New Global Engagement Website

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Global Engagement website February 12, 2015. The new website provides viewers an easier way to find information about International Students and Scholars, Study Abroad, and International Programs. We would like to thank our amazing staff in the Office of Global Engagement and the USU Program and Design Team who gave their time and energy to make this site a success. Click here to view the site.

International Student Council (ISC) - 2015 Robins Award Recipient

The International Student Council is passionate about making every student, domestic and international, feel like an Aggie and connect with USU and the community. This year the ISC has promoted cultural events such as Diwali, Areito, and the Global Aggie program. These events connect every USU student and bring them together celebrating culture and unity in diversity. The ISC has also reached out to the community through service at local schools and other service projects. They have also seen an increase in attendance at international activities, and facilitated cross cultural and multicultural collaboration. For more information about the ISC, click here.

The 2015 Utah State University Robins Awards were presented on April 11, 2015 in the Taggart Student Center Ballroom. To read more about the USU Robins Awards, click here.

International Student of the Year 2015

Omima Khalat, winner of International Student of the Year 2015 presented at the International Banquet on April 3, 2015, was born in Lybia in 1997. She came with her family to Logan, Utah, in 2011 to join her father, a PhD student in Electrical Engineering. She was the youngest graduate of Sky View High School and entered Utah State University as a Biochemistry major in Spring 2015. She has been a tireless volunteer for the international community, teaching Arabic at Logan Islamic Center, cooking Libyan food for International Family Night during International Education Week, sitting on panels for the Interfaith student club, working on International Student Council events, and cooking Libyan food and sharing her culture at the Global Village during the International Women's Day. She loves science and plans to attend medical school in Libya.

International Association of the Year 2015

The Indian Student Association (ISA) is the recipient of the International Association of the Year 2015 award, presented at the International Banquet on April 3, 2015. This group shared their culture through Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights; dance performances and cultural offerings during International Education Week; Homecoming street painting; Multicultural night at the Logan tabernacle; sharing a Bollywood dance at a USU Women's Basketball half-time show; and working with the local Burmese refugee community. Their efforts support their club mission, "Winning is not everything, but total effort to win is!" Visit the ISA website to learn more.

International Study Break in the Library

On the evening of March 18, 2015, over two hundred International students and scholars gathered in Library 101 to make new friends, enjoy delicious quesadillas grilled on the patio by Café Sabor, listen to live music, and dance. Here is what some of the participants said about the event. “It was best thing after the orientation. I simply loved it and would want more of it. It’s always great interacting with people who teach you something about the world unknown to you and make it a memorable experience.” -Kush Manjrekar “I loved it! I wish the venue was bigger. Other than that, everything was wonderful! (especially theguacamole).”-Gabriel Rivera “Loved the event. It's always nice to be around a great bunch of richly diverse international students and the way the Office of Global Engagement binds us all is highly appreciated. I never feel I am thousands of miles away from my home." -Samiya Farooq

Student and Staff Diversity Award Recipients are Globally Engaged 

Ayman Alafifi, doctoral student in Civil and Environmental Engineering and research assistant in the Utah Water Research Laboratory, is the vice president of the USU Muslim Student Association and the director of the Logan Islamic Center (LIC). Read more.

Ben Wilkey, International Recruitment Specialist in the Admissions Office and former Global Academy program coordinator, loves developing friendships wherever opportunities arise. 

The 2015 Utah State University Diversity Awards were presented on March 24, 2015 in the President's Home. Read more about the 2015 Diversity Awards Ceremony.

Study Abroad: Student Spotlight

The USU Office of Global Engagement Study Abroad Program is pleased to spotlight Danielle Adams, a USU returned study abroad student.

In Fall 2012, Danielle studied abroad for a semester at Karl-Franzens-University of Graz in Austria. She recently contacted us to provide an update. Danielle stated that studying abroad was “the most significant and rewarding experience of 

my life. It was like I fell inlove for the first time, and then over and over again. With the most amazing friends, the perfect town with such a variety of people, the language, the adventure, and of course the ice cream.”

Danielle returned to the United States after her study abroad experience and started working in her hometown of Chicago. However, Danielle’s study abroad experience was so rewarding that she recently was inspired to make a big move: “I loved my experience in Austria so much, I decided to quit my full-time job in Chicago and take the plunge. I packed up and moved to Germany for a year to work as an au pair. Once again I have found part of myself in this place as well. I have been here for one month and have a deep love for my host family and their two children.”

The Study Abroad team is always thrilled to hear from former students about how their international experiences impacted their lives for the better. We hope stories like this inspire more students to study abroad!

Contact Study Abroad for more information to begin your adventure today! Military Science Building, Room 118; 435-797-0601; or

Katie Davidson is a new advisor in the Study Abroad Program. She hails from southern Indiana and completed her BFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Furniture Design, as well as her BA in German, at Murray State University in Kentucky. She studied abroad twice while attending a summer art program in Italy and a semester German language and culture program in southern Germany. Katie dabbled in areas such as a summer camp counselor and living on an educational organic farm, enjoys sewing, knitting, taking her adorable dog on walks, and hiking. Katie received her MA in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont. She is extremely passionate about the study abroad experience and what it can do for students both personally and professionally. Studying abroad was a transformational experience for her and she is excited to be at USU to facilitate life-changing experiences for Aggies!

Kathleen Fretwell has returned to Cache Valley after a 27-year career at Arizona State University (ASU). She graduated from Bridgerland Vocational School in 1987 with a certificate in office management, and from 1989 pursued a degree in Business Administration at ASU. She was employed at ASU since 1988, joined the Computer Science Department in 2003 as Administrative Assistant to the department chair, and was most recently the Executive Administrative Specialist to the Senior Vice President of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. She is a past president and member of University Career Women at ASU. She is a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Kathleen joined the Office of Global Engagement in January 2015. She assists the Vice Provost and Interim Director, facilitates international undergraduate admissions, and is the office manager for International Students and Scholars, where she warmly greets all of the new and current international students that come in for assistance.

Robin Shutinya is the new staff assistant for the Study Abroad Program. She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended the University of Maryland, College Park, for her bachelor’s degree and New York University for her master’s. Her past work experience includes teaching English in the Czech Republic, working with children with autism and various behavioral disorders, and most recently working as a Program Administrator for the University of Alberta’s Department of Psychiatry. Robin and her husband moved to Logan this past August after four years in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; they’re happy to be back “south of the border” in warmer weather. Robin is passionate about her family and friends, her dog, traveling, reading, the Baltimore Orioles, and Baltimore Ravens.

Heidi Thompson comes to the Office of Global Engagement as a product of an early mid-life crisis. A USU graduate, Heidi spent the last three years working for USU Extension in Salt Lake County as the Staff Assistant to the County Director. Previous to her work with USU, she managed the staff and accounts for a branch of Zions Bank. She enjoys all things international, having spent several years working in the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia, and picking out all the finer points of Finding Nemo when it was the only movie her child would watch. When Heidi found out she was having twins, she decided to move to Cache Valley to be closer to family and seek employment on campus. A dedicated employee, Heidi was instrumental in the operations of Salt Lake County Extension and looks forward to using her talents as the staff assistant for International Programs.

To learn more about the Office of Global Engagement, click here.

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