The University Libraries will host three speakers for a Kitchen Table Conversation titled “The Global in the Local” on Nov. 2 on the fourth floor of Alden Library.
The conversation, which will focus on global education, recruitment and community impact, will begin with a 20-to-30-minute introduction with speakers, Lorna Jean Edmonds, Theresa Moran and Michael Kopish. Afterward, Jeffrey Shane, subject librarian for Southeast Asia, will moderate a question-and-answer segment with the audience, and American Sign Language interpreters will be provided.
The idea of a kitchen table-style discussion allows for OHIO leaders to hear the voices of the University community, said Eileen Theodore-Shusta, director of planning, assessment and organizational effectiveness for the Libraries.
“We took [the idea], and we shifted it a little,” said Theodore-Shusta, also the chair of the inclusion and diversity committee hosting the event. “We still have identified a general theme, and we try to have people at the table who are at a more senior leadership level…people who are actually making the decisions with the idea that we would all like to hear more about how they go about making those decisions and also to provide a safe venue for people to ask uncomfortable questions.”
The event, free and open to the public, will include light refreshments.
As the vice provost for global affairs and international studies, Edmonds said she hopes to emphasize the importance of looking at Ohio University as a global community.
“One of the things OHIO has, in terms of its strategy, is that we don’t look at it as an international strategy, we see it as a one-planet strategy,” she said. “When we talk about the number of countries that are included at Ohio University, we include the United States. There is a real interest for us to talk about students, [and] to not separate domestic students from international students. There are students from all over the world that [graduate] from Ohio University. Our vision of the University is to be transformative and to have alumni be global leaders.”
Moran, the director of the Food Studies Theme, said her work developing the food studies program has shown her that the idea of food and family provides a good setting for a global discussion.
“Everyone comes to the table [to eat],” she said. “Athens is unique in that international students here can find aspects of American life and culture that are not always accessible in larger cities. At the same time, for such a small, relatively isolated place, Athens is incredibly enriched by the presence of the international students….it is hard to imagine Athens without our international students.”
Kopish, an assistant professor for teacher education, said discussing the idea of global citizenship involves preparing tomorrow’s leaders through teacher candidates.
“My own interest [is] in using global citizenship as a framework to teach and to prepare teacher candidates,” he said. “We have a global community here. I think it is important that we leverage our global assets here in a way that improves the experience for everybody…I think that in the current climate it is important for us to use our global community as one that brings people together and helps to form alliances…”
Theodore-Shusta said while the Libraries have had similar-style presentations in the past, this global discussion would be the most student-focused.
“…In the past, we have had more formal presentations,” she said. “We have had speakers or formal panels with a moderator, and we have given the moderator specific questions for the panel to address…The idea is that [this discussion] is a conversation; it is not a panel.”