Spring 2014 Global Citizenship Day

Spring 2014 Global Citizenship Day

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Maha Neouchy
April 01, 2014

The Global Citizenship Day, sponsored by the Prudential Foundation, highlights the importance of global citizenship and also serves as a tool for the entire TWC student body to enhance their cross-cultural skills in order to make an impact in the world.

Keynote Highlighting International Cultural Exchange


As a part of the second annual Global Citizenship Day on Friday, March 21st, TWC welcomed Evan Ryan, assistant secretary of state of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), as the official keynote speaker. From 2009 to 2013, she served in the White House as assistant to the Vice President and special assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement. In her current role, a position to which she was appointed in September 2014, Ryan oversees a number of exchange programs between the U.S. and citizens of countries abroad as a way of promoting peace and safety in other nations.


During the keynote, Ryan discussed her career and professional journey, the impact of cultural exchanges and how they shape emerging leaders from countries all over the world, and how entrepreneurship serves as one of the "key vehicles to improving economic and social change around the world."


She also took questions from students interested in cultural exchange programs. Tyler Boyce, a student at University of San Diego and intern in the Office of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), plans on attending a cultural exchange program in Germany once his TWC experience is over. He has noticed that most Americans opt for cultural exchange programs in European countries, and wanted to know if Ryan recommended "other countries that Americans should be exposed to such as China and Japan?" Ryan said that she herself studied in London and never viewed it as a culturally dramatic experience. But when she discussed it with her ECA colleagues, "they made me view it in a different light and now I've come to view it differently. If I didn't have that London experience, I'm not sure I would've had the courage to explore other countries in a professional way. For some of us it will be London or another English-speaking country, and for some of us it might be China."


Joanna Payoyo, a student at the University of Calgary in Canada and intern at Pyramid Atlantic, has met many people in Washington, D.C. who are seniors and will be graduating once their TWC experience ends in May. She asked if there was a "an opportunity for people to participate in cultural exchanges after college?" Ryan shared that the ECA does not only manage academic exchanges, "but also professional and cultural exchanges. I think most people traditionally view exchanges as a study abroad experience during your junior year. But there are many opportunities now offered after college, such as teaching English around the globe."


Breakout Sessions


After the keynote, spring 2014 interns were given the opportunity to expand their global skills by participating in one of five breakout sessions with professionals from a variety of backgrounds:


  • Dr. Yining Xie, M.D., from the National Institute of Health, hosted a breakout session on Public Speaking Skills. During the session, Xie discussed how an individual's public speaking abilities serves as a means to establish leadership.
  • Yusuf Abugideiri, CFP, from the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), hosted a breakout session on Financial Literacy. During the session, Abugideiri discussed the importance of managing personal finances and several key skills of financial management and budgeting.
  • Kamal Beyoghlow, Ph.D., from the National War College (NWC), hosted a breakout session on Cross-cultural Negotiation Skills Around the Globe. During the session, Beyoghlow discussed cultural nuances, business etiquette, general negotiation tactics, and the importance of reaching mutually beneficial agreements.
  • Olimar Maisonet-Guzman, from the Center for Collaborative Technologies at IREX, hosted a breakout session on Global Leadership Perspective. During the session, Maisonet-Guzman discussed a leader's ability to effectively communicate with and rally support from diverse stakeholders on shared priorities, values, and goals.
  • Robert SanGeorge, a professor at American University, hosted a breakout session on Social Responsibility. During the session, SanGeorge discussed the intentional actions individuals can take to make a difference in addressing social issues around the globe, in their own country, and/or in their local community.

The day culminated with the 11th International Festival, an event celebrating TWC's cultural diversity and representation from around the world.

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