The Center for Global Education, with departments at Lynchburg College and other local institutions, sponsors short-term professors, researchers and exchange students from around the world.
Computer science professors from Vietnam and the Netherlands visited Lynchburg College for two weeks during spring semester 2014 to create and strengthen exchange programs.
The Vietnamese connection began when Dr. Randy Ribler earned a Fulbright to teach at Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU-HN) in spring 2006. Then, in 2013, Dr. Ribler, professor of computer science, was one of nine US scholars selected by the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) to teach at Vietnamese universities as part of its US Faculty Scholar (USFS) Program.
That relationship has continued with joint classes online with colleagues in Vietnam, who shared lessons via Skype. Dr. Pham Ngoc Hung and Truong Anh Hoang are two of those colleagues who came to LC in February.
The connection with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences started with Elmer Hoeksema, who also teaches computer science. Dr. Hoeksema once lived in Bedford and loved the area so he approached Alex Akulli, director of LC’s Center for Global Education, about establishing exchanges with his university.
In both Vietnam and the Netherlands, many classes are taught in English, Akulli said, so our students have the opportunity to take classes without knowing the local language, though of course, it’s hoped they will learn some.
Dr. Nihad Albatikhi, a pioneer in women’s sports in her native Jordan, was at LC for the 2013-14 academic year to compare her country’s sports and wellness programs for women with those in the US.
Dr. Albatikhi is interested not only in sports, but the importance of exercise for fitness and good health. “We have too much stress — all of us,” she said.
The Jordanian Table Tennis Champion for most of the 1970s and 80s, Dr. Albatikhi represented her country in numerous international championships. She started the first and only sports club for women, for which she is now president, and the first women’s soccer team in Jordan in 1994.
An associate professor of physical education at the University of Jordan, Dr. Albatikhi said she was looking for a US college to do her research when a colleague in Canada suggested Lynchburg College, thanks to a connection with Dr. Lindsay Pieper, assistant professor of sport management at LC.
Dr. Albatikhi said Dr. Pieper, Dr. Alexi Akulli, director of LC’s Center for Global Studies, and many others have made her feel at home and she loves the tranquil nature of a smaller campus. Between 40,000 and 45,000 students attend the University of Jordan.
While at LC, Dr. Albatikhi attended classes and watched sporting events as part of her research. She also offered Arabic lessons to the College community.
Dr. Albatikhi was recipient of King Abdullah II’s Independence Medal in 1999 and was a member of the Higher Committee for the Hussein Arab League, chaired by Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussein.
She earned her BA (1975) and PhD (2000) from Helwan University in Cairo and her master’s from the University of Jordan in 1994.