Discussing the Global Impact of UW–Madison

From April 15–17, the Wisconsin Alumni Association organized the 50-year anniversary of the UW Class of 1970 and invited members of the International Division to participate in a panel discussing UW’s global impact. The virtual panel for this livestreaming YouTube event included: Professor Guido Podestá, Vice Provost and Dean of UW’s International Division; Anthony “Tony” Carroll (MA’80), International Division’s external advisory board member and former assistant general counsel for the Peace Corps; Professor David McDonald, Alice D. Mortenson/Petrovich Distinguished Chair in Russian History and faculty director of the UW–Madison Partnership with Nazarbayev University (NU); and Dr. Elise Ahn, Director of the International Projects Office (IPO). The panel was moderated by Maj Fischer, Director of External Relations in the International Division.

Dean Podestá began the session by presenting an overview of the International Division’s mission, which is to cultivate international scholarship and engagement and prepare students for a diverse and interconnected world. He then handed it over to Maj Fischer, who introduced the panelists. The discussion first started with a brief conversation with Tony Carroll on the goals of the Peace Corps, its agency, its future, connection to larger Peace Corps organization and to the state of Wisconsin and why UW has been the #1 producer of Peace Corps volunteers for the last four years.

The discussion then shifted to IPO and the work it has been doing to apply the Wisconsin Idea internationally through its different partnerships and projects. Professor McDonald gave an overview of the decade-long and ongoing UW-NU partnership, which provides services, facilitates collaboration and exchange, and offers opportunities for professional development for faculty, staff, administrators, and students from both universities. He also discussed how UW got involved in the partnership, as well as the evolution of the partnership from its early stages until today. Building on this overview, Dr. Ahn noted the various UW units involved in this partnership from across campus and described how IPO facilitates the operational and administrative side of the partnership. She concluded with some comments about the history of IPO and its aim to help campus partners develop innovative and internationally-focused projects and partnerships that reflect and are informed by the WI Idea, e.g., a recent 2020 project between UW and the United Nations Development Programme Crisis Bureau Recovery Solutions and Human Mobility team around local COVID-19-related technical expertise. The session concluded with a broader discussion around the International Division, study abroad, Peace Corps and broadly, UW’s international engagement.

To watch the full video of the panel, click here.


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