Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Virginia Tech participating in State Department forum on internationalizing U.S. campuses

Don Back
LCI Director Don Back
From July 31 to Aug. 2, LCI Director Don Back will represent Virginia Tech at the U.S. Department of State’s eighth annual EducationUSA Forum in Washington, D.C.

More than 570 U.S. university representatives will join U.S. and foreign government officials to discuss international student recruitment and retention strategies. International education increases American global competitiveness, and creates relationships and understanding that contribute to increased national security.

“As the university’s international recruiter, the Language and Culture Institute is committed to attracting the best and brightest individuals from around the world to our community,” Back said. “Participating in events such as the EducationUSA Forum helps us develop partnerships and explore strategies to recruit such students.”

The Forum, organized in partnership with the Institute of International Education, will feature sessions on traditional as well as virtual recruiting strategies, comprehensive campus internationalization, student visas, maximizing recruitment resources, and partnering with EducationUSA advising centers around the world.

Colleges and universities, including Virginia Tech, play an important role in strengthening ties between the United States and countries around the world. The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs collaborates with accredited U.S. colleges and universities to help maintain the United States as the world’s top destination for international students and scholars and to promote diversity in international education.

Meet Jon Wiley, the LCI's new graduate assistant

The LCI is proud to welcome Jon Wiley as our new graduate assistant.

Jon is originally from Southwest Virginia and loved attending Hokies football games growing up. He studied sociology and cultural studies at Bridgewater College, earning his B.S. degree. He went on to earn a Master of Science in counseling and human development with specializations in clinical mental health and school counseling from Radford University.

Jon has worked in a wide range of settings, including residential treatment, secondary education, and community mental health agencies. Most recently, he spent several years as a family counselor and supervisor at New River Valley Community Services.

He is currently a Ph.D. student in the counselor education program at Virginia Tech.

Jon's interests include leadership, mindfulness, interprofessional collaboration, and poststructural/postmodern philosophy. In his spare time, he enjoys running and exploring the great outdoors with his partner.

When you're in the Annex, be sure to say hi to Jon.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Library of Congress field trip offers lessons in history


This month, students and faculty from Fairfax took a field trip to the Library of Congress, the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States.

It is said that the Library of Congress is the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, with a growing collection of more than 162 million items, including books, print materials, sound recordings, photographs, maps, sheet music, movies, and manuscripts.

The Library of Congress was established in 1800, when President John Adams signed a bill transferring the seat of the U.S. government to Washington. The legislation described a library of “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.”

Read more about the field trip below.

Baseball game in Salem is a hit with students


“The announcement came out of left field.” “Your answer is way off base.” “You need to step up to the plate.” “Three strikes, you’re out!

These and other baseball-related idioms moved from figurative language to literal for students attending the Salem Red Sox baseball game Friday night. Not only did LCI students have a chance to learn some of the language of baseball that carries over to American speech, but they were also able to check their understanding of language through conversations going on around them.

Even though it was the first baseball game the students had attended, they soon got into the swing of the game. One student who had seen several baseball movies had a good understanding of the basic rules. By the end of the ninth inning, the other students had a good idea of the basics as well.

In addition to the rules part of the game, students experienced the cultural aspects like standing to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” for the seventh-inning stretch, trying some Cracker Jack, and joining in the eighth-inning singing of “Sweet Caroline.”

Although our cheers and support couldn’t lift the Salem Red Sox to a win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks, we did have a treat following the game. The ballpark lights were turned off and there was an extended fireworks display. One of the students said it reminded of his home in Oman where they marked the end of Ramadan with a fireworks display.

— By Bonnie Sumner



Monday, June 26, 2017

Students, faculty break Ramadan fast with potluck iftar


Last Friday, students and faculty in Fairfax, and their family members, got together for a potluck iftar.

The iftar is the meal served at the end of the day during Ramadan, to break the day's fast. Iftar is served at sunset during each day of Ramadan, as Muslims break the daily fast.

All participants brought some food from their national cuisine to share. Everyone in attendance really enjoyed all the food, good conversation, and had a great time!

— Guennadi Bratichko

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Remembering Mandela Washington Fellow John Paul Usman

John Paul Usman
Today, we remember the life of John Paul Usman, a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow from Nigeria who died a year ago during his fellowship at Virginia Tech.

JP was passionate about the causes of sustainable development, children’s rights, and peace building in his country. Work in these areas continues in his name in Nigeria.

We will forever remember JP’s infectious smile, his ability to make people feel at ease, and his desire to do good at home and around the world. And we will always remember him as a true Hokie.


Read about the John Paul Usman Award for Civic Leadership awarded by the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cheers to Susan Piercy!

On Wednesday, the LCI celebrated Susan Piercy's 17 years as a teacher, mentor, cherished colleague, and friend. We wish her the happiest of retirements!

Click below to see more photos from our Facebook gallery.