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DuBois International House Brings Students Together and Furthers Internationalization at Morehouse

By Add Seymour Jr.

Fanuel Muindi is a Morehouse senior studying biology.

But he is also a resident of the W.E.B. DuBois International House, a new international living community on campus where some students seem to be learning from Muindi, a native of Tanzania, as well.

“It’s a great idea,” Muindi said as he was heading off to class. ”Students who are looking to study abroad are living and talking with students who actually live abroad and can tell them about their experiences. For example, we actually have a student from Japan and he was telling other students about misconceptions of Japan.”

That makes Anthony Pinder smile. He is the executive director of the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs, which helped spearhead the international house idea. While it is a pilot program, the benefits of housing international students with U.S. students (freshman international students have to live at Du Bois now) are already apparent, said Muindi.

“It’s exciting,” said Pinder. “The students who are in it are really enjoying it.”
But the international living concept is much larger than just the 121 students – 15 international students – living at Du Bois, said Pinder.

Morehouse officials are busy getting ready for a re-accreditation visit by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in October 2008 and will focus on internationalization as its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
While Morehouse has long had a strong international reputation, Pinder said school officials want to take the internationalization concept much further, encompassing all facets of campus life.

Along with Ron Sheehy ’65, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, Pinder co-chairs the school’s Quality Enhancement Plan, which will be driving the internationalization concept.

That plan seeks to give a broad-based knowledge of global and international issues in all disciplines, provide experiences that will enhance understanding of other cultures and nations, and develop attitudes and values enabling Morehouse students to lead the nation and the world. Those objectives all go towards enhancing and developing the global competency of Morehouse students.
“It’s more strategic,” explained Pinder. “We’ve always had a strong (international) reputation, but a reputation is not a plan.”

Other measures to strengthen the internationalization focus include an added emphasis on faculty research and student study of international topics; increasing international student recruitment and retention; increasing the number of Morehouse students studying abroad; and establishing an education abroad program.

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