• International Experience: SOE Student Panel Discussion

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Venue: 307 School of Education Building (SOEB) at UNCG

Sponsored by the Coalition of Diverse Language Communities (CDLC), SOE Faculty Access and Equity Committee, and the UNCG International Program Center (IPC), a student panel discussion regarding student study-abroad experiences was held from 3-4pm on Nov. 21 at 307 School of Education building.

The student panel shared their insights regarding study-abroad programs, and tips and suggestions for international experiences. Upcoming study-abroad opportunities were also be shared.


Event Materials

– Event flyer




  • Paths to Higher Education: Experiences of Diverse Students Panel Discussion


Date: Thursday, November 12, 2013
Time: 2:20 pm – 4:00 pm
Venue: Smith High School Media Center 

Seven UNCG students with diverse backgrounds addressed prospective students’ questions regarding the application process, transition to college life, and general university experiences to juniors and seniors at the local Smith High School. The panel was led by a CDLC member and representatives from UNCG admissions and undergraduate studies were also present to answer additional questions from students and parents.


Event Materials

– Event flyer




  • Textured Dialogues: A Tapestry of Immigrant Perspectives on the Meaning of Education

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2013
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Venue: School of Education Building (SOEB) Front Lobby at UNCG 

This project reflects a collaboration between community members, non-profit organizations, and university faculty and students who wanted to create an opportunity for Greensboro area immigrant and refugee locals to share their stories about the meaning of education through the arts.


Event Materials

- The goal of this project

The ultimate goal of this project is to circulate the resulting tapestry and a book containing the artists’ descriptions of their contributions to various community sites—colleges and universities, schools, non-profit agencies, community organizations, museums, art centers—to encourage dialogues about the beliefs, practices, experiences, and aspirations of immigrant and refugee families surrounding the meaning of education. Through the process of sharing these multifaceted ideas about education, we hope traditional U.S.-based educational practices in Guilford County and beyond can be improved.

- How this project emerged

From 2011 to 2013 faculty members and graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) engaged in a qualitative research project titled “Community Voices,” which entailed conducting focus groups with parents who represent local diverse language communities about their experiences with education in the US. The Coalition for Diverse Language Communities sponsored this project. The majority of participants identified as immigrants and refugees who shared stories about the mismatch between their ideas about US education and the reality of their children’s experiences in local schools. To extend the Community Voices work, faculty members Belinda Hardin and Silvia Bettez applied for and received a grant from the Coalition for Diverse Language Communities to develop this “Textured Dialogues” community service project. Soon after the grant was awarded, UNCG doctoral student Emily Manning assumed the main coordinating and organizing tasks, working closely with various community members and organizations.

Event slides
– Tapestry book
Event photos





  • The One Who Builds: A Documentary film screening


Date: Monday, April 8, 2013
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue: North Carolina A&T State University – 101 New Academic Classroom Building

The One Who Builds is a documentary film about the life and work of Dr. Omer Omer, once a Sudanese refugee and now an American citizen.  As the former director of African Services Coalition, a refugee resettlement organization in Greensboro, Omer has transcended boundaries dictated by society, race and religion to build a new village, one friendship at a time. The event is hosted by the Department of Sociology and Social Work Africana Committee of the Department of English at North Carolina A&T State University and the Center for New North Carolinians Department of Public Health Education  at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. The event is free and open to the public.





  • International Student Panel

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013

The International Student Panel Brown Bag event, co-sponsored by the Access and Equity Committee (AEC) and the Coalition for Diverse Language Communities (CDLC) took place on April 4th 2013. The following international students attended the session and shared their experiences at UNC-G: Juan Sun (TEHE Department), Juldeh Tejan-Sie (ELC Department), Ai Kame (SES Department), Mohammed Berray (LIS Department), and Cheryl Thomas (ERM Department). There were 24 participants including SOE faculty, IPC and INTERLINK representatives.


Event Materials

- Discussion notes

What brought you to UNCG?

  1. University and program reputation
  2. Unique experiences included in the program (community engaged research, teaching experiences, supervision experiences, etc.)
  3. Intention to bring what learned from UNCG back to home country to support educational reform and development (teaching and learning strategies, special education programming, etc.)
  4. Need to receive credentials for profession in home country (e.g. Egyptian librarians do not have equal opportunities in their own country since foreign institutions operating in these country prefer library degrees from their countries of origin.)
  5. Academic scholarship for international students
  6. VISION Program—it is not available to international students

Challenges faced?

  1. Culture of higher education and communication – challenges in understanding the hidden communication rules (e.g. how to negotiate; when to say no; when is appropriate to ask questions; what does due date mean; how to join group discussions-turn taking, how to build relationship with peers and students, how to interpret and express non-verbals – eye contact, etc.)
  2. Difference in learning styles – challenges in adapting to the teaching styles that may be different from home country (e.g. feeling overwhelmed with information and resources)
  3. Living and other logistics – need some cultural orientation regarding food, transportation, etc.
  4. Multiculturalism – challenges in code-switching between American culture and home culture (e.g. eye contact with American peers vs. families in home country; communication with children who are influenced more by American cultural norms)

Resources that can assist with smoother transition?

  1. English language –INTERLINK program; peer and instructor support; UNCG writing center; even for students from English-speaking country, the varieties of English language could be a challenge
  2. Offer graduate assistantships to international students
  3. E-mail information to students once they have been accepted—begin communication as early as possible
  4. Websites and other informational materials need to be presented in accessible language
  5. Feature program experts on the website to highlight program reputation
  6. SOE orientation—includes orientation to U.S. higher education, how to communicate with faculty, course expectations (e.g., course participation, negotiating deadlines as needed, how to handle multiple sources suggested as extra reading, clearer delineation of the departments in SOE and the programs within the departments…). IPC orientation is helpful, but SOE may want to consider having its own orientation for international students to get to know each other
  7. English language –INTERLINK program; peer and instructor support; UNCG writing center; even for students from English-speaking country, the varieties of English language could be a challenge
  8. Provide international students opportunities to attend VISIONS program (currently not available for international students)
  9. Establish a listserv for international students and others interested in international students
  10. Identify a SOE person outside the departments that international students can approach for questions, information, report a medical situation…a mentor
  11. SES currently offers mentoring program among doc students; it would be helpful to have a mentoring program within SOE beyond single department (international students in SOE can be paired up and serve as cultural brokers for each other). Also consider twinning international students with resident students who are themselves international or interested in international issues
  12. International students may need more options and information regarding housing and apartments
  13. Develop a handbook/information sheet that includes names of organizations such as
  • the African Coalition, Chinese Organization
  • Grocery stores
  • Rental process and potential cosignatories
  • Urban Ministries

Advice to faculty?

  1. Instructors may want to learn more about the nuances of different cultures, provide more support in grading/feedback, and different learning styles; they may need to be aware of having international students in their classes and have the opportunity to receive some orientation
  2. Get to know students—ask questions such as: what can I do to support you
  3. Promote the contributions of international students and make visible the value they add to the unit
  4. Help all students become aware of international students’
  5. Have more panels and other activities to build relationships with ALL students
  6. Enhance the level of integration with diverse values
  7. Make use of existing campus resources such as IPC and multicultural center
Event photos





  • White Privilege and Power in the Deaf Community

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Guilford College Community Center

By Jane Fernandes-Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UNC Asheville

Deaf people have experienced oppression due to their language, culture, and ability, but the privilege and power gained from being white is often overlooked. Dr. Fernandes will share her experience of the personal and systemic impact of white privilege and power in the Deaf community. She will explore intersections of oppression systems and their impact on struggles for racial justice.

Dr. Fernandes, who is deaf, was raised by her deaf mother in the oral tradition to speak English so that she could attend public schools, long before the passage of equal access laws. She has dedicated her career to fostering bilingual American Sign Language-English literacy in all deaf students, promoting interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and advocating for racial justice.


  • Refugee and Immigrant Awareness Week

Date: March 25 – 28, 2013

Jaffe’ Powers, a senior at UNCG, organized a week-long event to spread awareness about the different populations that are moving to the United States, where they are moving to, why they are moving, and what we can do to help. Powers wanted to use these events as a forum to start changing the negative perceptions that people have of these populations and make people aware that refugees and immigrants also bring ideas, gifts and costumes that we could learn from. These events helped to provide a better understanding of where refugees and immigrants come from, why many are not able to stay in their native country, and what they are doing to create a better life here.  The flyer below highlights the events from awareness week.






  • Community Engagement Series: Dr. Timothy K. Eatman

Date: January 31 – February 1, 2013

CDLC co-hosted an event featuring Dr. Timothy K. Eatman, an assistant professor of higher education at Syracuse University and co-director of Imagining America: Artists & Scholars in Public Life, during the first installment of the 2013 Community Engagement Series at UNC-G.

On January 31 and Feb 1, Eatman delivered a series of talks and facilitated workshops with faculty and students. During his keynote address, “The Nexus between Community Engagement, Diversity & Student Success,” Eatman presented a framework for the development of community engagement initiatives and strategies for equity, diversity and inclusion to improve college access and success of traditionally underserved students. Panelists from UNCG also talked about their shared role of community engagement. The following video highlights the series of talks over the two days.


Event Materials

- Event video