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Join us online as speakers from around the world cover one of the following topics: Headlines from Abroad, JCCC Travelers, and International Careers.

Talks will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesdays unless otherwise noted with an asterisk. 

The series is sponsored by JCCC’s International Education Office.

Note: Dates are subject to change.

Headlines from Abroad

Oceania is a region made up of thousands of islands throughout the Central and South Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is one of them. Often thought of for Kiwis and the shot location for “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit,” this small island country has recently been making big international news! Hear from Whitney Irwin as she brings us up to speed with the major events happening in New Zealand.

Whitney Irwin is a marketing officer at Southern Institute of Technology in Invercargill, New Zealand. She will tell us what the view is from Middle Earth – or, as the Maori call it – the "Land of the Long White Cloud."

The Netherlands isn’t just the home of windmills, tulips and top performing Winter Olympic teams. Join us as we hear from Renée Frommé, Tineke Laarhoven and Gilles van der Putt, from Koning Willem College in 's-Hertogenbosch as they share with us the big picture of current Netherlander news. 

Renée Frommé is the head of the International Office at Koning Willem College in the Netherlands. Renee does the matching for the Dutch Exchange Program that so many JCCC faculty, staff, and administrators have enjoyed. She and her colleagues will tell us what’s currently in the headlines

Six of the world’s fastest-growing economies are on the African continent. The economic promise and the majestic beauty of Africa draw many to discover its rich agriculture and diverse communities.

Hear inspiring stories from Gloria Laker, Coordinator of the Uganda Refugee Online News Network. Now a journalist, Laker grew up near Gulu, Uganda, during the time that the Lord’s Resistance Army, led by Joseph Kony, terrorized that region. She was one of the first female journalists to report from the war zone, often visiting sites of recent abductions and massacres. These experiences led Laker to care deeply about peace and using journalism as a tool to give peace a chance. Currently she is reporting on the situation facing refugees in Uganda as it hosts over a million refugees from South Sudan, D.R. Congo, Burundi and Somalia.

Traveling in Pakistan is a truly unique experience: enlightening, life-changing and, more often than not, surprising. The people are amazing, the landscape is unbelievable and it is rich in history.

Become captivated as moderator Dr. Sher Muhammad Doudpota and Panel, Sukkur IBA University (Pakistan), discuss recent headlines from Pakistan, particularly as they relate to education. Six faculty from Sukkur IBA University spent fall 2016 at JCCC as part of a grant project funded by the U.S. Embassy in Karachi.

JCCC Travelers

Several adventurers will share their stories from the continent of Africa. Each panelist will invite you into their personal experiences of traveling and serving on this fascinating contient. One by one, they will create a clearer picture of the continent and stir up a desire in you to see it for yourself!

  • John Harty teaches World Regional Geography, Physical Geography, and Human Geography. Prof. Harty spent the summer of 2004 teaching at Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya, and the summer of 2005 as the team leader of a Fulbright-Hayes study project in Tanzania. He has spent time on every continent and has led Study Abroad programs on four continents.
  • Janette Jasperson, International Education Coordinator at JCCC, loves to help students explore the world. Between 2011 and 2016, Janette traveled twice to western Kenya with service projects and twice to northern Uganda with a nursing study abroad program and a peacebuilding study project. Her stories include free-range roosters, the busy and endlessly fascinating street activity, the lilt of Swahili music, and witch doctors.
  • Brooke Stock, International Education Coordinator at JCCC, took a gap semester in 2006 to be a volunteer at an HIV/AIDS orphanage in South Africa. During this volunteer stint she mentored children in group and one-on-one settings and assisted with the establishment and implementation of a soup kitchen and child sponsorship program in neighboring townships.

The Middle East is a cradle of civilizations composed of beautiful, complicated lands and home to some of the planet’s most hospitable people. Travel with us, hear our stories.

Professor Melanie Bevell Hull teaches history and religion, including History of the Middle East and Islam: Religion and Civilization. She studied in Jerusalem as an undergraduate and has traveled in Morocco. In 2016, Hull co-led a JCCC Study Abroad program that focused on the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian artifacts held in collections in Oxford, London and Berlin.

Professor Dawn Gale teaches philosophy. She has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Gale and her family spent the summer of 2018 in Israel, where she worked on an additional graduate degree at Hebrew University.

Dessa Crum, Coordinator for International and Immigrant Student Services, teaches in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program. Crum lived in Turkey for three years where she taught English, explored the countryside and drank a lot of tea.

Ancient temples, castles, shrines and FOOD. So little time, so much to explore. Asia has become a hot topic for journalists, politicians, and travelers alike. Listen in as these travelers share their memories and perspectives on some of Asia’s enthralling destinations.

Professor Sheilah Philip, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, coordinates the College’s Recital Series and leads Study Abroad trips. Philip has traveled extensively in Europe and in Asia, particularly in China and Japan. She is the co-leader of an upcoming Study Abroad program in Japan.

Professor Beth Gulley teaches English. She and her family spent the 2016-2017 academic year at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an, China, where she taught English and wrote a fascinating blog.

Chef Aaron Prater teaches in JCCC’s Wylie Hospitality and Culinary Academy. He has traveled in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, eating delicious food and studying its preparation. Chef Prater co-led a Study Abroad trip to Italy in 2018 and has plans for a program in Ireland as soon as we are again free to move about the world.

Trademarked by the friendliness and openness of the people, Latin America is full of large cultural events, dances, sports and outrageously delicious cuisine. These JCCC travelers have spent significant time in Latin America, and some even call it “home.”

Professor Luz Alvarez teaches Spanish. A native of Puebla, Mexico, she will tell us about her homeland, which she loves. Alvarez has traveled to Guadalajara many times to serve with and translate for JCCC’s Las Pintas project teams. She has also traveled to other Spanish-speaking countries in South America and the Caribbean, and she visited Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago.

Professor William McFarlane teaches anthropology. He directed an archaeological field school in Honduras for many years before the political situation there became less welcoming. McFarlane will co-lead an upcoming study abroad program in Belize which will explore Maya ruins and tropical ecology.

Professor Sam Sommerville teaches Spanish. He grew up in Argentina and still visits “home” every chance he gets. Sommerville has led several Study Abroad programs in Argentina and has plans to co-lead a program in Peru when travel resumes.

International Careers

From leading health campaigns, to boosting local entrepreneurship, to teaching digital literacy, Peace Corps offers a range of opportunities for making a difference.  

Jessica Vandivort de Montiel served in Guatemala for two years with the Peace Corps. She so valued the opportunities and experiences which she received through the Peace Corps that she is now the Peace Corps recruiter for Western Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. Find out how you can make a difference through service that is hands-on, grassroots-driven, and lasting.

Rich in culture and history with beautiful forests, impressive mountain ranges, idyllic seaside and amazing lakes, Poland is home to a number of culturally significant monuments. Its rich and complicated past has shaped its humming city life and imaginative tourist destinations. How about working there?

Konrad Patterson works for UBS, a multinational investment bank and financial services company founded and based in Switzerland. He works harvesting, cleansing and analyzing alternative data sourced from the internet to help worldwide clients make better investment decisions. Patterson also works as a contractor keeping the U.S. government up on what’s happening in Poland and the EU through monitoring the Polish media, translating articles into English and writing summary reports highlighting news of interest to the U.S. government. He lives and works in Krakow, Poland

Katerina Kochergina works for the maritime division within Kongsberg Group, a Norwegian international technology company, as a strategic buyer. She manages purchasing processes, including market research, cost analysis, contract negotiation, suppliers’ relationship development and maintenance. She lives in Krakow, Poland, and works throughout Europe.

Working internationally can open doors you may never have expected. Not only can it help you develop amazing trivia skills, but it might allow you to help to shape systems you never thought you’d have access to.

Aaron Mann is the Senior Attorney for Litigation with Terracon Consultants, one of the nation’s largest engineering and design firms. Prior to joining Terracon, he was a partner at Husch Blackwell where he spent four years working in the firm's London office and served as the head of international services throughout EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).