In today’s competitive global economy, college graduates with international study experience will have a competitive advantage as they enter the workforce and begin their careers. As one example, a recent survey by the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) Abroad, a leading not-for-profit provider of international study programs, found that nearly 90 percent of study abroad alumni found their first job within six months of graduation, as compared to 49 percent of respondents in the general college population.
Daemen continues to emphasize its global programs and expand opportunities for students to experience other countries and cultures as part of their education. At the same time, the number of international students who study on the Daemen campus averages about 140 each year, as the college attracts students from China, India and Saudi Arabia to a variety of European and African nations.
“Throughout higher education, the internationalization of colleges and universities is essential in the 21st century world,” says Dr. Michael Brogan, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. “Daemen is absolutely committed to internationalization and has made study abroad a priority of the college.”
Daemen’s commitment to incorporating internationalization into its educational model is evidenced by the establishment of the Global Programs Office (GPO) more than seven years ago. Headed by Ann Robinson, executive director, the office is responsible for many different aspects of international studies at Daemen, including student advisement and guidance, and the design, implementation and coordination of a broad range of study abroad programs.
Robinson, who herself taught in Southeast Asia for more than five years, says Daemen can assist students to study in almost any country they choose and the GPO is there to help them make the most of their experience.
“In addition to our dedicated office, Daemen has partnered with three national providers of study abroad programs in order to offer students the most choices of international experiences,” she explains. “We encourage every Daemen student to consider international study as the skill sets they will learn abroad cut across all majors and will help them succeed in today’s job market.”
Bridging the Way
Ann Robinson notes that it is very rare that a student interested in study abroad says money is not an issue. In fact, when surveys ask why students at Daemen do not choose to study abroad, inability to afford it is usually the number one reason.
“Students are paying for tuition, they have jobs from which they would have to take a leave, and so on,” she says. “Our goal is to help knock down financial barriers to study abroad by guiding students to apply for scholarships and other available resources.”
The Daemen GPO will work with students to help them learn about available scholarships and other funding methods that can make study abroad a reality. These include national initiatives such as The Gilman Scholarship Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, offering awards for undergraduate study abroad, as well as college-sponsored programs such as the Student/Faculty Interdisciplinary Research Think Tank, which supports joint faculty/student research at Daemen.
Helping to bridge the gap are endowed scholarships established by Daemen alumni and others to assist students in their education. This past summer, three Daemen students were the first to participate in global studies with the help of the Dr. Charles A. and Marjorie A. Gliozzo Endowed Scholarship for Study Abroad, set up by a former assistant professor of European history at the college.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Dr. Charles Gliozzo thought New York City was the best place in the world. It wasn’t until he was drafted into the U.S. Army that he realized there was a great big planet outside his doorstep. Stationed at Fort Dix in New Jersey, he took his leave time and hitched rides with military transports to faraway places such as Libya, Greece and Italy. He has had a passion for international experiences and education ever since.
Following the service, Gliozzo earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in modern European history from St. John’s University in New York. In 1958, he was appointed assistant professor of European history at Daemen, known then as Rosary Hill College. While at the institution, he was a group leader for the Experiment in International Living, a national initiative that enables high school and college students to learn and experience other cultures overseas and around the world.
He met his wife, Marjorie, a high school Spanish teacher, when both were group leaders — he leading a trip to Italy and she taking students to Spain. The couple married in Paris in the early 1960s and became more and more involved in international trips. They began to realize how important study abroad is to a college student’s education, especially in today’s competitive global economy.
“A college education without an international component is almost no education at all in my mind, especially nowadays,” Gliozzo stresses. “Every student, if they can find a way to afford it, should definitely study abroad and start thinking globally about their education.”
While teaching at Rosary Hill, Gliozzo earned a Ph.D. in modern European history from SUNY Buffalo State. He went on to Michigan State University where he served for more than 20 years as a history professor and director of the Office of Overseas Study. After establishing a number of scholarships for international education at MSU, he and his wife decided to do the same for Daemen and established their endowed fund in 2007.
After two study abroad experiences, Daemen nursing student Amanda Smith, ’16, feels right at home doing archeological excavations. During the summer of 2013, she joined Brian Hammer, instructor of art history, in an excavation project on the island of Crete, Greece, in an ancient Minoan town called Gournia. This summer Smith was able to return to the project in Gournia with Hammer thanks in part to the Gliozzo Scholarship. Gournia dates to the Late Bronze Age, c.1500 B.C. and was excavated by American archaeologist Harriet Boyd-Hawes in 1901, 1903 and 1904.
The majority of funding for the trips came from Daemen’s Think Tank program, designed to support joint faculty and student research projects. However, Smith says the Gliozzo Scholarship was also key in making her second trip possible.
“The scholarship really solidified my ability to return to Gournia and continue my learning experience there,” she says. “I am just so thankful for Daemen and the opportunities I have had. I never would have had these experiences were it not for the college’s focus on helping students.”
Hammer, who has taught at Daemen since 2005, witnessed Smith’s study abroad experience from a teacher’s perspective. He has been involved in the Gournia project since it began in 2010 and was enthusiastic about making the excavation and related study available for students.
“I wanted this experience to be open to students of all disciplines,” he explains. “It is important for all students to have interests outside of their major and look beyond for other experiences that will add to their education.”
Speaking the Language
Christine Kozlowski, ’16, a Spanish major at Daemen, recently returned from a 10-week study abroad program in Guanajuato, Mexico, where she assisted on a research project studying consumerism in different cultures. She received most of the funding for the program through the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Foundation, a national program that supports educational exchanges throughout the Western Hemisphere. The Gliozzo Scholarship helped with a number of upfront costs and made the study abroad experience go much smoother, Kozlowski says.
“I was so excited to receive the Gliozzo Scholarship. It was a huge encouragement to help me take advantage of the opportunity in Mexico,” she explains.
Kozlowski says that as part of the program she took Spanish classes five days a week, which helped to deepen her understanding of the language, including grammar and other particulars. She lived with a host family with whom she spoke Spanish and spent plenty of time exploring the area and immersing herself in the Mexican culture.
Upon graduation from Daemen, Kozlowski, who is also studying Chinese, would like to start an international career working in government such as with the Department of State. She says her Daemen education has prepared her well.
“Daemen has been the best school for me, with one-on-one attention I don’t think I would have received somewhere else,” she says. “If it were not for the interested faculty and staff and their help, including the scholarship assistance, I would never have had the opportunity to study in Mexico.”
Catherine “Caity” Smith, ’17, a nursing student at Daemen who studied abroad this past summer in Costa Rica, participated in a Spanish program for health professionals. The college’s Global Programs Office staff assisted her with applying for a Gilman International Scholarship, a very competitive national scholarship to help U.S. students study in other countries. She received that scholarship, which, combined with a Gliozzo Scholarship, made her international experience possible.
Never having left the United States before, Smith ventured to Costa Rica and took part in an intensive program that combined learning Spanish with understanding tribal medicines and other approaches to healing in a different culture. She also explored the country, visited with local tribes, hiked in the rain forests, and even learned how to salsa dance.
Smith plans to begin a career as a traveling nurse upon graduating from Daemen and says what she learned during her study abroad experience is not something she would have ever learned in a classroom.
“The Gliozzo Scholarship helped make some of my biggest dreams come true and I will always be grateful for the experience,” Smith says.
“I learned so much about myself on this trip — how to handle new situations, break a language barrier, and more,” she concludes. “At first, I didn’t know if study abroad was possible as a nursing student, but the people at Daemen did everything possible to help me make it happen.”
Gratitude is Universal
Each of the three students featured in thisDaemenTodayarticle expressed overwhelming appreciation for having had the opportunity to study abroad, thanking Daemen and its supporters Dr. and Mrs. Gliozzo. Daemen administrators and staff like Brogan and Robinson are equally appreciative of such supporters, noting the great impact they have on the college’s internationalization efforts. And Gliozzo expresses gratitude for being able to help, pointing to his wife as his greatest influence.
“I can’t overstate the inspiration that my wife has had on me and the creation of our scholarships,” he says. “She studied in Mexico herself long before study abroad was popular. We are glad to be able to give back to Daemen and its students because it is the college where we started on the road to a rewarding career in international education.”