My grandmother had a wall map where she placed a thumbtack on every location she visited around the globe.
I remember as a child falling asleep looking at that map imagining my snow-haired grandma trekking through the Holy Land, hiking up a mountain in Chile and getting henna tattoos in Morocco. Grandma used to say she’d rather eat beans and rice for a month than miss a trip. I thought international travel was only something you did when you were retired, or if you were wealthy. That is, until I became a freshman in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Then I learned there were scholarships to help pay for international experiences. I earned my first thumbtack abroad as a freshman in the college. Thanks to that first international experience I gained a bit of “cross-cultural ease” Shelley Taylor talks of instilling in students. I’ve placed many more thumbtacks since, and my worldview is better for it.
The breadth of the college’s impact through its people and programs is impressive—a look at the map on pages two and three will show you that. What’s amazing is that each dot on that map isn’t just a tourist stop. The dots represent meaningful connections ranging from research partnerships, to student exchanges, to immersive study abroad programs or service projects.
This issue will provide insight to some of those dots, those cross-cultural connections. Stories that will disprove anyone who thinks today’s college students are apathetic. And that show how college faculty use science to address big issues facing global society. Stories that express the commitment of our college towards global issues. And, as always, our alumni profiles feature a few of our amazing graduates who use science and diplomacy to build relationships, battle hunger and advance science.
We hope you enjoy this trip around the world learning about the college’s service to global society and how our students are becoming responsible citizens of the world.
Melea Reicks Licht