry out their individual academic goals.

Since its inception in the spring of 2014, 25 faculty have participated in the ZSEIFS, resulting in approximately 150 courses enhanced by/with international content, new and expanded research and collaborative projects, additional study abroad programs to target countries, an increase in Fulbright applications and awards, and more.

As with each ZSEIFS, the summer program to Bosnia-Herzegovina functions as a primer for the International Year of Bosnia-Herzegovina (IYO BiH). Through both the ZSEIFS and the IYO BiH, WKU audiences will have a slate of opportunities to deepen their understanding of a country and a people of significance to the region.

“Today Bosnia-Herzegovina is a multi-ethnic state confronting various social, economic and political challenges and will provide a fascinating case study for my colleagues, who will use this experience to further internationalize their teaching, research and creative activities for the benefit of our students and the international reach of our institution,” Dr. Daday said. “I hope too that this will help to extend and deepen the collaborative work between our university and the wonderful Bosnian-American community in our city and county.”

The 2017-18 ZSEIFS to Cuba is under way with preparations being made under the leadership of Jeanie Adams-Smith, Journalism & Broadcasting, and Andrew McMichael, Potter College/History. Applications for that program will be made available in August 2017. For information, visit http://www.wku.edu/zseifs.

The Zuheir Sofia Endowment was created to facilitate the mission of the Office of International Programs, which endeavors to provide leadership in the development of a strong international profile. Zuheir Sofia, a 1969 WKU graduate and 2014 Honorary Doctorate recipient, is chairman, president and CEO of Business Bank of Florida Corp.

About the Office of International Programs: The Office of International Programs supports the internationalization agenda of the university by creating opportunities for faculty and staff development in a global context and supporting the development of meaningful co-curricular programming for student, campus and community audiences.

Contact: Addie Cheney, (270) 745-3036

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