As part of its $11.7 million Imagine Campaign, William Woods University plans to establish a Center for Ethics and Global Studies (CEGS).
This campaign component includes the creation of a $3 million endowment to provide ongoing funding for the Center for Ethics and Global Studies, an academic program that builds on several existing initiatives/projects. It has four components:
- Ethics and Global Diversity Courses
- Short- and Long-term Study Abroad
- International Student Services
- Gateway to Service Opportunities
CEGS is one part of a three-part fundraising campaign, which also includes a Sorority Circle and Amphitheatre and an Alumni and Visitors’ Center.
“In a world that is changing rapidly and becoming increasingly global, leadership development, service-based learning, global awareness and ethical reflection have never been more important,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said.
She explained that William Woods University plans to incorporate and build upon the Office of Faith and Service (including the university chaplain’s office, spiritual counseling, regular guest speakers and chapel services) forming a new, expanded program called the “Center for Ethics and Global Studies” (CEGS).
The Rev. Travis Tamerius, university chaplain, has been tapped for the expanded role of CEGS director.
“Increasingly,” Tamerius said, “companies are looking for employees who demonstrate what they call ‘international-mindedness.’ The Center for Ethics and Global Studies will help prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities of the global marketplace. They gain skills in social intelligence, learn about civic responsibility, and gain a better understanding of the changing face of our world.”
The CEGS will expand the university’s current study abroad activities. It also will focus on the development of common studies (core curriculum) that require all undergraduate students to complete courses of study in ethics and diversity. The CEGS will also provide a single gateway to the Fulton community to make it easier than ever for students to put leadership and service ideals into practice.
“As part of our mission statement, we are committed to equipping students for ‘lifelong education in the world community.’ With the establishment of the Center for Ethics and Global Studies, we have even more resources to accomplish that goal,” Tamerius said.
Ethics and Diversity
Tamerius, as CEGS director, will work with faculty members to develop and enhance courses that meet the common studies (core curriculum) ethical reasoning and global diversity requirements for all undergraduate students.
“A few years ago,” Tamerius said, “I came across the notion that the ‘power of the mind is in perceiving differences; the power of the heart is in perceiving similarities.’ The CEGS focuses our attention on both insights. We are developing critical thinkers who can navigate their way through the complexities of the ‘global village,’ as well as compassionate citizens who learn to value other peoples and cultures.”
Short-Term and Long-Term Study Abroad
“We recognize the importance of global awareness and service-based learning,” Barnett said, “so we currently offer opportunities for undergraduate students to take global courses that involve short-term and long-term study abroad and cultural exploration opportunities. In 2006, we established the Woods Around the World program as a means for our students and faculty to pilot more short-term study abroad options.”
Woods Around the World projects in recent years have included the following:
- Study of Kenya
- Trip to Peru
- Travel along the American South’s Civil Rights Trail
- Tour of Europe’s key sites related to the history of the Holocaust
“Our students continue to request more of these life-changing experiences, so the CEGS will expand current programs to engage more students and develop courses to include spring break trips, as well as intersession (December/January) and summer trips that are directly linked to academic study,” Barnett explained.
“Travel has a way of stretching the mind and developing the skills that are important for a well-rounded life. Students who are able to go abroad on service-learning trips return home with their eyes open to the wider world. They realize they not only have something to learn from other voices and stories, but that they also have something to give back,” Tamerius said.
“When students are able to travel for a class, their education really comes alive. People and events and ideas jump off the pages of the textbook because students have had a chance to see history or current events up close. When students travel, they not only learn about their subject of study, but they also learn important values like respect and empathy and gratitude.”
He added, “At its core, education is about a journey; it’s about seeing something new or gaining a fresh perspective on something old. With the Center for Ethics and Global Studies, we take our learning on the road, traveling the world to see the world and serve the world.”
International Student Services
According to Barnett, “ensuring a diverse student body is also important.” She said programs “will be developed to facilitate international students’ transition to life in the United Sta