University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

NEWS RELEASE

News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

UW-Eau Claire to Host Open Society Institute's
Fall Conference For Undergraduate Exchange Students

 MAILED:  Nov. 9, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin -Eau Claire will host the Open Society Institute's fall conference for undergraduate exchange students Nov. 19-21. Forty-five students from Central Asia and Eastern Europe who are studying throughout the U.S. this year will attend the conference.

"We were selected as the conference site based on the positive feedback of students who have studied here through this program," said Karl Markgraf, director of the Center for International Education at UW-Eau Claire. "We were among the first universities, along with Cornell and UC-Berkeley, to host students from this program."

While in Eau Claire , the exchange students will attend leadership seminars, workshops and planning sessions. They will stay at a local hotel and participate in various recreational activities in the area.

They will visit area non-profit agencies including the Department of National Resources, Beaver Creek Reserve, Bolton Refuge House, Feed My People, Community Table, St. Joseph 's Food Pantry, the Welcome Center Program at De Long Middle School and the Boys & Girls Club of Eau Claire.

Donald Mowry, director of the UW-Eau Claire Center for Service-Learning, helped arrange the visits together with Phil Huelsbeck from the Center for International Education, AmeriCorps*VISTA members Annie Adams and Adam Kaderabek, who are assigned to UW-Eau Claire, and OSI officials

"Four themes — environment, domestic violence, hunger and education — emerged as being the best match for the students who each complete a community service-learning project as part of each semester's experience during their time in this country and also complete a community service project or internship upon their return home," said Mowry.

Since 1996, UW-Eau Claire has hosted between five and 10 students each year through the Open Society Institute's program, which seeks to assist educational and civic development in Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Romania and Serbia by exposing participants to a liberal arts curriculum, classroom instruction, community service work and civil society related programming.

Markgraf said UW-Eau Claire also participates in the Open Society's faculty development fellowship program, hosting faculty from Belarus , Georgia and Kazakhstan for up to three semesters during a three-year period.

"Hosting this conference is a big deal for Eau Claire ," Markgraf said. "These students will all go on to be leaders in their home countries. It's exciting to be part of their intellectual and personal development because we know they will go back and be part of democratizing their countries."

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JW/JB

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: November 9, 2004