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
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
Ronald A. Williams, President
Vera Zdravkovich, Vice President for Instruction
The Honorable James Rosapepe
Former ambassador to Romania and
member of the USM Board of Regents
Former PGCC student, past editor
of the Owl newspaper, and past president of Kaleidoscope Club
County Councilman William Campos
First Latino member of the
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
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
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.
PLEASE HELP TO BRING INTERNATIONAL
STUDENTS TO THE CENTER.
- 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
- 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!
Professor Marlene Cohen, director,
firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-322-0750, for more information. Watch for the
International Center – Academic Support Web site this summer,