Padnos International Center to host annual Global Laker Celebration

Ticket purchases to fund study abroad scholarships

By Tylee Bush | 10/22/17 10:39pm

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GVL / Courtesy - gvsu.edu

On Thursday, Nov. 2, Grand Valley State University’s Padnos International Center (PIC) will host its fifth annual Global Laker Celebration. The event will take place at 6 p.m. in The Waldron Public House in Grand Rapids.

This yearly event is an opportunity for the community to celebrate diversity and learning across borders while supporting study abroad funding in an effort to make trips possible for future students who study abroad.

This cultural event includes dinner, dancing, story sharing and even a performance by local Afro-Caribbean/Latin jazz band Grupo Aye. GVSU and the PIC believe international study should be accessible to all GVSU students, so the funds raised through ticket purchases are put toward scholarships dedicated to students who wouldn’t be able to study abroad without financial help.   

Tickets can be purchased online at www.gvsu.edu/pic, and at the time of purchasing you can select which scholarship you would like your contribution to go toward. Options include the "Murray Study Abroad Scholarship," the "Global Programs Fund" for faculty-led programs and the "Empower Haiti Scholarship," among others. Or, you can simply select to have your funds go toward the scholarship with the most need. Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more. 

Meaghann Myers-Smith, study abroad adviser, is an advocate for the Global Laker Celebration. 

“Attendees will eat, dance, laugh and hear stories from students who have taken journeys abroad,” she said. “I promise they'll want to return next year.” 

Myers-Smith has enjoyed seeing the opportunities that students have taken to gain international perspectives.

“I genuinely enjoy my job because the reward is witnessing firsthand transformation in the students I work with,” Myers-Smith said. “Students go out into this world and take a journey into self; they return with incredible confidence and drive.”

Myers-Smith is certain this kind of personal transformation and global perspective can only be gained through a global experience.

“I sincerely believe international study is a vital educational experience for everyone,” she said.

Francesca Bosi is a study abroad peer adviser in the PIC office who, like Myers-Smith, has seen the transformation that happens in a student who studies abroad.

“The most rewarding part of my job is when I see that they have become citizens of the world and want to keep traveling and make themselves a difference,” Bosi said. “I strongly encourage everyone to attend: students and families, professors and staff members, and any of their friends who want to spend a fun evening different than their usual routine.

“It is important to recognize and acknowledge that each individual is unique and meeting new and different people can help bridging generational and intercultural gaps that is perhaps filled with prejudice and stereotypes that only comes from ignorance.”

Participants must purchase a ticket ahead of time, as tickets will not be sold at the door. Ticket costs are $25 for GVSU students and $35 for non-GVSU students.

To ask questions or get ticket-purchasing assistance, contact Alissa Lane at laneali@gvsu.edu or 616-331-3898.

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