Gannon University will continue its observance of International Education Week with several events, including a presentation that focuses on ethical consumerism.
International Education Week has been observed since 2001 when the U.S. Department of State and the federal Department of Education created it in an effort to promote the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.
Along with this, the initiative aims to promote international understanding and encourage the development of international education exchange programs in order to prepare Americans to be able work in a global environment.
All this week, Gannon students and faculty have been giving presentations on global topics of their choice.
One of many of the presenters for International Education Week is Melissa Bronder, a junior psychology major, who will be taking part in an event scheduled for Thursday titled “Discover Your Impact: Ethical Consumerism.”
Bronder said she became passionate about being an ethical consumer after traveling to Haiti for an alternative break service trip.
During her time in Haiti, Bronder stayed on a fair-trade coffee farm and learned about the difference one individual can make with the power of something as simple as his or her wallet.
After forming friendships with the Haitian coffee farmers, she realized how much of a difference earning a fair wage makes in their lives.
Along with this, she experienced firsthand the difference that one can make by supporting human rights.
After returning home, Bronder decided that she would only purchase goods from companies that do not engage in illegal labor or violate the basic human rights.
“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the world you want to live in,” Bronder said.
From this experience, Bronder decided to organize an ethical consumerism event at Gannon for International Education Week.
Her event will teach students the importance of fair-trade, climate change, food consumption and labor practices.
She said she hopes that her event will help to raise awareness on the difference an individual can make in the world just through our purchasing habits, especially as the holidays are approaching.
“If every American chose to buy from companies that protected their workers and were ethical in their practices, we as a society could make an extreme difference in the world,” she said.
Thursday’s presentation on ethical consumerism is one of several events scheduled to take place during International Education Week.
Gannon students are encouraged to drop by an Engagement Zone that will be located in the Piano Lounge of the Waldron Campus Center.
There, students will learn about Possibilities Abroad, global and cultural student organizations on campus, postgraduate service opportunities, acquiring a passport and more.
Faculty members will be presenting on various global topics and sharing their international stories and experiences through presentations, workshops and panel discussions throughout the week.
Carlos Mamani, Ph.D., an associate professor in the foreign languages program, will speak on Peru and Latin American Culture from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday in Room 2210 of the Palumbo Academic Center.
Amy Brzuz and Julia Hawkins, both of whom hold OTDs and teach in Gannon’s occupational therapy program, are scheduled to speak on Ecuador and the Occupational Therapy Program from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL).
Steve Frezza, Ph.D., will address Gannon’s Software Engineering International Degrees (SEID) Program that involves collaboration with the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences in Esslingen, Germany.
Frezza’s talk is scheduled to begin at noon Friday in CETL.
Earlier in the week, events included a presentation of the film “A Towering Task: The Peace Corps and a Mission of World Peace.”
The film, released earlier this year, focused on the Peace Corps from a historical perspective as well as discussing current initiatives. Returned Peace Corps volunteers were scheduled to be on Monday hand to answer questions.
On Tuesday, students who’ve participated in studying abroad were scheduled to take part in a panel discussion in Waldron. Topics included GIFT courses, alternative break service trips, semester exchange/study abroad and the TRAVEL program.
Peace Corps returnees also were scheduled to be on campus Tuesday to take part in a “speed dating” session, and Wednesday’s marquee event – Diversity Dialogues – is scheduled to take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Room 219 of the Waldron Campus Center.
The event is to feature facilitated conversations and activities designed to explore such topics as race, gender and stereotypes both locally and globally.
Two events are set to take place Friday – a reception and awards ceremony for the “Visual Gifts: Home and Abroad” photo competition and a Global Dance Party.
The “Visual Gifts: Home and Abroad” event will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Schuster Gallery.
The Global Dance Party is scheduled to be held from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Club La Riccia. There, student instructors will teach basic dance steps for participants to try, and a variety of ethnic foods also will be available.
On Saturday, the Office of Global Support and Student Engagement and the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant will host a Global Thanksgiving Dinner starting at 5 p.m. The event is potluck, so those planning to attend are asked to bring a dish to share that is traditional to their culture.
The First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant is located at 250 W. Seventh St.