What do Ohio Wesleyan University administrators Craig Ullom and Darrell Albon have in common with U.S. President Barack Obama?
All three are visiting India this month to enhance relationships with the world’s second most-populous country.
Ullom, OWU’s vice president of student affairs, and Albon, the University’s director of international and off-campus programs, will spend two weeks abroad during which time they will participate in efforts by the International Academic Partnerships Program (IAPP) to enhance ties between higher education institutions in the United States and India.
“This is a great opportunity to establish connections for educational exchange between institutions in India and OWU,” says Ullom, who is blogging about the trip. “Our meeting will coincide with President Obama’s visit to India and, hopefully, this will heighten the interest on the part of Indian institutions to partner with American colleges and universities.
“We are the only coed liberal arts institution in the delegation and believe that will be an asset to OWU as we talk with other colleges looking for the kind of experience we have to offer,” Ullom continues. “In addition to the meetings and institutional visits as part of the International Academic Partnership Program, we have separate meetings scheduled with parents of current Indian students and OWU alumni who live in India.”
In March, Ohio Wesleyan was chosen as one of 10 U.S. colleges and universities to be part of the new IAPP initiative. The initiative is overseen by the Institute of International Education (IIE), a nonprofit organization that works to create study and training programs for students, educators, and professionals worldwide. Other IIE programs include the prestigious Fulbright Program and Gilman Scholarships, which it administers for the U.S. Department of State.
The U.S. Department of Education also is supporting this initiative through its Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education. Albon has been working since March on the IAPP initiative and serves as the University’s representative for the program.
“The ultimate goal that the U.S. government has in mind is for higher education institutions to develop a more strategic approach to international exchange relationships,” Albon explains. “The India trip is a centerpiece, but we have also been engaged in a strategic planning process and have had an outside consultant provided by the IIE assist in this process.”
The consultant, Kalyanakrishnan “Shivi” Sivaramakrishnan, Ph.D., is chair of the South Asian Studies Council at Yale University’s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. Albon says Sivaramakrishnan already has provided him with helpful feedback in the international educational exchange strategic planning process.
Also participating in the IAPP initiative are California State University (San Bernardino), The College of William & Mary, Florida Atlantic University, Oakland Community College, Spelman College, St. Cloud State University, The University of Tulsa, University of South Carolina, and Winston Salem State University.
The 10 were chosen from more than 75 nominations. In announcing Ohio Wesleyan’s selection, Allan Goodman, president and chief executive officer of the Institute of International Education, stated: “Our distinguished IAPP Advisory board was truly impressed with your campus’ commitment to international education. Your application stood out for its demonstrated support from both administration and faculty, commitment to increasing internationalization on your campus, and stalwart desire to foster a partnership with an Indian institution.”
Learn more about the International Academic Partnerships Program (IAPP).
Read more about OWU’s Office of International and Off-Campus Programs.
Read Ullom’s blog.