Newsletters

April/May 2016

As we approach the end of the 2015-16 academic year, I want to wish you the best of luck in completing your final exams. I especially want to congratulate all of those who will be graduating in May. We hope that you will stay in touch with us periodically to let us know how you are doing. This coming summer, we will be offering a number of courses during both sessions. Each of these will be available on-line to make it easier for those interested to take them without necessarily altering other summer plans. In addition, we are sponsoring two summer study abroad programs – A Holocaust Journey that will take students to Poland and Germany and Food Security and Sustainability that will focus on agriculture and urban development in Cape Town, South Africa.

As the Department of Global, International & Area Studies completes its seventh year and the International Studies program wraps up its sixteenth year, there is much to look back on and even more to anticipate in the coming years. We have graduated close to 600 International Studies majors since 2000 and believe that our number of enrolled students will continue to grow as we move forward with our new curricula. Our faculty also continues to expand, thereby enabling us to offer students a wide array of courses and experiences under the guidance of talented professors representing a diversity of disciplines and perspectives. Next year, we will welcome Dr. Emek Ergun, who was hired through a search under the direction of the Women’s and Gender Studies program but will have her departmental home in GIAS.

I feel very fortunate to have had a role in the creation and development of International Studies over these past years. After heading the committee to establish the program, I was named director in 2000 and served in that capacity until 2009 when I was appointed founding chair of the Department of Global, International & Area Studies. The responsibilities have been overwhelming and challenging at times, but it has been an honor to serve in these leadership roles over these many years. It is now time for transition, as I step down as chair and turn the leadership of the department over to Dr. Dale Smith. A political scientist from Florida State University, Dr. Smith has extensive experience in the field and we are most pleased to welcome him to UNC Charlotte. Following a semester away to engage with some projects, I plan to return in the spring and join Dr. Smith and other members of the faculty in working to advance the mission of GIAS.

Have a wonderful summer and good luck to all of you!

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November/December 2015

As we move toward the close of the fall semester, I wish you the best of luck in completing your classes and upcoming exams. This semester has been a busy one. In addition to an array of activities and events, our various curriculum proposals have finally made it through the system and will become operative beginning spring 2016 for new students entering GIAS programs. The changes in the structures of the International Studies major, International Studies minor and Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Studies minor are rather considerable. Students already enrolled will maintain their current courses of study and will not be forced to make any changes. Students who declared the INTL major, INTL minor, or HGHR minor during the calendar year 2015 may be eligible to switch to the new system. Any adjustments will require the formal approval of an adviser through a face-to-face meeting. Even as we have eliminated the minors in both Judaic and Islamic Studies, we will continue to support those students currently enrolled in those programs so that they can complete their requirements. We are very excited about all these changes, as we believe they will facilitate the further growth and development of the department and the quality of the educational experience we offer our students. Information regarding the new curricula is now available through the GIAS website under the Advising tab. Special congratulations to all our graduating seniors!

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September/October 2015

Welcome!  By now, I would hope that all of you have settled into the fall 2015 semester. The Department of Global, International & Area Studies (GIAS) has entered its seventh year and is continuing to move forward with efforts to expand its faculty and curriculum. We are located in Macy 103. The actual name of the department is confusing to some, so a brief history may be useful. Prior to the establishment of GIAS, International Studies was an independent program within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offering both a major and a minor since 2000. The minors in Islamic and Judaic Studies were housed in the Department of Religious Studies, while the minor in Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights operated independently within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. With the creation of GIAS, each of these programs was brought under its umbrella. There is no GIAS degree per se; students enrolled in the department’s respective programs continue to have their degrees noted accordingly. Students completing the major in International Studies graduate with a B.A. in International Studies. Minors are also identified individually. All of our programs are interdisciplinary in character. This enables our students to acquire varying perspectives and appreciations. Our curricula are organized accordingly, so students have the opportunity to take courses that originate within the department, as well as applicable ones that are offered by other units.

Last year, the department initiated a number of curriculum revisions.  Many courses previously offered as Topics were assigned a permanent number.  These will be reflected in the spring 2016 schedule.  As part of a broader curriculum restructuring, the minors in Islamic Studies and Judaic Studies were eliminated.  Although no new students will be admitted into these programs, the department will continue to support students currently enrolled to insure that they can complete their requirements.   Most importantly, we will be making substantial changes to the structure of the International Studies major and minor and the minor in Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Studies.  These proposals are working their way through the curriculum process and we will update you as the semester proceeds.  We believe that these changes will strengthen these programs and that students will find them well suited to their interests.  Students currently enrolled will have the opportunity to pursue their degrees within their current structure to avoid unnecessary complications or confusion.

Please remember that it is important for students to consult with our academic advisers to insure that they are enrolled in the appropriate courses and are making steady progress in completing their courses of study. This promises to be a busy year.  I wish you all a productive and enjoyable semester

April/May 2015

As we approach the end of the academic year, I want to wish you the best of luck in completing your final exams. I hope you have had a good semester and have new and exciting things in your future. We have had another busy year, as you can see from the information included in the newsletter, and are already planning for the next. We are particularly proud to have sponsored our third Journey to Auschwitz study abroad program this spring that gave participants the opportunity to observe first-hand the legacy of the atrocities committed at the camp. We look forward to the Food, Inequality, and Sustainability in South Africa study abroad program scheduled for this summer. We are also completing our for-credit international film course, Culture, the Environment and Health, offered in cooperation with the Department of Public Health Sciences and supported by a Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Grant.

We are also looking forward to introducing our revised curricula next year. As some of you know, departmental faculty have been working on these proposals for the past two years. Changes include: restructuring the concentrations within the INTL major, simplifying the requirements for the INTL minor, streamlining the distribution requirements for the HGHR Studies minor, and eliminating the minors in Islamic and Judaic Studies. Most importantly, these changes will affect entering students, and will not alter requirements or otherwise interfere with the ability of enrolled majors and minors to complete their courses of study (including those in the two minors that are being discontinued) in a timely fashion. More information regarding the specifics of the changes and the schedule for implementation will be forthcoming.

I would also remind you that we maintain both GIAS and HGHR FACEBOOK pages and encourage you to join either one or both to stay connected.

Finally, I wish to congratulate all of our May graduates. We hope that you will stay in touch periodically to let us know how you are doing. Have an enjoyable, productive and safe summer!

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November/December 2014

As the fall semester nears completion, it is hard to believe that the time has passed so quickly. The Department of Global, International & Area Studies has continued to expand, both in terms of the number of students and faculty participating in our various programs. Department faculty have been quite busy pursuing their research activity and have also worked to advance the mission and strategic goals of the department. We wish you the best of luck in completing your classes and success on your final exams.

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September/October 2014

By now, I would hope that all of you have settled into the fall 2014 semester.  The Department of Global, International & Area Studies (GIAS) has entered its sixth year and is continuing to move forward with efforts to expand its faculty and curriculum.  We are located in Macy 103.  The actual name of the department is confusing to some, so a brief history may be useful.  Prior to the establishment of GIAS, International Studies was an independent program within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offering both a major and a minor since 2000.  The minors in Islamic and Judaic Studies were housed in the Department of Religious Studies, while the minor in Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights operated independently within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.  With the creation of GIAS, each of these programs was brought under its umbrella.  There is no GIAS degree per se; students enrolled in the department’s respective programs continue to have their degrees noted accordingly.  Students completing the major in International Studies graduate with a B.A. in International Studies.  Minors are also identified individually. 

All of our programs are interdisciplinary in character.  This enables our students to acquire varying perspectives and appreciations.  Our curricula are organized accordingly, so students have the opportunity to take courses that originate within the department, as well as applicable ones that are offered by other departments.  While this may be complicated, it is also enriching.  It is also the reason why it is important for students to consult with our academic advisers to insure that they are enrolled in the appropriate courses and are making steady progress in completing their courses of study.

This promises to be a busy year.  Welcome to GIAS.  I wish you all a productive and enjoyable semester.    

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March/April 2014

As we approach the end of the academic year, I want to wish you the best of luck in completing your final exams.  I hope you have had a good semester and are looking forward to the summer.  We have had a busy year and have continued to look at ways to enhance our curricula and to expand the department.  To this end, we conducted the department’s second sponsored study abroad program this spring – the Journey to Auschwitz discussed below.  I am also pleased to announce that Dr. Amal Khoury will be joining the full-time faculty in the fall.  Dr. Khoury received her Ph.D. in International Relations and Politics from The American University.  She will be offering courses on Peacebuilding and Human Rights. We would also like to welcome Dr. Kamila Valenta who will be joining our department in a part-time capacity.  Dr. Valenta received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Emory University.  She will be teaching Ethnic Conflict in a Changing World in the fall.  We welcome them to GIAS.

As you read through the information below, you will see that we have been engaged in a number of activities and that a number of our students have received important recognition.  We congratulate them for their accomplishments.

You are also reminded that GIAS and HGHR have FACEBOOK pages and we encourage you to join either one or both.

Finally, I would like to congratulate all of those who will be graduating in May.  We hope that those leaving the university will be in touch periodically to let us know how you are doing.

Have an enjoyable and productive summer!    

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November/December 2013

As the fall semester nears completion, you will see below that these past few months have been rather busy ones.  The Department of Global, International & Area Studies continues to grow, both in terms of the number of students and faculty participating in our various programs.  Department faculty have been quite busy pursuing their research activity and have spent considerable time working to advance the mission and strategic goals of the department.  We wish you the best of luck in completing your classes and preparing for final exams.

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September/October 2013

By now, I would hope that all of you have settled into the fall 2013 semester.  The Department of Global, International & Area Studies (GIAS) has entered its fifth year and is continuing to move forward with efforts to expand its faculty and curriculum.  We are located in Macy 103.  The actual name of the department is confusing to some, so a brief history may be useful.  Prior to the establishment of GIAS, International Studies was an independent program within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offering both a major and a minor since 2000.  The minors in Islamic and Judaic Studies were housed in the Department of Religious Studies, while the minor in Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights operated independently within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.  With the creation of GIAS, each of these programs was brought under its umbrella.  There is no GIAS degree per se; students enrolled in the department’s respective programs continue to have their degrees noted accordingly.  Students completing the major in International Studies graduate with a B.A. in International Studies.  Minors are also identified individually. 

All of our programs are interdisciplinary in character.  This enables our students to acquire varying perspectives and appreciations.  Our curricula are organized accordingly, so students have the opportunity to take courses that originate within the department, as well as applicable ones that are offered by other departments.  While this may be complicated, it is also enriching.  It is also the reason why it is important for students to consult with our academic advisers to insure that they are enrolled in the appropriate courses and are making steady progress in completing their courses of study.

This promises to be a busy year, as the faculty will be working to reconfigure and enhance our curricula.  Welcome to GIAS.  I wish you all a productive and enjoyable semester. 

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March/April 2013

As we approach the end of the academic year, I want to wish you the best of luck in completing your final exams.  I am sure that many of you are anticipating a restful break.  We continue to look at ways to enhance our curricula and to expand the department.  To this end, we conducted the department’s first sponsored study abroad program this past semester – the Journey to Auschwitz discussed below.  I am also pleased to announce that Dr. Sebastian Cobarrubias will be joining us next year.  Dr. Cobarrubias has a Ph.D. in Geography from UNC Chapel Hill and has been working on a project in Spain for the past few years.  He will be offering courses on development and migration.  We welcome him to GIAS. 

As you read through the information below, you will see that we have had a busy semester and that a number of our students have received important recognition.  We congratulate them for their accomplishments. 

You are also reminded that GIAS and HGHR FACEBOOK pages have been created and we encourage you to join either one or both. 

Finally, I would like to congratulate all of those who will be graduating in May.  We hope that those leaving the university will be in touch periodically to let us know how you are doing. 

Have an enjoyable and productive summer!   

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November/December 2012

It is hard to believe that the fall semester is nearing completion. As you will see below, these past few months have been rather busy ones. The Department of Global, International & Area Studies continues to grow, both in terms of the number of students and faculty participating in our various programs. Department faculty have also continued to work on plans to reconfigure and expand curricula in accordance with our mission and strategic goals. We wish you the best of luck in completing your classes and preparing for final exams.

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September/October 2012

By now, I would hope that all of you have settled into the fall 2012 semester and are preparing diligently for the first set of exams that have been scheduled for many of your classes. The Department of Global, International & Area Studies (GIAS) has entering its fourth year and is continuing to move forward with efforts to expand its faculty and curriculum. We are located in Macy 103. The actual name of the department is confusing to some, so a brief history may be useful. Prior to the establishment of GIAS, International Studies was an independent program within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offering both a major and a minor since 2000. The minors in Islamic and Judaic Studies were housed in the Department of Religious Studies, while the minor in Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights operated independently within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. With the creation of GIAS, each of these programs was brought under its umbrella. There is no GIAS degree per se; students enrolled in the department’s respective programs continue to have their degrees noted accordingly. Students completing the major in International Studies graduate with a B.A. in International Studies. Minors are also identified individually.

All of our programs are interdisciplinary in character. This enables our students to acquire varying perspectives and appreciations. Our curricula are organized accordingly, so students have the opportunity to take courses that originate within the department, as well as applicable ones that are offered by other departments. While this may be complicated, it is also enriching. It is also the reason why it is important for students to consult with our academic advisers to insure that they are enrolled in the appropriate courses and are making steady progress in completing their courses of study.

Welcome to GIAS. I wish you all a productive and enjoyable semester.

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March/April 2012

As we approach the end of the academic year, I want to wish you the best of luck in completing your classes and preparing for final exams. I am sure that many of you are anticipating a restful break.

As I have indicated previously, the department’s faculty have been meeting throughout the year to look at ways to restructure and enhance our curricula. We have also been working to identify ways to expand the number of faculty directly affiliated with GIAS. Along these lines, I am pleased to report that Dr. Joyce Dalsheim, who has been with us over the past couple of years on a visiting basis, will assume a full-line position in the department beginning in the fall. In this capacity, she will continue to work on developing our offerings in the area of peace and conflict studies. While state budget constraints are still affecting university operations, we are hoping to add more faculty and study options as we move forward.

I also want to congratulate Prof. Iain Bolton for receiving the Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

As you read through the information below, you will see that a number of our students have received recognition over the past few months. We congratulate them for their accomplishments.

You are also reminded that GIAS and HGHR FACEBOOK pages have been created and we encourage you to join either one or both.

Finally, I would like to congratulate all of those who will be graduating in May. This is by far our largest group! We hope that those leaving the university will be in touch periodically to let us know how you are doing.

Have an enjoyable and productive summer!

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March/April 2011

As the Department of Global, International & Area Studies approaches the end of its second year, we have a lot to show for our efforts. I am appreciate of our faculty – both full and part time – for all the work they have done in offering an interesting and innovative set of classes for students enrolled in all of our programs. Our student numbers are increasing and we continue to do all that we can to insure that you are appropriately advised and have the opportunity to complete your courses of study in a timely fashion. As you know, we remain understaffed and are hoping to be able to continue to expand our faculty to meet our growing needs. We have been reviewing the curricula of our programs over the past months and will be making some changes before long that will enhance the structure and quality of our offerings. I wanted to offer a special thank you to Vicky Harris, who has done a fabulous job in supervising and maintaining our office. Thank you, as well, to Bianca Jones who has been serving ably as our work-study office assistant. On behalf of the GIAS faculty and staff, I wish all of our graduates the best of luck as they move forward. To all of our students, good luck with your exams and have a safe and enjoyable summer.

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January/February 2011

By now, I hope you have all settled in well to the spring 2011 semester. We got off to a rather disjointed start with all the snow and ice even as we are now enjoying some early spring weather.

As you can see below, there are a lot of things going on. Remember that our office is located in Macy 103 and that appointment sheets for advising are available each week. In addition to the major and minor in International Studies, the department also houses minors in Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights, Islamic Studies and Judaic Studies.

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September/October 2011

I want to welcome all of you to the fall 2011 semester. The Department of Global, International & Area Studies (GIAS) is entering its third year and will continue to move forward with efforts to expand its faculty and curriculum. We are located in Macy 103. The actual name of the department is confusing to some, so a brief history may be useful. Prior to the establishment of GIAS, International Studies was an independent program within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offering both a major and a minor. The minors in Islamic and Judaic Studies were housed in the Department of Religious Studies, while the minor in Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights operated independently within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. With the creation of GIAS, each of these programs was brought under its umbrella. There is no GIAS degree per se; students enrolled in the department’s respective programs continue to have their degrees noted accordingly. Students completing the major in International Studies graduate with a B.A. in International Studies. Minors are also identified individually.

All of our programs are interdisciplinary in character. This enables our students to acquire varying perspectives and appreciations. Our curricula are organized accordingly, so students have the opportunity to take courses that originate within the department, as well as applicable ones that are offered by other departments. While this may be complicated, it is also enriching. It is also the reason why it is important for students to consult with our academic advisers to insure that they are enrolled in the appropriate courses and are making steady progress in completing their courses of study.

Once again, welcome. I wish you all a productive and enjoyable semester.

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November/December 2011

It is hard to believe that the semester is nearing completion. These past few months have been rather busy ones, as the department has focused on efforts to accommodate the increasing numbers of students enrolling in programs that fall within Global, International & Area Studies. Department faculty members have been meeting regularly throughout the semester to discuss ways to reconfigure and expand curricula in accordance with our mission and strategic goals. We are also working to increase the number of faculty within the department. We wish you the best of luck in completing your classes and preparing for final exams.

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