Category Archives: International

China Champions visit the National Sports Center

China Champions logoThe National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine, MN, has written a blog post on the School of Kinesiology’s China Champions Program.  The post, “China Champions Visit the NSC,” details the visit and activities of the Champions at the internationally renowned amateur sports facility.

China Champions meet former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale

vice-president-mondale-visit-1The 2016-17 China Champions were introduced to former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale last evening at an event hosted by Peggy Lucas, member of the U of M Board of Regents and a supporter of the China Champions program. Mr. Mondale met each athlete individually and discussed his work in opening diplomatic doors to China and his many visits to the country.

Also attending the event were School of Kinesiology director Li Li Ji, Ph.D., and associate director Rayla Allison, J.D.

Mr. Mondale also served as a U.S. senator representing Minnesota and was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan by President Bill Clinton from 1993-1996.

Led by the U of M’s School of Kinesiology in collaboration with Beijing Sport University and supported by the Chinese government’s Scholarship Council, the China Champions program is a unique, global collaboration that provides mutual benefits for Chinese athletes and University faculty, staff and students.


Dean’s reception held for third cohort of China Champions Program

Regent Michael Hui (second from left, back row) attended the event as did Sr. Associate Dean, Ken Bartlett.

On Monday, October 24, the College of Education and Human Development hosted the Dean’s reception for the elite Chinese athletes and coach. Regent Michael Hui and Sr. Associate Dean Ken Bartlett welcomed the third cohort of the China Champions program.

Led by the School of Kinesiology, in collaboration with Beijing Sport University and supported by the Chinese government’s Scholarship Council, the China Champions program is a unique, global collaboration that provides mutual benefits for Chinese athletes and University faculty, staff and students.


Vavrus and Demerath led sessions for PhD Days in Norway

Dr. Frances VavrusDemerathP-2007Frances Vavrus, professor, and Peter Demerath, associate professor, from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), participated in PhD Days on September 12-13th at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences in Oslo, Norway.  The two-day event, organized by the Faculty of Education and International Studies, included seminars for PhD advisors and sessions for PhD students on a range of issues relevant to doctoral education.

Dr. Demerath led a session for advisors on the internationalization of teacher education and a workshop for students on qualitative data analysis.  Dr. Vavrus’ session for advisors addressed academic writing and identity formation, and her workshop for students dealt with the intersection of epistemology, methodology, and methods in the design of a dissertation.

DeJaeghere and Glewwe led RISE workshop in Vietnam

1DeJaeghereJoan-2013GlewweJoan DeJaeghere, Co-PI and associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), along with Paul Glewwe, PI and professor in the Department of Applied Economics, and other Vietnamese and international researchers led a workshop on the new Research for the Improvement of Education Systems (RISE) in Hanoi, Vietnam in August. The RISE program was discussed in the national newspaper, Dan Tri.

Read more about RISE, a 6-year, $5.2 million research project about children’s learning throughout the world.

DeJaeghere presents paper at youth and gender conference at University of Oxford

DeJaeghereJoan-2013Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), presented a paper co-authored with Aditi Arur (OLPD-CIDE alum) titled, Girls’ education and early marriage in Rajasthan, India:  A longitudinal capability approach, at the Young Lives Adolescents, Youth and Gender conference held at Oxford September. 8-9th. The paper is based on qualitative research that Dr. DeJaeghere leads as part of a 3-year research study funded by the Department of Labor to a research team at Williams College.

Vavrus presented at World Congress of Comparative Education Societies

Dr. Frances VavrusFrances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), attended the World Congress of Comparative Education Societies in Beijing in August and presented a paper entitled Critical Historical Geography of Educational Inequality. There were also three OLPD alumni who presented their research at the conference: Drs. Taro Komatsu, Xinyi Wu, and Ya Liu.

Chapman was guest-leader for education staff in World Bank office in Bangladesh

ChapmanDavid-2013David Chapman, professor in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD),  was the guest-leader for a workshop on strategies for improving education quality in Bangladesh for the education staff in the World Bank office in Bangladesh. He also presented a paper at the Bulgaria Comparative Education Society in Sofia, Bulgaria. The paper was based on his Fulbright research in Malaysia on the response of university faculty to the intensifying pressure for research and publication in Malaysian universities.

New project to improve learning on a large scale launches research in Vietnam

Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) — a new initiative aimed at conducting high-quality research to build evidence to enhance children’s learning throughout the world — announced today that it will begin work in Vietnam. University of  Minnesota and CEHD researchers are leading this effort.

The £4.2 million, six-year undertaking will seek to understand how Vietnam “got it right” in creating an education system that has led its students to achieve learning levels exceeding those of their peers in far wealthier nations.

The project in Vietnam is one of four research endeavors being launched in countries throughout the world  to shed light on ways to address a global learning crisis. Countries around the world have been remarkably successful in making progress toward universal primary (elementary) schooling, but in many places, learning levels are poor, or have declined. As a result, even when children finish many years of schooling, they still lack basic math and literacy skills. The RISE agenda emphasizes the need to make changes that can provide children with the education they need to be successful adults in their local, national, and global communities.

Research about the experiences of Vietnam offers the potential to inform policies that can help other countries enhance students’ education.

Vietnam’s achievements in elementary and secondary education over the last two decades are extraordinary. Out of 65 countries, Vietnam ranked 17th in math and 19th in reading — surpassing both the United States and the United Kingdom — in the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the worldwide scholastic performance measure of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Vietnam’s primary school completion rate is 97 percent, and its lower secondary enrollment rate is 92 percent.

Paul Glewwe

“Vietnam’s success raises key questions about how it reached such levels of learning, and whether its achievements can provide insights that help other nations,” said Paul Glewwe, one of the research team’s principal investigators (PIs). He has been engaged in research in Vietnam for 25 years and is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. “The project is very ambitious in scope, and it takes advantage of an incredible success story in education in developing countries.”

Joan DeJaeghere

Co-PI Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in CEHD’s Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, is part of a team of nine experts from institutions within and outside of Vietnam that will undertake a systematic evaluation of Vietnam’s education system by analyzing the status and impacts of past, current, and upcoming educational reforms. The aim is to understand how policy levers made Vietnam’s exceptional achievements possible, and whether and how new reforms are able to build on its achievements.  DeJaeghere is a Fulbright Scholar and Fulbright Specialist to Vietnam, having worked on education projects there for over 10 years.

RISE is managed and implemented through a partnership based in Oxford, UK, between leading international development consultancy Oxford Policy Management and the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. Research is led by the Center for Global Development, a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C.

Read more on the RISE website.

DeJaeghere and Arur complete interviews in India for research on life skills training for girls

DeJaeghereJoan-2013Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) worked with Aditi Arur (CIDE alumnus) to complete baseline interviews with 60 young girls and their parents, who participate in a life skills program that Room to Read implements in Ajmer, Rajasthan. The baseline qualitative data is part of a 3-year study with colleagues, Jessica Leight (Williams College) and Eric Edmonds (Dartmouth) and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), India, funded by the Department of Labor. The research seeks to answer the question of whether life skills training and mentoring by older female role models, denoted “social mobilizers,” can affect girls progress through and completion of secondary school, lower their rates of participation in child labor, and enhance their non-cognitive skills.

Magnusson gives keynote for Sultanate of Oman school principals

Magnusson-OMAN2016Deanne Magnusson, lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), gave the keynote address Re-Imagining School Leadership in an Era of Globalization and Glocalization at a conference for Sultanate of Oman school principals. The conference, held April 25-26 in Muscat, Oman, was sponsored by the Oman Ministry of Education as a leadership development initiative and as a  celebration of high achieving  Omani schools and students.

Photo: Magnusson (right) with an Oman principal and student. The principal’s school was presented with a High Performing School Achievement Award at the conference banquet, and the student is the highest performing student in the 4th grade class.

Chapman facilitator in 2016 Global Higher Education Forum in Malaysia

ChapmanDavid-2013David Chapman, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was a guest of the Malaysia Higher Education Research Institute  (IPPTN) to serve as a facilitator in the Global Higher Education Forum 2016 sponsored by IPPTN in Penang, Malaysia.

Paper reporting findings from Chapman’s Fulbright research in Malaysia published in Studies in Higher Education

ChapmanDavid-2013A paper by David Chapman, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and others entitled “Changing Higher Education Practices in Malaysia: the Conundrum of Incentives” was just published in Studies in Higher Education.  This paper reports findings from Chapman’s Fulbright research in Malaysia.

Distinguished International Alumni Award recipient visits the University of Minnesota

Educational psychology alumnus Dr. Zayed Al Harethi was awarded the CEHD Distinguished International Alumni Award in 2014 and had the opportunity to travel to Minnesota to receive his award the week of February 8, 2016.

Dr. Maruyama (left), Dr. Al Harethi, Dean Quam

Dr. Al Harethi received his Ph.D. in 1985 from the Department of Educational Psychology and had the opportunity to work with Dr. Geoffrey Maruyama as his adviser. He rose from a position on the faculty of Umm Al-Qura University in Mecca to department chair, dean, and a national leader in the fields of education and psychology.

During his time at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Al Harethi chose to concentrate on multiple interrelated topics in education: attitudes, attitude change in people, how attitudes are formulated and developed. Specifically, he wanted to understand how attitudes can be changed in the domain of education and social life. Dr. Al Harethi credits Dr. Maruyama as the individual who “introduced, opened, and facilitated the road for me to know and study with great scholars at the University of Minnesota by expanding my background and understanding of psychology.” The skills and experiences that he gained from the University of Minnesota are what he acknowledges as the backbone for the continuation in his impressive career.

In 2011, Dr. Al Harethi was elected by the Egyptian Association for Psychological Studies as 1 of the 8 best psychologists in the Middle East.  He was awarded the position of cultural attache in Malaysia and Indonesia by his government in Saudi Arabia. Currently, the main mission of Dr. Al Harethi’s job is to oversee and follow-up with Saudi students who are primarily supported by the Saudi government studying at different universities in undergraduate and graduate programs. In his words: “It is a nice and rich experience to provide assistance and to help students.”

Congratulations to Dr. Al Harethi on his continuing advancements in the field of educational psychology.

Wiese-Bjornstal welcomes visiting scholar from Spain

Victor-2016Victor Rubio, Ph.D., CCP, associate professor in the Department of Biological and Health Psychology at the University Autonoma Madrid (Spain), is currently a Fulbright visiting scholar at the U of M’s School of Kinesiology, invited by sport psychologist Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., director of the Sports Medicine Psychology Laboratory.

Dr. Rubio’s research interests are focused on health and sport psychology. Particularly, he is keen on analyzing psychological variables that might make athletes more vulnerable to injury (e.g., stress responses, risk-taking behaviors), as well as those which can affect the rehabilitation process. He is currently involved in analyzing the role of perceived benefits and personal growth following a sport injury and how such aspects can affect recovery duration, treatment compliance, medical staff-athlete climate, and athlete well being.

Konczak presents at the Italian Institute of Technology

Juergen Konczak, Ph.D., director of PHOTO_JuergenKonczak_Widethe Human Sensorimotor Control Lab (HSCL), recently gave a presentation to research scientists in robotics engineering at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

Konczak spoke on how robotic rehabilitation will change standard care in the next decade. He highlighted the challenges that arise from human-robot interaction that need to be considered when designing effective treatment protocols.


Konczak gives invited talk at the University of Pisa in Italy

Konczak-2012Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D., director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Lab (HSCL), presented a talk at the BioRobotics Institute at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa.

This elite School of Advanced Studies is part of the University of Pisa, which was founded 1343 and is one of the oldest universities in the world. Dr. Konczak spoke on the challenges and opportunities that arise from the introduction of robotic devices designed to aid the rehabilitation of human patients after neurological injury.

Shirazi writes about visa-waiver legislation in MinnPost

ShiraziR-2012Roozbeh Shirazi, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), has written an opinion piece, “Moving toward second-class citizenship with Congress’ visa-waiver legislation”, posted on MinnPost.

Beyond these restrictions, this bill comes with an enormous emotional toll. Our sense of belonging as Americans, a topic that I have devoted much of my research toward, is at stake. Three generations of my family’s lives, memories and relationships are inextricably tied to this land. For many Iraqi- and Syrian-Americans, this history is much longer. We have buried our elders here, and have welcomed new additions to our families as well. These are among the rituals that make a place home. How are we expected to feel a connection to a country that formalizes a lower tier of citizenship for us? How are my wife and I supposed to raise our 2-year-old son to exercise his rights as a citizen of this country when those rights are marked with an asterisk?”

Goh presents at Conference on At-Risk Youth in Singapore

Goh-Michael-2011Michael Goh, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), presented an invited plenary session “The Intercultural Competence Imperative for Youth” and two intercultural training workshops at the Conference on At-Risk Youth in Singapore. The conference is co-organized by the Singapore Ministries of Education, Social and Family Development, Home Affairs, and Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association (CARE Singapore).

OLPD team hosted meeting in Uganda for the UMN Mastercard project

A team from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), including Joan DeJaeghere, Nancy Pellowski Wiger, David Chapman, Chris Johnstone, Maurice Sikenyi, and Emily Morris, hosted and led an “all-partners” meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, as part of the University of Minnesota MasterCard project, which is conducting a six-year longitudinal study of the impact of entrepreneurship training programs on the long-term livelihood of economically disadvantaged youth in East Africa. At this meeting, participating NGOs were provided with information on findings of the study to date and assisted in incorporating these findings in their ongoing project activities.