Purdue University Northwest (PNW) welcomed students from 47 countries last fall through the Office of Global Engagement (OGE).
Executive Director George F. Kacenga, Ph.D., joined PNW last summer to ramp up a comprehensive program, aligning the office with Academic Affairs’ mission of innovation, impact and improvement, and also continue advancing programs the OGE offers.
Strengthening global competency
“At a macro level, OGE represents Purdue Northwest’s intentional investment in PNW itself,” said Kacenga.
Building global competency among all PNW students is a central tenant of OGE’s work. Kacenga said through coordination with faculty and university leadership, students will be exposed to international perspectives through curricular and co-curricular activities to advance strategic learning outcomes.
In addition, PNW has active academic partnership agreements and collaborations with over 25 countries across six continents designed to enhance the academic experience of all students.
“All of these initiatives will enhance our alumni’s value to any workforce, whether that’s in northwest Indiana or a bustling West African city like Accra, Ghana,” said Kacenga.
Kacenga values the faculty’s role in supporting that vision. He said OGE will advocate for faculty policies and practices that point up the faculty’s pivotal role in comprehensive internationalization; emphasize the faculty’s international background, experience, and interests; and recognize faculty for incorporating international perspectives into research and teaching.
A range of international services
At the micro level, Kacenga said the Office of Global Engagement delivers critical services for the university, including:
- immigration services for students, faculty, and staff;
- cross-cultural programming and activities for international and domestic audiences;
- international recruitment;
- a robust in-house English-as-a-second-language infrastructure; and
- coordination of international partnerships and risk-management efforts.
A value worth protecting
The Office of Global Engagement is committed to the value of international higher education for PNW and northwest Indiana. Kacenga said the economic impact of international students might be surprising to some people.
A report by NAFSA: Association of International Educators attributed international student enrollment across all colleges and universities with annually contributing over $59 million within northwest Indiana and more than $1 billion to Indiana’s economy in recent years.
Located in Room 176 of the Classroom Office Building (CLO) on the Hammond Campus, OGE invites the PNW community to partner with them on international initiatives that advance these objectives. Stop by for a visit or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.