Advancing global communication locally
Professor Yahya Kamalipour’s goal of locally promoting global communication began in 2006 when he introduced the Center for Global Studies at Purdue Calumet.
The Center connects international researchers and professionals in pursuit of fresh information about the practices, trends and strategies in education, global culture, politics, media and economics. The Center’s mission contributes to the inter-nationalization of the university’s curriculum.
An additional focus is to help students, faculty and the community learn about significant international issues.
Goal: regional & national resource
The ultimate goal for the Center, according to Kamalipour, is to develop into a regional and national resource for globalization study across various cultural and topical disciplines.
“My original idea was to support the strategic goals of Purdue University Calumet,” said Kamalipour, also head of the university’s Department of Communication and Creative Arts, “and bring international awareness to the community at large.”
In response, he commenced inviting speakers to campus. Topics and visitors varied widely. A representative from National Public Radio came last year to discuss new technology and the media.
Another program last spring featured a panel discussion among five local news media leaders. “I was very excited about this,” he said. “It took several months to get (everybody) together; it had never been done before. They discussed new technology, trends and other factors involved in current communication/media.”
One of the most popular programs the Center has hosted, he said, was a panel discussion titled, Fostering Global Harmony, Not Conflict: An Interfaith Dialogue, which brought together representatives of five religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Mormonism).
Center for Global Studies programs are multi-dimensional, the director added, which provide opportunities to be far reaching and beneficial in many ways.
Attracting international visitors
Visitors to the Center have come from across the world. One visiting scholar, Negin Hosseini of Iran, is working on her communication doctoral degree and came to the Center in 2010 to pursue more information for her dissertation. She and Kamalipour met in 2007 in Iran, while she was a student at the Azad University.
“Dr. Kamalipour is very well-known in Iran, and it was exciting to meet him,” Hosseini said. “We kept in touch, and when I e-mailed him about coming to the United States to work on my dissertation, he invited me to become a visiting scholar.”
As the friendship developed, Hosseini learned that Kamalipour wanted to formally record his background, and she was his choice to be the author. The biography, “Traveler of the Global Village: Biography of Yahya Kamalipour,” was published last May in Tehran.
Though Kamalipour admitted he would like to see Center for Global Studies grow in recognition and prowess, he also expressed pride in the role it plays. “The Center is a valuable service to the university and others and will continue to be, especially in light of the inter-nationalization of universities nationwide,” he said.
— Sue Ellen Ross
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