Monday, Nov. 12 marks the beginning of UVSC’s third annual Global Engagement Week. Various activities, shows and lectures sponsored by a number of organizations within the school will be held each day in an effort to raise cultural understanding.

This event is a part of the International Education Week (IEW), a joint initiative of the US Department of State and the US Department of Education to celebrate international education and the exchange of students worldwide. Meant to promote programs that prepare Americans for the global environment, IEW involves more than 100 countries.

In her 2007 statement, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said, "In a world where challenges transcend borders, education is essential for making the world more peaceful and more prosperous. American students can better understand global issues by learning other languages and experiencing other cultures first-hand."

Tuesday’s agenda includes the UVSC international faculty/staff/student get-together, where attendees will enjoy an ethnic food potluck dinner and entertainment. Those who wish to attend must RSVP Maryna Storrs, coordinator of International Affairs.

The international food and dress extravaganza will be held in the hall of flags on Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. That evening at 7 p.m. is the Mr & Miss UVSC International annual showcase.

The School of Business will sponsor the Executive Lecture Series featuring Lew Cramer, president of the World Trade Center Utah, on Thursday in the Ragan Theater. Also on Thursday is the Annual World Hunger Banguet in the Ballroom. The banquet includes presentations focused on homelessness and hunger. Proceeds from the banquet go to hunger and homeless agencies.

The final event capping off the week’s activities is the "Jewels of the Orient" dance show on Friday night. The show includes authentic performances from the Middle East, Spain and India. Internationally recognized artists David of Scandinavia, Nalini and Isadora Bushkovski are included in the program. Viktoriya Shershnova, primary organizer of the show, will also be performing.

This show will exhibit performances never before seen in Utah, and the audience can gain a better understanding of the dances of the East. "One of the main purposes of the show is to reveal belly dancing as a beautiful art form. Contrary to the popular belief as a seductive dance, Egyptian belly dance is a contemporary performance art that expresses mood evoked by the enchanting rhythms of the traditional music," said Maryna Storrs, coordinator of International Affairs.

The activities held during the week are aimed at increasing global awareness and appreciation for the cultural diversity of our community. The enjoyment of participation in these activities ought to create a greater understanding of the cultures of those attending UVSC. Times and ticket prices can be found through UVSC’s Web site.