CAS hosts third International Faculty Reception

Clockwise, from left: Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, Dean Aldemaro Romero, Dr. Saba Fatima, and Dr. Melissa Chan

On Oct. 18, the College of Arts and Sciences hosted its third annual International Faculty Reception in the third floor conference room of Peck Hall. The International Faculty Reception serves as a time for faculty from different parts of the world and from different CAS departments to converse, share, and to know that they are appreciated.

SIUE professors from all over the world attended the gathering. Malaysia, India, Zambia, Italy, England, Greece, and China were just a few countries that were represented at the reception.

The event began at 1 p.m. and lasted for about an hour. Faculty were invited to enjoy refreshments, including a cake with a map of the countries represented by SIUE faculty, and see a slide show highlighting all the international faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.

During the hour-long reception, faculty meandered about the conference room, talking to other faculty they may otherwise not be able to talk to, which was the primary objective for having the reception.

“We have such diversity in our faculty…but we don’t really have any chances to get together and exchange ideas and have fellowship,” said Dean Aldemaro Romero, who is a native of Venezuela. “Sometimes this is the only opportunity they have to do this.”

Clockwise, from left: Drs. Michael Shaw, Musonda Kapatamoyo, and Nahid Shabestary in conversation at the reception.

Speech Communications professor Dr. Wai Hsien Cheah, a native of Malayisa who attended the reception, agreed with the Dean’s sentiment completely. “We are pretty much tied to our own buildings,” he explained.

As part of the Speech Communications faculty, Cheah is in Alumni Hall, so he does not feel that he gets to speak with other faculty outside of Alumni Hall or even outside of his department. The International Faculty Reception gave him a chance not only to meet other faculty members but to socialize as well.

“This is a really good opportunity for us to talk about things other than what we do as professionals. We get to share our personal life and show our identity, so [the reception’s] really a good thing to have,” Cheah said.

English professor Dr. Anushiya Ramaswamy is from India and has been at SIUE for about 15 years. She was pleased to see the College of Arts and Sciences host an event with a “stress on diversity,” which she feels is imperative to a university in such an ideal geographic location and thereby highly accessible to diverse students and faculty.

The cake at the reception. The shaded countries on the map represent SIUE faculty from those countries.

“We are positioned in a beautiful spot to be a flourishing university that serves its local population as well as has a global outlook,” said Ramaswamy.

Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe also attended the reception to get to know the diverse faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, and she was delighted to see how the University fosters these international relationships.

“I think we have great diversity both in the student body and certainly in the faculty and staff, and I’m just pleased that we have so many faculty from so many different countries,” said the Chancellor. “I’ve also been very pleased to see so many interdisciplinary activities and programs happening in the College of Arts and Sciences, and I think it’s just wonderful to bring faculty together in a venue like this.”

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