UVU’s Office for Global Engagement is an on-campus resource for students interested in having international experiences and appreciating the value of awareness and perspective in society and the world.
Its program director, Amy Barnett, presents the overall goal of the office, which is to “create opportunities for students to succeed and empower them to become responsible global citizens.” She explains that the office is dedicated to perpetrating its mission to be “committed to the principle that international experiences, awareness, and perspectives are vital to a strong, sustainable world.”
The office is also responsible for UVU’s Global Spotlight Initiative which is a “carefully designed” program that aims “to support UVU faculty and to promote global awareness throughout [UVU].” This initiative incentivizes UVU faculty, staff, and campus organizations to host events supporting their message. “The Global Spotlight experience must include an international component,” to qualify.
Some Global Spotlight events include presentations from esteemed individuals dedicated to working with international affairs and issues. For example, Peter Sewakiryanga, the Executive Director of Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM) was invited to speak on Wednesday, Nov. 1 about his work combating child trafficking and similar issues in Uganda.
Barnett recalls that even though she knew child trafficking and sacrifice would be a sensitive topic to discuss, Sewakiryanga’s presentation taught her a valuable lesson. “With such evil in the world, it is reassuring to know there are organizations and people like Peter doing everything they can to help the children they save and to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
In addition to attending these events, Barnett explains that UVU faculty, staff, and students are also welcome and invited to “help us find new and interesting international topics to share.”
The Global Leadership Program is another campus resource obtainable through the office. The leadership program is meant “to enhance student success and the leadership potential of its members by offering immersive international experiences, facilitating exposure to diverse cultures, and fostering diplomatic skills,” according to Barnett.
From being on the organizing committees of both the Salt Lake 2002 and Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games to acting as the principal relations liaison for diverse National Olympic and Paralympic Committees and having six years of international customer service spent in Eastern Europe, Barnett has a lot of personal experience with international relations.
“I love sharing my knowledge and skills learned from many years of travel, working internationally, and high-level and dignitary interactions,” Barnett explains. “Bringing a bit of the world to campus every day will hopefully help our students understand what awaits them after UVU.”
Barnett also encourages students who wish to get involved to start by looking into their newsletters. The Office for Global Engagement has moved to room 210 of the Liberal Arts Building and remains separate from the Multicultural Student Services program which still resides in room 114 of the LA building. Students can also email [email protected] or follow @uvugeo on social media to stay connected.