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K-State Today

May 9, 2016

Office of International Programs staff present at conferences in Europe

Submitted by Grant Chapman

Joe Milostan, interim director of study abroad, and Mary K. Pyle, assistant director for international support, were both accepted to present at two recent international conferences in Europe.

Milostan was invited to co-present in Prague, Czech Republic, at the Czech Fulbright Study Abroad Workshop, along with representatives from Czech Technical University. Milostan and representatives shared "Best Practices and Possible Models for Institutional Cooperation and Exchange" as an example of a successful institutional exchange agreement between U.S. and Czech institutions. The workshop, organized by the Fulbright Commission of the Czech Republic, sought to increase study abroad participation of U.S. students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields and to attract U.S. STEM students to institutions in the Czech Republic.

The workshop included representatives from U.S. institutions, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University, University of Maryland, College Park; University of Michigan, amongst others.

Milostan represented K-State as a U.S. institution with long and successful relationships in the Czech Republic, including sending STEM students to study abroad in the Czech Republic for more than two decades. K-State entered into an exchange agreement with Czech Technical University in 1992, and more than 750 K-State and Czech Technical University students have participated in the exchange program. The College of Architecture, Planning & Design and the College of Engineering are the two academic areas at K-State that typically send students to Czech Technical University.

Mary K. Pyle, assistant director for international support for the Office of International Programs, was selected to present a paper at the West East Institute Education and Humanities Conference in Vienna, Austria.

Her presentation, "A Compelling Collaboration: Lessons learned utilizing Kansas State University's Confucius Institute as a case study," demonstrated engagement by multiple colleges and departments in welcoming a top- class Chinese institute to K-State's campus.

The West East Institute conference provided a platform for academics, researchers and administrators to put forth ideas and interpretations of the significance of education, humanities and social sciences.

Pyle's paper and presentation focused on K-State's successful implementation to involve and engage 24 departments, colleges and units to collaborate and present the K-State Confucius Institute grand-opening ceremonies in April 2015.

The University of Vienna, the second oldest university in Europe, hosted the conference and attendees primarily represented universities in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

"We are excited that both Joe Milostan and Mary Pyle were able to present important and timely international education topics at prestigious international settings, sharing their expertise and raising Kansas State University's profile in Europe," said Grant Chapman, assistant provost for international administration.

"We were pleased to have our Confucius Institute receive this type of visibility at an international conference," said Max Lu, director of K-State's Confucius Institute. "We are excited and we intend to share this conference presentation with the Hanban Chinese Ministry of Education and other Confucius Institutes."