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Summit helps spread global mission

The Center for Global Engagement at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, held its first Global Engagement Summit April 11, drawing more than 150 guests from around the UT campus.

The Summit provided an inspiring and interactive event dedicated to promoting international education and research by connecting university employees, students and the wider community through a series of engaging workshops, keynote speeches and networking opportunities.

Planning for the event took place over several months, with collaboration throughout all CGE units. The summit featured nine breakout workshops, a student showcase, lightning talks from 11 UT researchers, and a keynote presentation from Dr. Gretchen Neisler, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Engagement, and Bernard Burrola, Vice President of the Office of International, Community & Economic Engagement with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

Burrola presented data on global research and education, including areas of opportunity for partnerships and funding. Neisler highlighted the impact of CGE in recruiting international students, faculty, and research partners; and the benefit of global partnerships in promoting research.

Attendees were able to attend workshops discussing the work of all the six major units of CGE — English Language Institute (ELI); Global Research, Innovation and Partnerships (GRIP); Global Security, Risk and Resilience (Global Risk); International House (I-House); International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS); and Programs Abroad (PAO).

Additional guests included representatives from the Panamanian government and students from Kaisei Gakuin High School in Muroran, Hokkaido, Japan, both working as partners with ELI.

The day was concluded with a Global Impact Gala at Maple Hall in Knoxville where student and faculty scholars were recognized as recipients of the following: W.K. McClure Scholarship, Mae Schieb Scholarship, Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award, Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award, Global Catalyst Faculty Research Grant, Global Catalyst Programming Grant and Global Catalyst International Travel Grant.

Dr. Lars Dzikus, Director of Academic Affairs in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, served as keynote speaker for the gala.

“The Summit allowed Vols to stand at the crossroads of possibility and progress,” Neisler said. “Together, we cultivated a culture of curiosity, innovation and inclusion, propelling the University of Tennessee to the forefront of global engagement. The Summit showcased how every research endeavor can be a beacon of hope, every partnership a testament to unity and every action a catalyst for positive change. The time is now to amplify our impact, to reach beyond the familiar and embrace the world as our classroom, laboratory and inspiration.”

Planning for the 2025 Global Engagement Summit is underway, with the event scheduled for the first week of April 2025.

For a video recap of the summit, visit our YouTube page.

To stay up to date on global events and information, follow CGE on social media or sign up for the CGE newsletter.