Global Diversity Initiatives within the Division of student affairs at OSU are designed to provide leadership, administration, and management for institution-wide objectives related to global learning. The focus is on supporting underrepresented student populations; both domestic and international, through educational and community-building programs.
Dr. Amarah Khan serves as the subject matter expert on global diversity within the department and provides information, strategies and ideas on how best to enhance global learning, advance discourse related to global citizenship and international engagement efforts across the division. The aim is to align these efforts with institutional needs in such a manner that domestic minorities feel encouraged to expand their horizons globally while International students at OSU feel supported and integrated.
Dr. Amarah Khan also supervises the Ettihad Cultural Center (ECC), which serves as a cross-cultural resource for all Oregon State students aiming to represent the unique cultures of central and southwestern Asia as well as northern Africa.
Global Diversity Initiatives offers opportunities for the campus community to help cultivate global citizenship through enhanced interaction and collaboration between domestic and international student groups. Working through a social justice lens, GDI develops programming to enhance the student experience, wellbeing, community building and success for all students at OSU.
Supported by the Global Beavers Team, we look for ways to cultivate a culturally competent, globally knowledgeable, inclusive and socially responsible student body. GDI currently offers the following initiatives:
GBT contributes to the development of an intentional and comprehensive student-led plan of engagement that supports and enhances the Global Diversity efforts at OSU. GBT is in its second year of operations and is a membership based program—our numbers grew to 380 students in one year with 48% domestic and 52% international student members. As the functional arm of GDI, Global Beavers Team has five operational goals:
Four student leaders with exceptional passion and commitment for cross-cultural communication are selected to serve the GBT. This year, the team includes:
GBT can be reached at Global.Diversity@oregonstate.edu
The mission of GBT is to create a thriving community of OSU students who share a global vision and responsibility. By joining GBT as a member, you can sign up to enjoy culturally diverse experiences while also receiving rewards for your engagement. Your membership card will be stamped for every global diversity event you attend--making you eligible for 3 levels of rewards:
Provide students with opportunities to critically explore the world and engage in transformative learning experiences.
Cultivate global citizenship through enhanced interaction and collaboration between domestic and international student groups.
Design events that bring ‘Globally minded, Diversity Driven’ domestic and international students together.
Continuously offer mingling of ideas/cultures/skills at all the CRCs and facilitating all OSU students who want to be active in diversity related activism.
OSU Global Forums are an open and customized platform for International and Domestic students to engage in conversations/debates around issues of cross-cultural and global significance. This platform is created with student’s need for expression in mind. If you have a topic that interests you; if you have research to present; if there is a talent you wish to highlight—Global Forums is for you.
OSU Global Forums are held once every year to allow OSU students a chance to learn about important global events. The topic and nature of the forum is determined by the GBT leaders based on current events our community should learn more about.
Issues of profiling foreign Students/students of color (a conversation with law enforcement)
Syrian Refugee Crisis (Personal story of loss/grief)
Paris attacks and implications for our community
Interfaith dialogue at OSU (part of the Spiritual Week)
Famine in South Sudan: Millions of lives in Jeopardy
The International Students’ Social Justice Retreat or ISSJR was launched in February 2016 as a collaboration between various units on campus who support international student communities. The retreat was developed in the spirit of initiating dialogue on issues of diversity, ethnicity, race, and nationality among international students. The pilot project has now been fully integrated into the social justice retreat program within the Division of Student Affairs. This retreat helps international students understand the US socio-historical narrative on race and ethnicity, and offers skills to manage and disrupt discrimination based on student’s perceived identities. Significant amount of discussion is focused on students’ rights, responsibilities and the resources they can use for success--all in a relaxing atmosphere, away from the busy routine of campus life. ISSJR 2016 took place at the Marine Science Center, Newport OR. In 2018, the retreat is going to be on February 3rd-5th at Silver Falls Lodge in Silverton, OR.
The retreat is facilitated by OSU faculty members that share the immigrant experience with international students and can relate to their stories at an in-depth level. The first ISSJR was facilitated by faculty members coming from India, Pakistan and Somalia.
Students are able to express ideas, identify behaviors, and actualize practices that promote social justice and equity.
Students are able to articulate ideas and exhibit behaviors that cultivate teamwork, critical thought, and communication skills needed to function in a diverse workforce and global community.
Students are able to demonstrate techniques and utilize tools to interrupt micro-aggressions and bias behaviors that adversely affect underrepresented communities.
Upon arriving to OSU in Corvallis, OR, international students may experience many cultural and social adjustment issues that can impact their success. Making friends, getting used to the food, social structure, academic system, and way of life can be difficult in a new place. To help students navigate these challenges, Oregon State University offered its first peer to peer mentoring initiative for international students in the Fall of 2015. Developed as a cross-divisional support structure for OSU’s global community; IPMP is co-managed by GDI (Student Affairs) and OIS (International Programs). The program is structured in such a manner that from recruitment of mentoring families to their weekly engagement; each participant can find a reliable support system and community for fostering cross-cultural connections.The program aims to facilitate peer-to-peer interactions that may help with student development as well as cultural, academic, and social adjustment at OSU and in the US.
Since the program resides in two units, the management of the program is also shared. Caitlin McVay, an International Student Advisor offers support from the Office of International Services. Dr. Amarah Khan manages the program for Diversity and Cultural Engagement. Program activities and outreach are designed by student leader and program coordinator, Honoka Mitsuishi
After serving as mentees in the International Peer Mentoring Program, students will be able to do the following:
Connect to a mentor who will be able to assist them in navigating the cultural, academic, and social adjustment issues that arise when first entering the United States and coming to Oregon State University.
Establish a support network through participating in the International Peer Mentoring Program.
Utilize resources on and off campus that support students’ specific cultural, academic, and social adjustment needs.
After serving as peer mentors in the International Peer Mentoring Program, students will be able to do the following:
Develop leadership skills that they can apply to their future careers and educational pursuits.
Identify cultural, academic, and social adjustment needs of the students they mentor.
Analyze mentees’ needs and connect others to resources on and off campus to assist with transitions.
President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. Oregon State University is a proud member of the CGIU network and has been sending student entrepreneurs to the event since 2015.
President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton hosted CGI U 2017 at Northeastern University in Boston, MA on October 12-15, 2017. OSU’s delegation at the event comprised of 6 exceptional students from across disciplines who presented projects related to Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health. Participating teams received awards and encouragement from innovation leaders at the event.
Global Diversity Initiatives at OSU is committed to supporting the next cohort of OSU students presenting and succeeding at CGIU 2018. If your department is interested in developing student’s ‘commitments to action’ please fill out the following information sheet so we can invite your students to CGIU 2018. All academic units are encouraged to participate; only the most innovative ideas will be advanced to submit applications on OSU’s behalf.
CGI U's five focus areas guide conversations within the CGI U community and allow CGI U students to form strategic networks around common issues. While concerns in Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health are crosscutting and often inextricably linked, CGI U asks commitment-makers to select the focus area most relevant to their work. Here is a link to some additional information:
Diversity & Cultural Engagement is in no in affiliation with or endorsement of any political party.
Recognizing the enormous resource offered by a large number of multilingual students and faculty members at OSU, Global Diversity Initiatives has helped launch the first of its kind student language club that offers early comprehension, speaking and writing skills in various languages to students from across campus. Designed as an exchange, the club functions through ‘language clusters’ where a native speaker develops the curriculum and provides instruction in their native language in exchange for learning another language offered within the group. Currently, Arabic and Cantonese clusters are active and accepting more interest.