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by Marlene Cohen
(Director, International Center─Academic Support)

The opening on February 16 and 17, 2005, of the PGCC International Center – Academic Support, located in Lanham 117, was a celebration that brought together college international and American students, faculty, administration, staff, and alumni, as well as community representatives of the Prince George’s County Public Schools, the County Executive’s Office, the County Council, international businesses, and nonprofit immigrant assistance programs.

The two afternoons of presentations, music, and food were the culmination of efforts over a number of years to establish a college location dedicated to strengthening support for our over 2000 non-citizen students from 107 countries around the world.

The opening ceremony speakers were as follows:

From Prince George’s Community College

Marlene Cohen, Director of the International Center-Academic Support

 Ronald A. Williams, President

 Vera Zdravkovich, Vice President for Instruction

Others Speakers:

The Honorable James Rosapepe
Former ambassador to Romania and
member of the USM Board of Regents

Peter Afari
Former PGCC student, past editor
of the Owl newspaper, and past president of Kaleidoscope Club


County Councilman William Campos
First Latino member of the
 Prince George’s County Council

From left to right: Marlene Cohen, James Rosapepe, Peter Afari, and Cheryl Chanbers (PGCC Alumni President)

Music was provided by the Amuyo African Drummers, which include drummer Dipo Kalejaiye, associate professor of English.  

Student volunteers, wearing the formal dress of their countries, served the foods of the Middle East, Mexico, Jamaica, and West.

  • ·        The Center is a clearinghouse for students, faculty, and staff, providing information on international campus issues, bringing students together for multicultural interaction, and being a source of educational support throughout the time non-citizen students attend PGCC. 

  • It serves the international students, which need unique assistance to be successful in their academic work in U.S. higher education. These students often have questions and challenges that U.S. students do not face.

Michael Bosh, Nigeria, and Mary Nyameteh, Kenyua

  •  It serves the international students, which need unique assistance to be successful in their academic work in U.S. higher education. These students often have questions and challenges that U.S. students do not face.

  • It serves U.S. American student seeking knowledge of international issues and intercultual exchange.  Some have lived in other countries, some plan careers involving international studies or international business, and some seek to be better prepared for the diverse workplace. It will coordinate many intercultural events such as Learning Our Viewpoints monthly discussions, international guest speakers in classes, and language conversational partners.

  • It provides training, support, and one-on-one assistance to faculty and staff who serve our international students. Questions and requests are welcome when intercultural issues arise.

  • It builds connections to the county's K-12 nonprofit, and government agencies which work with multicultural and immigrant population.

The International Center – Academic Support operates primarily on the volunteer office time of 30 PGCC faculty.


  • When you know you have international students in your classes, inform them of the International Center. Show them where the center is located, offer them the notebook to add their e-mail addresses to the mailing list, and urge them to consider signing up to be an experienced mentor or newcomer mentee, to be matched with someone of their nationality and gender. Students can set up study groups, post notes, and learn about upcoming events.
  • Encourage students interested in global affairs to join Kaleidoscope Club, the club of international and U.S. students. Meetings are every Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the International Center. Field trips and activities are planned; the student exchange is valuable.
  • Consider selecting a topic for an international student speaker to address in your class. The International Center will provide a student speaker for you.
  • Incorporate students attending Learning Our Viewpoints discussions or International Days/Global Café into your coursework

THANK YOU to so many faculty members for involving themselves and their students!

Please contact Professor Marlene Cohen, director,, 301-322-0750, for more information. Watch for the International Center – Academic Support Web site this summer,



The Instructional Area Newsletter, Volume 20, No. 2 

Spring 2005