As part of International Education Week, the Global Engagement Office held a Global Citizen Panel on Nov. 15 from 5.-6:30 p.m., where panelists took turns answering questions related to global citizenry.
What does it mean to be a global citizen? How have your global experiences informed your learning? How does your national identity influence your personal worldview? How have you seen Christianity impact intercultural exchange? These are a few of the questions panelists shared answers on.
The panelists of the event included Professor of Religion Scott McGinnis, Assistant Professor of History Anne DeVries, Divinity major Gloria Roy, junior International Relations major Cole Powers and senior Computer Science major Max Lattermann.
When asked what it means to be a global citizen, Lattermann discussed the importance of one’s perception.
“Personally, what it means to be a global citizen in today’s society is to be aware of the fact that your personal perception is not the only perception that is valid,” Lattermann said.
McGinnis also answered the question by discussing how before one thinks about how to be a global citizen, one should first figure out how to be a good citizen in their community. He also discussed how being a global citizen requires you to think beyond your own interests to understand how diverse the world is.
Panelists were then asked how their global experiences informed their learning. After being able to visit Cairo, Egypt, DeVries explained that she was able to understand that individuals in other countries are all dealing with their own complexities in their own context and how there’s no monolithic perspective of the world.
While DeVries discussed how there are various perspectives when viewing the world, Powers answered this question by discussing the importance of travel and how it can expose you to other cultures.
“I see travel as a great way to spark curiosity in learning about other countries,” Powers said.
Junior Human Development and Family Science major Christa Chery and senior History major Olivia White, who both attended, discussed their thoughts on the event.
Chery noticed how the panelists emphasized that while America is a great country, there are lots of issues within it.
“When exposed to other cultures and other nations, it became more clear to the panelists just how much progress our nation still needs,” Chery said. “This shows that we can all glean from other communities that can in turn help us to improve our own.”
White discussed why she thought the panel was important.
“I feel that this panel was an important opportunity for us to take a step past our culture, humble ourselves and realize that there is more to the world beyond our cultural experience,” White said. “Gloria’s narrative about her experience moving from India to the United States was eye-opening and helpful in understanding what it’s like to move to a new country. Additionally, Gloria’s narrative also taught participants how to support people from other cultures.”