GATE 2015: Sowing the Seeds in the Next Generation

GATE 2015

The Center for International Education’s Institute of World Affairs (IWA) at UWM has been working towards a goal of a heightened sense of awareness and understanding across communities and cultures through a shared learning experience of high school students who are emerging leaders in their own communities.

The goal of GATE or Global Action Through Engagement is to bestow an international perspective on global issues upon the next generation of activists, speakers, and educators. To plant the seed and watch it grow. Through various team building activities, creative trainings, lectures, debates, and a little bit of recreational fun, high school students developed techniques and ways of thinking that will assist them throughout their futures and enable them to effectively assist others for generations to come.

During the four day conference, a diverse group of students from all over the state stayed overnight in the UWM Sandburg Residence Hall to get a small taste of college life and to bond with one another, becoming a tight knit family in a short amount of time.

The staff and participants at GATE 2015 have committed themselves to hard work and dedication in the name of worldwide improvements, a willingness to learn and soak up any and every bit of knowledge possible in the given time, and a genuine attempt to leave a better person than when one arrived.

We provide a safe space for students of various backgrounds, from all different cultures and communities, an opportunity to have an honest, open dialogue on global and local issues, free of judgment and rich with understanding. Students who attend GATE have a priceless chance to learn and grow with different groups of people.

By encouraging and working with students who are already entering the program with so much knowledge and experience, we are simply molding the natural talents of an already amazing group. Their willingness to learn, make a difference, and step up and be leaders is what separates them from others. It is our hope that as they bloom into adulthood, their connections and awareness will have a ripple effect in their communities that will reach every corner of the world and beyond.

The GATE program is not the end result for these students, in fact we may never personally see the end result, but our goal is to plant and water the seeds to assist with the journey. In our ever-growing world, our portion of the growing process is complete for the year, but soon it will be Global Action season again and a whole new crop of brilliant minds and personalities will begin to blossom.

Here, at IWA, we are happy to shine a little extra light on to such a naturally bright group.

Until next year, and next growing season…


Written by Alexander Williams

A 3rd year undergraduate student at UWM majoring in Education. An aspiring social sciences and history teacher with an interest in humanitarian work and a passion for interconnected global issues. Excited to get the opportunity at IWA and to work with and help mold the mindsets of high school students.

Working with the future while working towards the future.

*Partially funded by a Title VI National Resource Center grant through the U.S. Department of Education. 

Alumni Stories: Katelyn Hinkens (International Studies ’12)

Photo of International Studies 2012 graduate Katelyn Hinkens

When I decided to switch my major to International Studies in 2009, I had no idea where my degree would take me or what I wanted to do. Although I had some regional interests and language skills under my belt, I still had a lot to learn and was unsure how to connect my interests to real world problems and job opportunities. The variety of courses offered in history, political science, languages, and regional studies offered through the International Studies program remedied those issues by allowing me to broaden my knowledge base, build a solid foundation for future academic and professional pursuits, and narrow my interests.

I knew I needed experience abroad in order to increase my chances of finding an exciting job after graduation, and though I wanted to move to Nicaragua, I wasn’t able to find a study abroad program. Thankfully UWM’s online course options allowed me to travel and live abroad while still completing my International Studies courses. I gained experience teaching ESL classes in Managua, Nicaragua, which helped me earn an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, where I later returned to work while completing another semester online. When I was back on campus, I had supportive faculty available to help me with my studies and provide advice as I looked toward graduation. My academic experiences, in combination with my time abroad, provided me with a well-rounded education and left me prepared to apply this knowledge in the real world.

After graduating from UWM, I was granted a Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship, which covered my graduate school tuition and ensured a career with the U.S. Department of State upon graduation. I recently graduated with my MA in International Affairs from Marquette University, which I entered feeling prepared and capable after my undergraduate studies. Last summer I interned in the Secretary of State’s Operations Center in Washington, DC, and am currently interning at U.S. Embassy New Delhi. This fall I will be sworn in as a Foreign Service Officer and will spend my career serving at many diplomatic missions abroad. I hope to spend much of my time working as a Cultural Affairs Officer, fostering cross-cultural ties, tolerance, and understanding between the U.S. and other countries, as well as engaging in political analysis and reporting. UWM’s International Studies program provided the foundation to help me get where I am, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Summer 2015 PSOA Program in South Korean News

Students (from left to right) Faith Casselman, Katie Pfeiffer, and Jacob Mitchell stripping the inner lining of mulberry bark for paper-making at the Daeseung Hanji Paper Mill in South Korea

Summer 2015 Korea & Japan PSOA program participants traveled to South Korea and Japan where they visited local attractions (traditional village, museums, art districts, and artists’ studios), attended workshops, and participated in unique cultural practices with faculty program leader Jessica Meuninck-Ganger from the Peck School of the Arts Department of Art and Design, and program assistant Rina Yoon, a Professor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD).

While at the Daeseung Hanji Paper Mill in Wanju, South Korea, they attracted the attention of a South Korean newspaper which featured them in an article.

During this program, students produced bodies of work that include a variety of traditional and contemporary paper, paper craft, printmaking, and book arts applications.

Interested in participating in a program like this, or finding out about other study abroad programs offered? Browse current study abroad opportunities now!

UWM Study Abroad Alumna Featured by Diversity Abroad


An interview with UWM graduate Omoshalewa Bamkole has recently been featured on Diversity Abroad’s website. She participated in UWM’s Morocco Global Health: Maternal and Infant Health in Morocco: Women’s Rights and Family in Islam Summer 2014 study abroad program. Visit Diversity Abroad’s website to read the full interview.

Find out how you can study abroad in Morocco, or another destination by visiting

Wisconsin Study Abroad Grant Application – Now Online!

The Wisconsin Study Abroad Grant provides funding for qualifying UWM undergraduate students to help defray the cost of study abroad.

To qualify for a Wisconsin Study Abroad Grant you must:

  • be a Wisconsin resident;
  • be classified as an undergraduate student;
  • be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program (this must be your first bachelor’s degree); and
  • be participating in a UWM-sponsored study abroad program.

The application is now entirely online! For more information and to submit an application visit the Wisconsin Study Abroad Grant page.

CIE Academic Programs Seeking a Special Projects Coordinator

Are you a Global Studies or International Studies Alum? CIE’s Academic Programs Team will be hiring a (50%) Limited Term Employment Special Projects Coordinator to work on various initiatives including high school and UWM campus outreach, media coordination, event planning, and alumni relations. See the full announcement for more details. Applications are due by August 7, 2015. Note that a bachelor’s degree is required and preference will be given to alumni of CIE’s academic programs. If you have any questions about this position, please contact Tracy Buss (

CIE Celebrates May 2015 International Graduates

2 Saudi students sport their graduation sashes

Students from Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, Great Britain, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand were among the many international students walking in celebration of their achievements in earning Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees. Many international student graduates wore brightly colored sashes in recognition of their native countries as part of their commencement regalia.

For the past several years, CIE has sponsored the international flag sashes in celebration of UWM’s international student graduates. Students receive their sashes at a graduation party at CIE and then may wear the sashes over their robes when they march at commencement and receive their degrees. The sashes make a great keepsake and are a token of how honored we at CIE are to work with these talented students during their studies at UW-Milwaukee.

international graduates receive sashes at CIE graduation party

International Students Celebrate Graduating Spring 2015

Student at graduation wearing sash with India colors.

Consider UW-Milwaukee as your study abroad destination!

Photo of Milwaukee Aerial Skyline from Lake Michigan

The Center for International Education at the University of Wisconsin –Milwaukee (UWM) is excited to introduce a new study abroad option for international students seeking to complete a semester or year abroad in the United States – the Global Scholars Program.

In 2014 the US Department of Education named UWM one of seven National Resource Centers for Global Studies in the United States. The UWM Global Studies program is renowned for its approach, involving interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary global issues in tandem with professional studies and careers programs.

Global Scholars are welcomed into this active community of students and faculty who value their unique perspectives and experiences. Beyond the classroom, housing in UWM residence halls and a full array of UWM student activities provide many opportunities for students connect with each other and the campus.

The Global Scholars Program accommodates a wide range of academic interests and needs, and English language levels. Academic advisors help Global Scholars tailor their studies to their individual academic, career and language goals, and work with Scholars’ home universities to ensure appropriate course selections and facilitate transfer of UWM course credits following the Scholars’ studies.

In addition to the courses selected to meet their specific academic needs, scholars enroll in a combination of core courses and electives that align with the following focus areas: Arts & Cultures, Communications & Management, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, Health, or Politics & Security.

UWM hopes to welcome the first cohort of Global Scholars during the 2015/2016 academic year.

CIE Designated as National Resource Center

Photo of various country flags

In Fall 2014, CIE was awarded prestigious Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship grants by the US Department of Education. Totaling $1.7 million over four years, the grants support a series of interconnected initiatives to strengthen UWM and Wisconsin K-16 students’ participation in meaningful study of languages and global issues. NRC activities will strengthen international learning across UWM’s curriculum through new programs in the areas of Global Health, Global Education, and Language education, while building on and expanding the Institute of World Affairs’ outreach programs for K-16 students and educators. FLAS Fellowships will support undergraduates’ intermediate or advanced level studies of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, or Vietnamese in combination with international or area studies courses. Key partners in this effort include the UWM School of Education, Global Inclusion & Engagement, the Language Resource Center and UWM language programs, the Center for Global Health Equity, UWM Libraries, Milwaukee Public Schools, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Global-to-Local Discussion Series


Institute of World Affairs and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Partner on Global-to-Local Discussion Series

Every year, the Institute of World Affairs partners with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to organize the Fireside Forum on Foreign Policy, a discussion series exploring global issues through a local lens.  The series runs throughout the month of February and promotes dialogue between global and local experts and community members. Topics are jointly selected to highlight global issues of particular relevance to the Milwaukee area.

In 2015, the series explored refugee resettlement, urban food insecurity, youth unemployment and unrest, and the economics of international news coverage.  As part of the collaboration, opinion pieces authored by Fireside Forum speakers are featured in the Crossroads section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the Sunday before each program.  Journalists from the newspaper also participate in the forum as guest moderators or panelists.

Stay tuned for information about the 2016 Fireside Forum!