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Scholarship Administrators from Abroad Gather at TC for Professional Development

Eight administrators of the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF), came to Teachers College for a four-week professional development program sponsored by the Global Foundation for Research and Scholarship in Tokyo. The program was directed by James Shields, a Project Coordinator at the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation.

Shoichi Katayama, the Administrative Director of the Scholarship Division at the Global Foundation presented an overview of the program. Shields and Associate Professor Florence McCarthy were the primary instructors for the four-week period. Workshops focused on issues involved with international education and educational administration.

"We highlighted the conflict between the increasing economic globalization and the need to appreciate the importance of local and national cultures," Shields said. "This conflict creates a need to foster compassionate and caring relations among all people through higher education."

Shields said that SYLFF funds are given to 59 universities around the world to create scholarship programs for graduate students who show promise as future leaders. The professional development program was established to help each university manage the program and the endowment effectively. February's workshops made up the first phase in a three-year program that provides three components to participants.

The first component of each program is the combination of English language courses for professional purposes and the sessions at TC on international education and educational administration.

In addition, they attended networking and cultural events around the city to enhance their workshop discussions. One of their cultural and networking excursions was to the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs to meet with the program directors about their programs in global environmental issues and human rights issues. "They visited Harlem and spent an evening at a jazz club," Shields added. The group also went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, attended a TC BookTalk held at the Japan Society, and took a trip to Philadelphia to see Independence Hall.

The second component is a four-day Washington based workshop at the office of the Institute of International Education to give the administrators an understanding of important national educational institutions and build on the discussions at TC.

Finally, a range of support activities will be provided to participants over the program's projected three-year span to maintain a sense of continuity.

Shields noted that, "A considerable amount of attention was given to how to make international exchange more effective and more responsible."

Marion Boultbee, International Student and Scholar Services Coordinator, spoke about the foreign student program at TC. Five students in that program, who represented the various countries that the administrators were from, spoke about their experiences at Teachers College.

"They were very interested in how we deal with foreign students," Shields said, "but they were also interested in the financial management and the administration of our foreign student programs." Shields brought in Sharon Hewitt Watkins, the Controller, and Steven Weinberg, Director of Budget and Planning, to address the group about grants and financial administration.

Ozlen Kuncek, a participant from Ankara University in Turkey, said that the program gave the group a chance to learn about higher education in the United States and to think about what international education should be. "We are trying to find a common basis," she said, "by developing proposals for the betterment of relations between SYLFF members and the betterment of procedures in our institutions."

At the end of the four weeks, the group compiled a final report in which they described the SYLFF program at their universities, noting the strengths and weaknesses of each. They also outlined recommendations for the SYLFF program in general. Proposals included using the Internet to promote collaboration among SYLFF institutions, setting up an international financial network among the institutions, and holding a regional forum for SYLFF program fellows that would focus on ethics and globalization. "SYLFF will use the project to improve its operations, and the participants will each have a copy of their own," Shields said.

February's participants came from universities in Turkey, Thailand, Portugal, Italy, China, Kenya, and Korea. The next session of SYLFF workshops is scheduled for June, 1999, and a third session will be in June 2000.

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