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Monday, September 09, 2013

Le Moyne and Turkey: A Partnership for a New Millennium

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“Promote greater diversity within the Le Moyne community and increased engagement between the College and other communities nationally and internationally."

- OneLeMoyne Strategic Priority Number 5

Origins of the Trip

Perhaps never before has the promotion of understanding, cooperation and trust been more critical to our shared future than it is today. It was in that spirit that officials from the Turkish Cultural Center in Syracuse, in collaboration with the Peace Islands Institute in Rochester, N.Y., approached President Fred Pestello and asked if Le Moyne would be willing to work with them to create educational ties between Turkey and the U.S. that would both break down barriers to understanding and provide greater opportunities for students and teachers on both sides of the globe. The answer was clear – yes.

This summer a group of 12 administrators and faculty members led by Dr. Pestello set off on a journey that brought them to Istanbul, Izmir and Konya, and to Turkey’s Cappadocia region. During the course of their weeklong trip, the Le Moyne officials visited a host of civic, cultural and educational institutions, including two high schools and three universities that share the College’s commitment to social justice and the education of the whole person. It was during those visits the Le Moyne team members and their Turkish colleagues discussed student recruitment at the undergraduate and graduate levels, the coordination of student and faculty exchanges between Le Moyne and the Turkish colleges and universities, and the creation of internship opportunities for students, as well as the establishment of an intensive English language institute and global leadership summit. Beyond that, the Le Moyne faculty members immersed themselves in the country’s history and culture in order to bring those experiences back to their classrooms.

Meeting a Need

Beyond promoting cooperation, understanding and trust, the partnership could help meet a significant need. Each year, approximately 2 million Turkish students take the state college entrance exam, but there are simply not enough schools to serve all of the qualified applicants. A recent World Education Services article found that many students are choosing to study abroad. It cited an Organization for Economic Development report that found that over 65,000 Turkish students studied abroad in 2010, and that the U.S. was among the top five destinations.

Outcomes and the Future

As faculty members and administrators at Le Moyne and in Turkey continue to work together, they will grapple with numerous questions: What does it mean to be liberally educated? How can we prepare leaders for the 21st century, and even the 22nd? Where are the richest opportunities for our students? As they seek to answer these questions, they’ll cultivate a student and faculty population that is more diverse and culturally literate and better able to meet the needs of today’s global economy. Their goal, after all, is not just a better educated population, but a more robust economy and a richer civic and cultural life for us all.

President Pestello has already signed two collaborative agreements. One with Gediz University in Izmir and the other with Mevlana University in Konya. Each calls for cooperation in educational and research programs, with specific examples including faculty and student exchanges, participation in seminars and academic meetings, and exchange of academic materials and other information.


Trip Leader: Fred Pestello, Ph.D., president
Bernard Arogyaswamy, Ph.D., professor of business administration
Suzanne Gilmour, Ph.D., chair and director, education department
Hetty Gingold, adjunct professor, education department
Jennifer Glancy, Ph.D., professor of religious studies
Jim Joseph, incoming dean of the Madden School of Business
Shawn Loner, adjunct faculty member, religious studies department
Robert Scully, S.J., chair, department of history
Orlando Ocampo, Ph.D., associate professor of foreign language
Delia Popescu, Ph.D., chair, political science department
Lawrence Tanner, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences
Kristen Trapasso, director of graduate admission


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