International Students Appreciation Luncheon honors global aeronautics and engineering students

Christina Bloebaum, dean of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering, urges the importance of diversity to an audience of students and faculty. Nov. 15. 2018

Madison Patterson

Research will never be at its best if diversity isn’t in the classroom, Christina Bloebaum, the dean of the aeronautics and engineering college said at the third annual International Students Appreciation Luncheon Thursday.

“Celebrating our international students is really critical,” Bloebaum said. “Taking time to experience other cultures, that’s what diversity is about.”

Bloebaum encouraged every member of the audience to reach out and talk to someone from another country.

“It’s a chance for everyone to learn from one another,” she said.

The College of Aeronautics and Engineering has the highest ratio of international students on campus, with 197 (roughly one-fourth) of its students hailing from outside the U.S.

The luncheon was a way to reward both international students who come to study aeronautics and engineering at Kent State, but also U.S. students who have studied those topics abroad.

Speakers included students and faculty, all of whom had some connection to international education. Students from China, India and Saudi Arabia each gave short speeches thanking Kent State and describing their experiences.

Studying at Kent State began a new chapter life for Can Jiang, a senior aeronautics and engineering major from China, who found more academic freedom and a great variety of cultural experiences overseas.

“I have a deeper understanding of the world we live in,” he said. “With the process of globalization, every person will be more and more related.”

After the speeches, students and faculty walked up a flight of stairs lined with flags from every country to share biryani, chicken curry, fried rice and more international dishes.

The event was a part of Kent State’s International Education Week, which featured events like international cook-offs, study abroad boot camps and foreign film screenings. Upcoming International Education Week events can be found on the Office of Global education website.

 Madison Patterson is the international students and issues reporter. Contact her at [email protected].