A seven-figure endowment generously donated by Elaine Haglund, Professor Emerita from the Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling, is responsible for CSULB’s newly established Global Studies Institute (GSI). The endowment’s funding comes in perpetuity and underlines the three pillars of the Declare Capital Campaign—Transformation, Access and a Greater Community.
The Global Studies Institute has as its goal making “international” integral to what it means to be educated.
“The institute is primarily committed to reaching students through the curriculum, as well as by connecting our students via technology with their counterparts overseas,” she added. “Too, the institute encourages students to study, intern or volunteer abroad. If donations to the Institute increase, we hope to establish scholarships for these extremely valuable overseas experiences that in most cases have transformative effects on their academic choices and career plans.”
One goal is to reach the vast majority of students unlikely to consider going abroad.
“However, it’s the 99 percent of the CSULB students who are not likely to study or intern abroad that are those we most need to reach,” Haglund said. “It is vital in this globalized 21st century that first, university students are exposed and sensitized to global issues; second, that they have a heightened consciousness regarding other peoples and cultures and third, where possible, that students gain a toolbox of international and global skills including transcultural and trans-lingual application.”
By conducting faculty workshops and granting faculty stipends, one of the aims of the Global Studies Institute is to develop a wide variety of internationally related courses as well as to infuse international and cross-cultural modules into existing courses.
“Currently, the institute is coordinating a federal Title VI interdisciplinary grant to aid in the development of four new foreign language certificates; a general education theme, as well as an honors track, both of which are focused on Global Competencies and Language; a Peace Corps master’s degree in Global Nursing; and evaluation measures based on objective and quantifiable data,” said Haglund. “In addition to the campus-wide curriculum development, another goal of the Institute is to help fund students’ overseas experiences—study, internships and service learning courses.”
In Haglund’s mind, “Students need to be encouraged to engage with the unfamiliar. Learning about other cultures and languages leads to greater compassion among peoples. It is as Senator William Fulbright once stated: ‘International education turns nations into people.’”
Access is fundamental to Haglund’s vision. She emphasized that “Had it not been for California’s state-funded colleges and universities, I probably could not have attended college due to limited family finances—even though UCLA at the time was only $43 a semester. At this point in time, giving is needed more than ever to help bridge the gap between diminishing state funds and sharply increased student fees that have doubled in the last 10 years. Unfortunately, a majority of our students are graduating with an enormous burden of having to pay off their student loans—thus significantly delaying their ability to actively contribute their time and treasure, if any, to the larger community.”
The components of international education are highly developed at CSULB.
“Not only is there an International House where both domestic and international students reside, there is a thriving Center for International Education providing infrastructure for study abroad and international student services,” Haglund explained. “There is a broad array of short-term study abroad courses, a model International Studies major, active and innovative language and linguistics departments, a significant proportion of faculty committed to international education, and a clearly articulated `Global Perspective’ component in the university’s mission statement.”
Haglund joined the faculty in 1971. During her more than 40 years on campus, she received CSULB’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 1989, three Fulbright Fellowships and the Nicholas Perkins Hardeman award for Academic Leadership in 2008. Haglund has served as a visiting professor in Nigeria, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Turkish Cyprus, Morocco, Nepal, South Korea, Micronesia and twice in the People’s Republic of China.
Haglund encourages the campus and surrounding community to be generous with their support.
“We live in an interdependent and globalized world where political, economic and social interactions across borders are increasing at an exponential rate,” she declared. “Accordingly, it is vital that students graduating from all of CSULB’s diverse programs hold the skills to be globally competent and personally fulfilled in their professions.”
She concluded by saying, “Opening our students’ minds and senses to the world has been—and continues to be—a lifelong commitment.
“I can’t think of a more stimulating and pleasant place to be than on a university campus interacting with our wonderful students, faculty and staff members. But more to the point, I feel fortunate to be able to continue the work that many of us set out to accomplish over three decades ago—that of helping our students become more and more internationally knowledgeable and culturally aware, thus better prepared to live and work in this borderless world of the 21st century,” she added.