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International Education Week 2017

office of international programs


IEW 2017: Welcome from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh ('10) - CLICK TO PLAY

IEW Poster 2015

Initiated in 2000 by the US Department of State and the Department of Education, International Education Week (IEW) emphasizes the importance of increasing knowledge and awareness of the world's cultures, peoples and languages, and affirms the critical role the international education plays at Boston College.

Celebrated from November 13 to 17, the theme for Boston College’s 2017 IEW is "Being a Changemaker: The Heights and Beyond". This topic gives Boston College's campus an opportunity to consider who we are, where we are going, and how we might make a positive difference at BC, in our local communities, at a national level, and in the world. A special focus will be given to the work of BC alumni and other notable leaders who have found ways of bringing about meaningful change in a variety of settings.

Check out the great events below and join in the internationalization of Boston College! Maps and directions to the locations listed below can be found on the Boston College website.

IEW 2017 is a collaborative effort organized by a wide array of departments and offices at Boston College, under the direction of the Office of International Students and Scholars and the Office of International Programs.

Schedule of Events

Monday, November 13th    

Thursday, November 16th  

Tuesday, November 14th                        

Friday, November 17th

Wednesday, November 15th




Entire IEW: Nov. 13th - 17th


Photo Exhibition

Nov 1. - Nov. 30, Level One Gallery, O'Neill Library

An exhibition sponsored by the Office of International Students & Scholars and the Boston College Libraries of international photographs submitted from members across the Boston College community. This is part of International Education Week, a nationwide initiative with the goal of fostering international education. 

Sponsored by the BC Libraries and the Office of International Students and Scholars.



Refugee Portal

Nov 13. - Nov. 16, O'Neill Plaza

The Refugee Portal is the centerpiece of The Refugee Project at BC. Shared_Studios has transformed a shipping container into a studio with a wall-sized videoconferencing screen that connects to other "portals" worldwide to create uncommon conversational/educational opportunities. For four hours each morning from Nov 13-16, the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life will host a series of 25-minute conversations between small groups of 3-6 BC people and small groups of Syrian and Iraqi refugees/IDPs in Iraq, Jordan, and Berlin. Conversations will center on music, sports, family, and culture, as well as the particular migration experiences of people on both ends of the portal.

For an opportunity to enter into a conversation in the portal during one of the sessions, sign up on the registration page. Not everyone who signs up will be able to can get a turn, because of scheduling issues and space constraints, but the organizers will work to get as many people as possible into the conversations.

Sponsored by the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, in collaboration with the Harvard Divinity School, the American Academy of Religion, and Shared_Studios (with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation).



Monday, November 13th

Security Implications of Sudden and Severe Natural Disasters

12:00pm-1:15pm, McGuinn 223

How do sudden and severe natural disasters influence ongoing conflicts and conflict groups? Can sudden and severe natural disasters facilitate long-term cooperation or do they exacerbate long-term conflicts? Through the examination of the 2004 tsunami and its impact on the conflicts in Aceh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, this talk will discuss the variables that came into play to shape the conflicts and their divergent outcomes.

This event features Prof. Nichola Minott, a Visiting Professor in International Studies at Boston College. Prof. Minott is currently working on issues pertaining to international environment and resource policy studies, international security studies, and conflict resolution and negotiations. She holds an MA and PhD from Tufts University's Fletcher School.

Lunch provided. RSVP to

Sponsored by the International Studies Program.


Event Flier

Addressing Global Health Challenges, One Child at a Time: Fireside Chat with Navyn Salem ('94), Founder and CEO of Edesia Nutrition

4:00pm-6:00pm, Heights Room, Corcoran Commons

In 2007, Navyn Salem (BC '94) set out to help end the crisis of malnutrition for over 250 million children around the world by setting up a factory in Tanzania, her father's home country, that would produce ready-to-use therapeutic foods to treat severe acute malnutrition. In 2009 she expanded the vision by founding Edesia, a U.S. non-profit food aid manufacturer with a mission to treat and prevent malnutrition in developing countries worldwide. The factory in North Kingstown, RI produces a range of fortified, peanut-based products like Plumpy'Nut for humanitarian agencies like UNICEF, World Food Programme, USAID and other NGOs working in emergency and conflict zones. Since 2010, Edesia has reached nearly 6 million children in 50 countries, including Somalia, Nigeria, Guatemala, Yemen and Syria. In 2018, Edesia will launch its first commercial line of products in the U.S.

This session will be faciltated by Gautam Yadama, Dean and Professor of Boston College's School of Social Work. The fireside chat will be followed by a reception, celebrating both the work of of Navyn, as well as the opening of the 2017 IEW week.

Sponsored by the Office of International Programs and Office of International Students and Scholars.



Responding to the Global Refugee Crisis at BC and Beyond: Dinner and Community Conversation

6pm, Gasson 112

As part of the Boisi Center's project Responding to the Global Refugee Crisis at BC and Beyond, this community conversation focuses on the global refugee crisis and features BC faculty (Profs. Westy Egmont, Kristin Heyer, and Erik Owens) and students, as well as refugees who have recently resettled in the Boston area. Designed to be lively and fast-paced, the discussion features a variety of perspectives and ideas. A dinner will be included. The event is free and open to the public. Though not required, an RSVP is appreciated.

Sponsored by the Boisi Center for Religion and Public Life and the Office of International Programs.



International Dining Night in Dining Halls

5:00pm-7:00pm, Dining Halls



Tuesday, November 14th



BC Students' Reflections on Bosnia

12:00pm-1:30pm, Stoke N201

This event will showcase the reflections of a group of Boston College's Presidential Scholars who traveled to Bosnia in May 2017. The discussion will be moderated by Prof. Kathy Bailey and will include an exchange student from Bosnia.

Sponsored by the Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program, Islamic Civilization and Societies Program, and the Office of International Students and Scholars.




This image is of a young girl holding a naked, malnourished looking baby in a desolate landscape with wooden buildings in the background.

The Rohingya Crisis in Burma: Panel and Screening

12:00pm-1:30pm, BC Law School, East Wing 120

A panel discussion on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar featuring Yee Mon Htun, Clinical Instructor in the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School and Aung Myo Win, an imam and leader in the interfaith peace movement who also serves as the Executive Director of Equality Myanmar. Moderated by Professor Daniel Kanstroom.  

Following the panel, we will also be screening a 20-minute award-winning documentary, SittweSittwe is a story of two teenagers from opposing sides of violent and ethnic conflict. Filmed over two years, Sittweexplores the teenagers' perceptions about "other" communities, their aspirations for education, and the possibility of reconciliation between the Buddhists and the Rohingya.  The movie was banned by the Burmese government censors from its premiere at the Human Rights, Human Dignity Film Festival in June.  It premiered in September 2017 at the Freedom Film Festival in Malaysia, where it was awarded the Best Southeast Asia Short Documentary.  

Further information about the event available here.  

Sponsored by the Holocaust and Human Rights Project & the South Asian Law Student Association.



Foundations for Change: Faculty Perspectives on Health & Education in Haiti & Colombia

3pm-4:30pm, Devlin 221

Panelists include Prof. Régine Jean-Charles (African & African Diaspora Studies, Romance Lang. & Lit.); Prof. Donna Cullinan (Connell School of Nursing); Prof. Martha Castaño (Romance Lang. & Lit.); and Jorge Mahecha (Ph.D. candidate, Lynch School of Education).

Framed by Jean-Charles’s offering of a historical perspective on humanitarian efforts in Haiti, this presentation will highlight panelists’ initiatives as founders and/or directors of the following change-making programs and organizations in Haiti and Colombia: (1) The Connell School of Nursing’s international program of community health mission trips to Leogane, Haiti (Cullinan); (2) The Sunantha Camila Foundation established by Castaño with the mission of feeding and educating pre-school children of high risk in her native Colombia; (3) Enseña por Colombia (“Teach for Colombia”), an award-winning teacher training program, and SieNi, a small non-profit organization tasked with educating Colombian children about water conservation and enabling them to become agents of social change in their local communities (Mahecha).

Sponsored by the BC Language Laboratory, African and African Diaspora Studies Program, Center for Teaching Excellence, Connell School of Nursing, Lynch School of Education, and the Romance Languages and Literatures Department.

Panelists: Prof. Martha Castaño, RLL and Sunantha Camila Foundation (Colombia) Prof. Donna Cullinan, CSON (Haiti) Prof. Régine Jean-Charles, RLL and African & African Diaspora Studies Program - Historical Perspective (Haiti) Jorge Mahecha Rodriquez, PHD candidate, LSOE (Colombia) Coordinating Sponsor: Language Lab, Other Sponsors: African and African Diaspora Studies Program, Center for Teaching Excellence, Connell School of Nursing, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Lynch School of Education
Panelists: Prof. Martha Castaño, RLL and Sunantha Camila Foundation (Colombia) Prof. Donna Cullinan, CSON (Haiti) Prof. Régine Jean-Charles, RLL and African & African Diaspora Studies Program - Historical Perspective (Haiti) Jorge Mahecha Rodriquez, PHD candidate, LSOE (Colombia) Coordinating Sponsor: Language Lab, Other Sponsors: African and African Diaspora Studies Program, Center for Teaching Excellence, Connell School of Nursing, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Lynch School of Education

"The U-Turn" Film Screening with Filmmaker Luis Argueta

7:00pm-9:00pm, Fulton 230 

This film narrates the transformational journey of the immigrant workers who broke the silence about the abuses they endured at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa and the community that would not abandon them. The film showcases the U-Visa, an immigration relief part of VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) in much need of dissemination and understanding by immigrant workers, immigration rights-advocates and law-enforcement.​

Filmmaker Luis Argueta will present the film and do a Q&A session after the screening. RSVP at

Sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and International Justice and the Film Studies Program.



Wednesday, November 15th


Political Opposition to Trade Agreements

12:00pm-1:15pm, McGuinn 223

Some international trade negotiations like the Trans-Pacific Partnership run into a wall of sustained, visible, strong opposition. Others, like the Information Technology generate far less push-back. It is not just these two. Trade negotiations over the last quarter century have generated widely varying levels of opposition. Why do some trade deals run into fierce opposition and others do not? Relatedly, what political narratives drive highly salient, potentially lethal, opposition to trade agreements? This talk examines how three narratives generate greater salience and strength for trade opposition: concerns about corporations, a zero-sum view of international economics, and a yearning for national domestic distinctiveness.

This presentation is given by Prof. Gary Winslett, Visiting Assistant Professor in International Studies and Political Science at Boston College. Winslett researches issues in International Political Economy, including cross-national differences in regulations regarding international trade and how governments negotiate over those trade barriers. He spent 2016-2017 as a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy.

Lunch provided. RSVP to

Sponsored by the International Studies Program.



Learn to Pronounce Chinese Names

1:00pm-2:00pm, Fulton 453

Do you interact with Chinese students on campus and wish you could try to pronounce their names properly? Here is your chance to learn! Please join Boston College Professor Xiaoqing Yu as she introduces you to Chinese pronunciation and helps you gain a new appreciation of the Chinese language. This event is open to all BC students, faculty and staff. Lunch will be provided.

RSVP to Susan Shea at by Monday, Nov 13th.

Sponsored by the Office of International Students and Scholars.



Women in Business: Fireside Chat with Laura Sen ('78)

4:00pm-5:30pm, Heights Room, Corcoran Commons

In celebration of International Education Week 2017 & the launch of the Fung Scholars Program at Boston College, we welcome Laura Sen (’78). As former president and CEO, Laura Sen oversaw big box giant BJ’s Wholesale Club—with more than 200 locations in 15 U.S. states, some 25,000 employees and nine million members. Sen, who majored in romance languages but had no definite ideas about a future career, is a retail veteran regarded as a business "game changer" who has been on the Fortune 500 CEOs list and named among the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by the magazine. In her current role, she is part of the team that sets the company's strategic direction. Honored for her philanthropy, Sen has said: "I've always found that I get way more back than I ever give."

This session will be facilitated by Dr. Melinda Stoops, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Boston College. A networking reception will follow the fireside chat.

Sponsored by the Office of International Programs, Fung Scholars Program, Career Center, Asian Studies Program, Alumni Affairs, Carroll School of Management & Women in Business.



The Sources of North Korean Conduct

5:30pm-7:00pm, Devlin Hall 008

The lecture features Bruce Cummings, the Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor in History and the College at the University of Chicago. Bruce Cumings's research and teaching focus on modern Korean history, twentieth-century international history, US–East Asian relations, East Asian political economy, and American foreign relations. 

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program and International Studies Program.



Being a Global Changemaker: Panel of Current BC Students and Alumni Working in International Careers

6:30pm-8:00pm, McGuinn Hall 121

Panelists include Moriah Bauman (MCAS '15), World Education; Jesse Carbone (LSOE '14), Partners in Health; Katie Remy (CSOM '11), Glorious and Mama Hope; Emily Gannam (MCAS '11), Violence Against Women in Central Africa & the Global Consulting Project for Fletcher School; and Chris Reynolds (MCAS '18), Mount Sinai Division of Women's Global Health. Refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by the Career Center, the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, and the Office of International Students and Scholars.



Thursday, November 16th



Ireland & the United States in a Changing World: What is the Future?

10:30am-11:30am, Andover Room, Connolly House

As part of the Global Leadership Institute's Leadership Series, the Irish Ambassador to the U.S., his Excellency Dan Mulhall, will be on hand to discuss the evolving relationship between Ireland and the United States. Space is limited. RSVP by 11/13 to

Sponsored by the Global Leadership Institute.



Panel on Higher Education in Africa

12:00pm-1:30pm, Murray House Living Room

Panelists will include Rebecca Schendel, a Lecturer in Education and International Development at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education, and Ayenachew Woldegiyorgis, a research assistant and doctoral student of higher education at the Center for International Higher Education, Boston College.

Pizza and refreshments provided. RSVP to

Sponsored by the Center for International Higher Education.



Global Fashion Show

7:30pm-9:00pm, 2150 Commonwealth Ave

The Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center hosts IEW's Fashion Show Event, with the theme of “Being A Global Change Maker”. The event is designed to highlight global issues students are passionate about and how students advocate for global justice.

Sponsored by the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center (BAIC).



Friday, November 17th


Boren Information Session

11:00am-12:00pm, Hovey House Library

Boston College, is a top performer in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and students interested in long-term, language-focused study or research abroad also make excellent candidates for the Boren Awards. Megan Liken, a representative from the Institute of International Education in Washington, DC will present opportunities for students, including graduate students, and answer questions together with Christina Hatzipetros, the Boren BC Campus Coordinator.

Sponsored by the Office of International Programs.



Human Rights and Transnational Democratization in South Korea

12:00pm-1:15pm, Stokes 376S

The 1970s witnessed an upsurge in global human rights activism by two very different international organizations: Amnesty International, a secular advocacy group and the World Council of Churches. Both groups had established a presence in South Korea by the mid-1970s. Yet, little attention has been paid to interactions between these international organizations and local pro-democracy actors in South Korea. This talk explores how these interactions allowed local actors to transform their democratic struggles into global human rights issues in the 1970s.

This lunchtime lecture program features Prof. Ingu Hwang, who serves as the Korea Foundation Visiting Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at Boston College through a 5-year, $2-million grant from the foundation, a South Korean government entity that promotes Korean culture internationally. Previously, he spent two years as a post-doctoral lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Pozen Center for Human Rights. Hwang received his PhD from the University of Chicago.

Lunch provided. RSVP to

Sponsored by the International Studies Program.


International Scholars Reception 

3:00pm-5:00pm, Fulton Honors Library

Reception for International Faculty and Scholars; By invitation only.

Sponsored by the Office of International Students and Scholars.



International Club Of Boston College Formal

7:00pm-10:00pm, O'Connell House

Open to all BC students, this annual formal provides a prom-like experience for both U.S. and international students who may not have had the opportunity to experience this tradition in high school. The formal also allows both the international and local community on BC's campus an opportunity to come together for a delightful evening. This year's theme is the "Black and White Masquerade". Attendees may come dressed in black and/or white formal clothing though this is not obligatory. Masquerade masks will be provided.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the Robsham Theatre. The proceeds will be donated to Charity Water, a nonprofit that provides clean and safe drinking water to developing countries, and directed towards projects in East Africa.

Sponsored by the International Club.