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Call for Abstracts & Save the Date: Sixth Annual Global Health Symposium

November 24, 2009

The Sixth Annual Global Health Symposium titled, “Wisconsin Ideas for Improving Global Health” will be held February 3, 2010, from 5-9 p.m. at the Health Sciences Learning Center, Room1306.

Are you interested or engaged in global health?  The UW-Madison Center for Global Health will sponsor its sixth annual symposium to highlight the exciting global health efforts of UW faculty, staff, students, and colleagues from the Madison area and beyond. You are cordially invited to attend, share your work with the UW community, and learn from others.

We welcome presentations and participants from all disciplines that address global health or improving the conditions necessary for health.  We encourage presentations from the entire campus including the arts, agriculture, business, education, engineering, health, and social sciences.

Ajay K. Sethi, PhD, MHS, Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the UW-School of Medicine and Public Health will provide the keynote address based on his work: “Addressing HIV/AIDS in Uganda: An Organic Approach”. Dr. Sethi is an infectious disease epidemiologist whose areas of research include HIV, antiretroviral therapy, and substance use.  He received his training in epidemiology and molecular microbiology and immunology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Following the keynote address, participants may select from concurrent sessions featuring brief presentations of global health activities.  The symposium will end with a reception, music, and time for networking.

Attendance at the symposium is free of charge, open to the public, and no registration is required.  We hope you will join us for an exciting global health symposium.

Please submit an abstract if you are interested in sharing a ten minute presentation or displaying a poster about your global health work.

Abstract Requirements:

Abstracts for posters or presentations should be sent via e-mail to Betsy Teigland at the Center for Global Health, teigland@wisc.edu (300 word maximum).

Abstracts should include: background of the problem and context; description of the project and participants; and outcomes if available.  Be sure to include your name, e-mail address, phone number, UW affiliation, the country where you have worked, title for your presentation, and whether you would prefer a presentation or poster.

The deadline for submissions is December 18, 2009. You will be notified of the status of your application by January 8, 2010.  For more information, please contact Betsy Teigland at teigland@wisc.edu or at 608-262-3862.

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UW-Madison Ranked in Top 20 of World Universities

November 24, 2009

According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities – 2009, UW-Madison is once again ranked in the top 20 (#17) of world universities compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Check out Global Higher Ed’s articles to read about the complexities inherent in rankings.

China Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections – Event December 8

November 24, 2009

The Madison Committee on Foreign Relations (MCFR) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and invite you to participate in a special event, China Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections. The event will take place December 8 from 5:30-8:15 p.m., in the Pacific Room at the Edgewater Hotel located at 666 Wisconsin Avenue. Registration is required (details below). Download full event invite.

The program will open with a lecture by Albert Keidel, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council on “The Future of U.S.-China Economic Relations.”

Following Dr. Keidel’s presentation in Madison, we will join a national Web cast from Washington, D.C. featuring Kurt M. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Steve Orlins, President of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, will moderate this 45-minute portion of the program, comprised of a 15-minute talk, followed by a half hour question and answer session with Mr. Campbell – questions will be e-mailed in or taken from the audience members throughout the country.

China Town Hall is a national day of programming on China involving 40 cities throughout the United States.  Nationally this event is brought to you by the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Locally, the MCFR and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE) organized this event with the support of many units at the UW-Madison including the Center for East Asian Studies, the Wisconsin China Initiative, the Center for International Business Education & Research, Global Studies, and the Division of International Studies.

Agenda:
5:30 p.m. – Doors open for registration and hors d’oeuvres
6:00 p.m.  – Keidel’s presentation and discussion
6:45 p.m. – Short break for hors d’oeuvres
7:00 p.m. – Campbell Web cast and Q&A
7:45-8:15 p.m.  – Discussion and Networking

Note free indoor parking is available at the Edgewater.

Registration and Payment:
– Sustaining members of the Madison Committee on Foreign Relations (MCFR): Free
– Non-MCFR member guests, including those affiliated with the UW sponsors: $20 at the door
– Attending MCFR members and spouses/partners of members: $20 at the door
– Funding assistance available see below.

If you are planning to attend the December 8 event (without funding assistance), please RSVP to mcfr@tcgcorp.net by Friday, December 4.

Does UW really Suffer from a Dearth of Diversity? [The Cap Times]

November 20, 2009

UW-Madison’s long-standing focus on “targeted minorities” is a much-too-provincial view of “diversity” in the global world of the 21st century. This narrow approach ignores the many channels through which students are exposed to the wide range of subject matter, ideas, people, cultures, and attitudes that characterize UW-Madison.

For starters, in 2008-09 UW-Madison undergraduates came from cities large and small, spread across Wisconsin’s 72 counties and all 50 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico, and more than 100 foreign countries.

The most “targeted” of the “targeted minority” groups — African-Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics — included 2,088 students. “Targeted” Southeast Asians added another 528 students. To this must be added the 1,149 Asian-American undergraduates who are not counted among “targeted minorities” but bring with them a rich cultural heritage and unmatched academic prowess.

International undergraduate students numbered 1,335 and came from 106 foreign countries. Their presence offers rich opportunities for UW-Madison students to learn about different cultures and peoples. Add to this the 1,234 undergraduate students who last year participated in campus study abroad programs. An uncounted number of additional students went abroad to study or travel on their own. Other undergraduate students have resided abroad, including 127 U.S. citizens who lived in 35 countries when they enrolled at UW-Madison.

What about graduate and professional students? To the 798 black Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics, we must add the 544 Asian-Americans and 2,136 international students. Many undergraduates have direct contact with these graduate students, who often serve as teaching assistants in large undergraduate courses.

Members of the faculty and instructional academic staff constitute another rich source of diversity. Many of them gained international experience through their teaching and research abroad, as well as their meetings with foreign scholars. This enables them to incorporate that experience into both their teaching and research.

Undergraduate and graduate students alike benefit enormously from the many varieties of “diversity” they encounter on the Madison campus. This exposure is not limited to people from a narrow group of racial/ethnic categories. It goes beyond that to embrace what it is that students learn in their courses, classroom interactions, and extracurricular encounters.

After they graduate, many students motivated by their “Wisconsin experience” quickly gain international experience as Peace Corps volunteers and Fulbright scholars, and through overseas jobs and personal travel. Some of them return later for advanced study and further enrich the international flavor of the campus.

Campus officials continue to voice the largely unsubstantiated claim that employers avoid hiring our graduating seniors for their lack “diversity competence,” which seems to mean the presence of greater numbers of “targeted minorities.” What employers are more likely to want these days is “global competence.” This calls for undergraduate students to develop an appreciation for the diversity of ideas, attitudes, and modes of thinking that come with exposure to the global world in which we now live. That is what a university education is all about.

View the full article by W. Lee Hansen, professor emeritus of economics at UW-Madison. wlhansen@wisc.edu

Engineers without Borders at UW-Madison Wins United Nations Award

November 19, 2009

UW-Madison News — MADISON – Work on a project to provide a Haitian community with hydroelectric power has won the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders a prestigious United Nations engineering award.

“This is a huge honor, and it feels really good to have the project recognized at such a high level,” says Kyle Ankenbauer, a civil engineering student and co-manager of the Haiti project. “The award will help generate a lot of momentum behind this project since it’s been recognized by the UN.”

For much of the year, the Saint-Cyr River in northern Haiti is a docile trickle one foot deep. However, when the late spring rains bear down on the Saint-Cyr, the river swells in some points to be more than 30 feet across and 10 feet deep.

This volatility left a sinking feeling in the student members of the UW-Madison chapter of Engineers Without Borders when they realized the extent of the flooding during their trip to Haiti in June to begin building a hydroelectric power generator. The site for the generator was in one of the areas most affected by flooding.

The students rallied to find a safer site, and they are currently working to construct a mini-hydroelectric power generator at the new site, which will provide three to five kilowatt hours of electricity to a school, library and church in Bayonnais, Haiti. The generator will also serve as a pilot project for a larger, 15- to 25-kilowatt generator the group may build for a community clinic currently in design.

Ankenbauer and UW-Madison chapter president Eyleen Chou, a mechanical engineering student, made a trip to Stuttgart, Germany, to accept $22,400 and a gold medal Mondialogo Engineering Award for the chapter.

The award is a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and Daimler initiative to recognize engineering achievements aimed at meeting United Nations millennium development goals and fostering intercultural dialogue. The award was presented at the Mondialogo Symposium.

Engineers Without Borders is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving underdeveloped countries and communities around the world.

In addition to Haiti, the active UW-Madison chapter has projects in Rwanda, Kenya, El Salvador and Red Cliff, Wis. The Haiti project is unique because the UW-Madison chapter is collaborating extensively with other EWB chapters and NGOs. They share the Mondialogo award with Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Bayonnais native and engineer Kenold Decimus joined Ankenbauer and Chou in Germany.

This is the second time the EWB-UW group has won a Mondialogo award; in 2005, the Rwanda project won a bronze award and about $7,000.

The University of Colorado-Boulder launched the first chapter of EWB in 2000 and a bridge project in Haiti was one of its earliest initiatives. Graduate student Scott Hamel was with the project from the beginning in 2002, and when he came to UW-Madison to pursue a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering, he encouraged the EWB-UW group to get involved.

The UW-Madison group did in 2006 and continued work on the bridge project in collaboration with the EWB San Francisco professional chapter (which currently is designing the clinic), a nongovernmental organization in Haiti and a church in North Carolina that now will support a salary for a local community member trained to maintain the hydroelectric generator. In addition to finishing and repairing the bridge after Hurricane Hannah, the EWB-UW group is currently repairing a 10-mile pipe that carries fresh water through Bayonnais and was recently damaged in a hurricane.

For Hamel, the connections he made with local people are why he continued to stay involved with the Haiti project.

“It’s the poorest country in the western hemisphere,” he says. “I feel a sense of responsibility toward people who haven’t had the same opportunities I’ve had, and the people I’ve met in Haiti are my friends now.”

Ankenbauer says the people of Bayonnais want to help improve their community. “We’re simply brining technology to people who are capable of supporting it and using it to better their community,” he says.

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– Sandra Knisely, 608-265-8592, knisely@wisc.edu

CONTACT: Kyle Ankenbauer, ankenbauer@wisc.edu; Giri Venkataramanan, 608-262-4479, giri@engr.wisc.edu

8th Annual International Children’s and Young Adult Literature to be Celebrated at UW-Madison

November 19, 2009

International children’s and young adult literature will be the focus of an all-day celebration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 21, 2009, at the Memorial Union, 800 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin.

The conference, entitled “Open a Book … Open a Door … Open your Mind … to the World,” will feature presentations by three internationally known authors – Sylviane Diouf, Rachna Gilmore, and James Rumford, and a scholar of Russian History, Kelly Herold. The opening speaker will be Megan Schliesman, a nationally recognized authority on children’s literature and librarian at the UW’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC).

The celebration, designed for educators, school, and public librarians; students and faculty of education and library science; and children’s literature enthusiasts, is an interactive workshop that aims to encourage educators to internationalize their curriculum by incorporating literature that focuses on different cultures from around the world. Held in celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment.

“This year’s [2008] celebration was wonderful as always, and it made me marvel at the different and remarkable energies, passions and windows through which our authors view and create their works..,” says Jean Hildreth, Librarian at the Luxemburg-Casco Middle School, who attended the last years conference. “I anticipate the annual conference with pleasure for months each year, and the reverberations of the experience create a long-term wealth of ideas which I bring to both my job and my personal life for years afterward,” Hildreth says.

In addition to their presentation at the Saturday event, authors Diouf, Gilmore, and Rumford have been invited by First Lady Jessica Doyle to participate in a “Reading Day” at the Governor’s Mansion. School children from Madison, Lodi, Albany, and Cambridge will convene at the Mansion for a one-on-one reading with the author whose book was chosen by the First Lady for her Read on Wisconsin Initiative.

The annual celebration is sponsored by the Wisconsin International Outreach Consortium (WIOC), which includes seven UW-Madison, and two UW-Milwaukee area studies programs. This year additional sponsorship was granted by the UW-Madison Anonymous Fund. Participating attendees for the workshop come from all over the state of Wisconsin, and from Illinois.

The award-winning authors who will be featured during the conference are:

Sylviane Diouf is an award-winning historian. She received a doctorate from the University of Paris and has taught at New York University. She is the author of several academic books which have won critical acclaim and historical prizes, such as Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America (2007). Diouf has written books for younger readers, including the award-winning Kings and Queens of West Africa (2000); and her only fiction book, Bintou’s Braids (2001) published in the U.S., France, and Brazil. Born in France, Diouf has lived in Gabon, Senegal, Italy, and now resides in New York.

Rachna Gilmore
is the critically acclaimed Governor General’s Award winning author of numerous books. Her publications include picture books, early readers, middle grade, and young adult novels, as well as adult fiction. Her young adult novel, A Group of One, was named a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Book, and recommended by the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age List. Born in India, Rachna has lived in London, England, and Prince Edward Island. She now lives in Ottawa where she continues to plark (play, work, lark) at her writing, and dreaming up weird and wonder-filled tales.

Kelly Herold is an assistant professor in the Department of Russian at Grinnell University. She did her undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures and History in 1989. She received the M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UCLA in 1993 and 1998 respectively. Most recently, Kelly has been doing research in the area of children’s literature, and has taught two tutorials devoted to this topic (2007 and 2008).

James Rumford has studied more than a dozen languages and worked in the Peace Corps, where he traveled to Africa, Asia, and Afghanistan. He is the author-illustrator of Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing, a 2005 Sibert Honor Book; Calabash Cat and His Amazing Journey; Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta 1325-1354; and There’s a Monster in the Alphabet. His most recent book, Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad, has won numerous awards. He lives in Hawaii.

For more information on the authors and the workshop, contact Rachel Weiss, Outreach Coordinator, Center for South Asia, UW-Madison, (608) 262-9224 or rweiss@southasia.wisc.edu.

The Human Rights Initiative Presents a Lecture on Making Climate Change a Health Issue

November 19, 2009

The Human Rights Initiative invites you to a lecture, “Making Climate Change a Health Issue: The Lancet/University College of London Commission on Climate Change” by Dr. Nora Groce from the University College London, on Monday, November 23 from 3:30-5 p.m. at  206 Ingraham.

Learn more about Dr. Nora Groce
Professor Nora Groce is the Leonard Cheshire Chair and director of the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre at University College London.  A medical anthropologist, working in global health and international development with particular emphasis on health and poverty among vulnerable populations, she served as a member of the Lancet/University College London’s Commission on Climate Change, looking at the potential impact of climate change on at-risk populations in the developing world.  Professor Groce has published widely, and regularly serves as a consultant to various United Nations, governmental, and NGO organizations.

This is co-sponsored with the Nelson Institute and Global Health.