Global engagement programs are about big-picture thinking, and they help students prepare for global impact and engagement. But how do you develop a global engagement program in your school?
In this episode of the Global Engagement Insights podcast, our host Chike Lawrence-Mitchell welcomes Ilgu Ozler, the director of the SUNY Global Engagement Program at the New Paltz State University of New York. They talk about the power of global engagement, the importance of big-picture thinking, and the ways to do globally engaged work at a local level.
Name: Ilgu Ozler
What she does: Ilgu is the director of the SUNY Global Engagement Program at the New Paltz State University of New York.
Noteworthy: Ilgu is also a professor of political science and international relations at SUNY New Paltz. Her research focuses on civic engagement as it relates to political parties, non-governmental organizations, and social movements.
Where to find Ilgu: LinkedIn
"My students don't have connections. I didn't have connections when I started. But over several years of teaching the UN semester, we were building all these connections at the UN, and my students would ask me, 'Professor Ozler, how do I become that person who has just briefed us? I want to go work for the United Nations refugee organization. How do I do that?' Well, how do you make that pathway clear for a student who doesn't have connections? They need experience. They need networks."
"We have the luxury to do it at the global level here because I can take the students to New York City, but you can replicate those things locally in your own community by engaging through the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a holistic guide to how to think about sustainable development and global engagement in that way."
"You need a campus champion for this thing to happen. I was very lucky that I have a very supportive program. You start with your department because what you're going to do will take you outside of the department; for example, you need to have dedicated faculty to be able to do a program like this. [...] If there is an administrator and like a dean-level kind of an administrator and supportive department, you are really on your way to be able to start something like this on campus. It really works; it’s probably better to have the higher-ups support it."
“I think bringing the UN to your campus is easier than you think, and it is life-changing for a lot of students. And I would highly recommend schools look into that, and if anybody wants to reach out to me, I would be happy to talk to them as well.”