GEO News 2018-19


August 16, 2019

International students

Newest VCU international students welcomed to campus

Virginia Commonwealth University welcomed to campus 143 of its newest international undergraduate and graduate students during its annual International Student Orientation.

July 15, 2019

Jill Blondin named executive director of VCU Global Education Office

Jill E. Blondin, Ph.D., has been named executive director for the VCU Global Education Office. Blondin has served as the interim executive director for the past year.

May 21, 2019

VCU alumna, Theresa Dinh, receives Fulbright

Virginia Commonwealth University graduate, Theresa Dinh has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan.

May 8, 2019

VCU Senior Christa Hoskins awarded Fulbright

Virginia Commonwealth University senior Christa Hoskins has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to South Korea.

May 7, 2019

ELP Graduation 19

ELP end-of-semester celebration, spring 2019

The English Language Program ended the spring semester with a celebration featuring final presentations by students graduating from the program, games, food and a special guest appearance by Rodney the Ram.

May 6, 2019

Kamyar Sharifi

VCU Globe graduate, Kamyar Sharifi, reflects on experience in VCU TRIO program

Kamyar Sharifi discusses his experience with VCU's TRIO program and the skills and resources he attained as a participant that helped him navigate college.

April 24, 2019

ELP teacher receives Fulbright Teaching Fellowship

VCU’s English Language Program teacher Angela Lehman has received a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship to teach literature, writing and English language courses in the spring of 2020 at Al Quds University in Palestine. Lehman has taught in the Global Education Office’s ELP since 2011 after receiving a certificate in TESOL.

April 16, 2019

Visiting lecturer encourages involvement in humanitarian assistance field

The need for active involvement in humanitarian assistance efforts around the world is abundantly present at this time. This is the message that students and members of the community recently heard from speaker Doug Mercado, visiting lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

March 20, 2019

Rise Against Hunger 19

Rise Against Hunger | Volunteers package 34,000 meals at GEO-sponsored event

Volunteers assembled more than 34,000 meals at VCU’s recent community-wide meal packaging event. More than 140 students and community members attended the event, the first of its kind organized by the Global Education Office.

February 27, 2019

Elias Frantz

In Buenos Aires, a VCU Gilman scholar is learning how to build better cities

Elias Frantz is combining his passions for urbanism and Latin American cities in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on a study abroad through the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship programs. Frantz, one of five VCU students currently studying abroad on Gilman scholarships, is taking classes in Latin American and Argentine studies at the University of Belgrano and working with a local neighborhood to help develop and connect it with the rest of the city.

February 21, 2019

Passport Caravan

VCU’s free passport event opens the world for 125 students

Kymberly Hall has never left the United States, but she moved one step closer to changing that last week when she received a free U.S. passport at an event hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Education Abroad office. She was one of 125 VCU students who received free passports as part of Passport Caravan — a program created by the Council on International Educational Exchange Abroad that provides students from diverse backgrounds with a free U.S. passport.

February 20, 2019

Generation Study Abroad Award 19

VCU receives seal of excellence for meeting Generation Study Abroad commitment

Stephanie Tignor, director of education abroad recently attended the Institute of International Education's Summit 2019 to accept the IIE Seal of Excellence at the "Power of International Education" Reception. The seal was awarded in recognition of VCU meeting its institutional commitment to the Generation Study Abroad initiative.

February 12, 2019

Open World 19 Serbia delegation

Meet the Open World Leadership delegates of Serbia

For the eighth year, Virginia Commonwealth University is hosting political leaders from across the globe through the Open World Leadership Center. Five Serbian leaders participating in the program are spending February 8–14 in Richmond examining the American system of government, with an emphasis on accountable governance. The program, headquartered in Washington D.C., enables emerging Eurasian political and civic leaders to work with their U.S. counterparts and experience American-style democracy at the local level.

February 12, 2019

Manoj Thomas

VCU School of Business professor reflects on Summer Research Institute at Oxford 

Manoj Thomas, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Information Systems in the VCU School of Business, is one of the university’s most recent participants in the Harris Manchester Summer Research Institute at Oxford University. We recently talked to him about his experience and how he benefitted from this unique experience.

February 11, 2019

 VCU Globe graduates 19

VCU Globe graduates its fourth cohort 

VCU GlobeVirginia Commonwealth University’s largest living-learning program, celebrated its fourth graduation ceremony on Friday, Feb. 1. The graduating class of 99 students received certificates for the completion of requirements that included courses beyond their academic study, service hours and cultural immersion. Of the students graduating, 64 earned the Peace Corps Prep certificate, signifying they are prepared to apply to the Peace Corps.


January 17, 2019

ELP welcome event

GEO welcomes new ELP students to VCU

The Global Education Office is excited to welcome to VCU 36 new students enrolled in the English Language Program for Spring 2019. The students are represented from all across the globe. In the slideshow below, the students were brought together for a formal welcoming event where they mingled with each other over coffee and snacks, and met current students who welcomed them to campus.

January 17, 2019

Open World delegation

Leaders from Serbia examine open governance in Virginia

For the eighth year, Virginia Commonwealth University will host political leaders from across the globe through the Open World Leadership Center. Five Serbian leaders participating in the program will spend February 8–14 in Richmond examining the American system of government, with an emphasis on accountable governance. The program, headquartered in Washington D.C., enables emerging Eurasian political and civic leaders to work with their U.S. counterparts and experience American-style democracy at the local level.

December 11, 2018

ELP students celebrating end of semester

ELP students present their end-of-semester projects

Congratulations to our third-level ELP students as they wrapped up the 2018 fall semester with presentations of research projects. The students provided demonstrations and information on a variety of topics from how to take advantage of VCU's 3-D printer capabilities, to examining the effects of Alzheimer's, to the development of the electric car. The celebration included games, food and Arabic name writing.


December 6, 2018

Daoud  Nassar

Refusing to be enemies

In today’s world of discord and strife, the message of practicing non-violence as a way to establish peace is not always prevalent. But Director of Tent of Nations Daoud Nassar, brought that very message to VCU recently, offering insight about the fight for land ownership that his family has endured for 27 years, and the principles of non-violence, love and faith that guide them through the difficult battles.

December 4, 2018

Cross-culture Cooking

Cross-culture Cooking offers tastes from around the world

Students of VCU's English Language Program recently gathered to experience new tastes from other countries at the Cross-cultural Cooking event. This activity occurs each semester and welcomes students to meet and engage with each other, and introduces them to dishes from other cultures that they may not have had the opportunity to try before.

October 29, 2018

Innovation Grant


VCU wins award to boost student exchange in the Americas

Virginia Commonwealth University and Universidad La Salle Oaxaca in Mexico are one of nine university teams announced as new grant recipients in the latest 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Competition. The two universities will develop a joint, multidisciplinary program centered on the impacts of transnational migration on the home and host communities.

November 13, 2018

ELP Alumni

Common language: English Language Program alumni share how they reached goals

Since the founding of the English Language Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989, it has helped hundreds of students enhance these skills. Many have gone on to pursue bachelor’s, master’s or other degrees in the U.S. or their homelands, while others have used their improved English to advance their careers or simply enhance their everyday life. We recently spoke with several ELP alumni who shared how the program helped them reach their goals.

October 29, 2018

Professor Audelino Sac

Guatemalan professor's lecture illuminates indigenous migration

No truer words than “perfect timing” could be used to describe the recent visit of Professor Audelino Sac Coyoy to Virginia Commonwealth University. Professor Sac is a Maya-K’iche’ political scientist who currently teaches at the Universidad Rafael Landívar Campus de Quetzaltenango in Guatemala. The lecture coincided with the real-time migrant caravan marching from Central America to the United States. Professor Sac spoke to VCU students, faculty and staff on “Social and political forces pushing immigration of Indigenous people to the U.S.”

October 26, 2018

Bunyisa Phanatnok

Read more about Bunyisa's awards

Bunyisa Phanatnok is spending the semester studying Mandarin at Providence University in Taiwan. She is one of three VCU students studying abroad through the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program. (Phanatnok also earned a Freeman-ASIA Award and an ISEP Founders Fellowship to study a foreign language abroad.)

September 21, 2018

Shimane University exchange program

VCU hosts exchange students from Japan

Practicing a foreign language on a daily basis is a hallmark of many study abroad programs, leading to improved proficiency in both speaking and listening. And when international students come to the U.S., that foreign language becomes English. Such is the case for Ryoya Yamamoto, a second-year student from Shimane University in Matsue, Japan.

August 20, 2018

Fulbright Gateway Orientation

VCU hosts global scholars through Fulbright Gateway Orientation

Virginia Commonwealth University proudly welcomed a special group of nearly 80 international Fulbright scholars to campus last week for the Fulbright Gateway Orientation program. Organized by the Global Education Office, the orientation began Monday, Aug. 13 and closed Friday, Aug. 17. The program included three busy days of presentations, workshops, break-out sessions and networking activities.