Winning staff members head to Paris, Shanghai

Study abroad program designed to expand global diversity conversation on campus

Six Washington University in St. Louis staff members are headed to Shanghai and Paris June 9-15, as part of the Global Diversity Overseas Seminar (GDOS) Program. The six were selected from 95 candidates earlier this year after submitting essays on why they would like to participate.

This new weeklong study abroad program designed exclusively for faculty and staff is funded by the Provost’s Advisory Committee for Diversity and Inclusion. The program strives to encourage a fuller appreciation of diversity on the Danforth Campus by introducing select faculty and staff members to dramatically different cultural contexts.

The grant winners will travel to one of two WUSTL partner locations to explore issues related to diversity: the WUSTL Shanghai Center in China (affiliated with Fudan University) or Paris, France, location of the Pluralism, Politics and Religion summer program.

The six winners

Winners are: (WUSTL Shanghai Center) Robert Brown, residential college director; Patricia Katzfey, career development specialist, Career Center; Victoria Mueller, assistant director, Student Financial Services; and (Paris, France) Tom Evola, engineering registrar; Julie Kennedy, senior editor, Public Affairs; and Monica Nickolai, academic programs coordinator, Cornerstone.

While there, the staff members will attend classes and cultural events, participate in guided walking tours and meet with local experts.

In Shanghai, the staff members will consider issues related to ethnic minorities and urban change; in Paris, the group will explore issues of religious and ethnic pluralism in France.

Outreach efforts

Each participant will focus on a topic by observing, photographing, collecting printed materials and interacting with local residents. Using those observations, they will write a reflection paper that synthesizes their overall experience in the GDOS program.

“Rounding out the educational loop, program participants will host two brown bag lunches this fall and other outreach efforts to share their experience and expand the global diversity conversation with the Washington University community,” says Shanon Langlie, global projects manager.

Reflections in writing

To prepare for the trip, the group has spent the spring semester reading books and articles, participating in discussions, meeting with faculty who will be in Paris and Shanghai in June, attending cultural events and writing reflections on the program’s website: