Author: International Division

Cullinane receives distinguished honor for accomplishments, service

For the past 25 years, Michael Cullinane has stood at the heart of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Cullinane has taught the introductory course in Southeast Asian Studies since 1991 and, in 2009, added a class on Southeast Asian Refugees of the Cold War. He has taught these courses for 48 semesters, with an average of 80 students per semester. Since 2006, the highly rated introductory course has been included in the programs for five First-year Interest Groups (FIGs).

Also since 1991, Cullinane has served as associate director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), one of UW–Madison’s seven U.S. Department of Education National Resource Centers (Title VI). He has been the primary author and manager of nine Title VI grants that have brought more than $11.7 million in program and fellowship funds to the university, as well as five Henry Luce Foundation grants totaling more than $1.8 million.

In addition, he is an internationally respected historian of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines – where his connection dates back to the late 1960s, as a teacher with the Peace Corps in Cebu City. His research has focused on 19th and 20th-century Philippine social, political, and demographic history.

For his accomplishments and long record of service, Cullinane has received numerous tributes, including being named an “Adopted Son of Cebu City” (2014) and receiving the Judith Craig Distinguished Service Award from UW–Madison’s College of Letters and Science (2015). This year, the UW–Madison campus has further honored him by adding the “distinguished” prefix to his faculty associate title. Continue reading

Seven UW-Madison students receive Gilman Scholarships for summer study abroad

Seven University of Wisconsin–Madison students are among 1,150 American undergraduate students from 377 colleges and universities across the United States awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, for study abroad during the summer of 2016.

Each Gilman Scholar receives up to $5,000 to apply towards study abroad program costs.  The program aims to diversify the population of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.  Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in an international internship for academic credit are eligible.

“Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience,” says Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee. “It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.” Continue reading

Scholarships give boost to UW-Madison students going abroad in 2016

University of Wisconsin–Madison students preparing to embark on a range of international experiences in the coming months received words of encouragement and financial support at the spring 2016 International Division Scholarship Award Ceremony on April 19, at the Gordon Dining and Event Center.

Students, donors, parents, UW faculty and staff were invited to celebrate the generous financial aids given to students planning to travel abroad for academic programs or internships.

The event – hosted by the UW–Madison International Division and organized by International Academic Programs (IAP), the Division’s study abroad unit – brought together students, parents, donors, UW–Madison faculty and staff.

Awards were presented by IAP, the Division’s International Internship Program (IIP), and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), through a partnership with the Division through IAP.

“UW–Madison is committed to cultivating international scholarship and engagement, promoting global awareness, and preparing students for a diverse and interconnected world,” says IAP Director Dan Gold, who served as master of ceremonies.

“These scholarships make an array of international experiences possible for students across a broad spectrum of disciplines,” Gold says. “Their programs include field work, intensive language training, internships and excursions.” Continue reading

Grants awarded to UW students going on summer, fall 2016 internships abroad

University of Wisconsin–Madison students preparing to embark on international internships for the summer and fall of 2016 were among those who gathered recently to hear words of encouragement and to receive scholarships to help pay their way.

These 26 undergraduates were recognized April 19, at the International Division Spring 2016 Scholarship Award Ceremony, co-sponsored by the Division’s International Academic Programs and International Internship Program.

The International Internship Program (IIP) identifies, cultivates and promotes high-quality internship opportunities that advance the professional training of UW–Madison undergraduate students, foster global competency, and reinforce academic learning through practical application.

IIP also coordinates the Worldwide Internship Program, an online course for students in IIP-cultivated internships or for students who independently find their own internship overseas and want to earn credit related to their experience. The course guides students through issues related to globalization and helps them manage the challenges of working across cultures. Continue reading

Fulbright: Drewal to work with, learn from metal artists in Morocco

“In the beginning, there was no word, only sensations,” says Henry John Drewal.

“The senses are crucial to understandings of the arts, as well as the formations of persons and cultures, and histories,” explains Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History and Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Henry J. Drewal

Henry J. Drewal

Drewal began to discover the central role of the senses in the arts in the 1960s. While in Nigeria teaching French and English and organizing arts camps as a Peace Corps volunteer, he apprenticed himself to a Yoruba sculptor, an experience that proved to be transformative.

He followed up in 1978 with mask-making apprenticeship with another Yoruba sculptor in Nigeria, and the Gelede mask he created still dances in annual festivals.

Through these experiences, he says, “I gained insights into Yoruba artistic concepts, not only in discussing them with artists and observing them as they emerged from the creative process, but also in attempting to achieve them in my own carving under the tutelage of Yoruba artists.”

He adds, “In other words, my own bodily, multi-sensorial experience was crucial to a more profound understanding (oye) of Yoruba art, and the culture and history that shape it. This process of watching, listening, carving, making mistakes, being corrected by example, and trying again, was a transformative sensorial experience for me.”

Drewal has received a 2016-17 senior Fulbright Scholar award to continue exploring African art through what he calls Sensiotics – “the study of the multi-sensorial dimensions of the arts, both in the making and the reception of the arts by body-minds.” Continue reading

‘Experience Languages!’ brings pre-college students into UW-Madison classrooms

Wisconsin middle and high school students are getting a taste of world languages at the University of Wisconsin–Madison through Experience Languages!

The outreach initiative, organized by the Language Institute, also introduces visiting students to related opportunities, such as study abroad, international internships, and residential language communities.

On April 12, 2016, approximately 60 students from Monroe High School were introduced to Portuguese, Finnish, Mandarin, Swahili, Ancient Greek, and Yucatec Mayan. Each student was introduced to two languages.

The Experience Languages! initiative began in the fall 2015. Schools that participated include Madison East and LaFollette, Plymouth, Kimberly, Fort Atkinson, Cedarburg, Sauk Prairie, Verona, and Waterford.

UW Language Experience 033Wendy Johnson, assistant director of the Language Institute, welcomes the Monroe students and gives an overview of languages at UW–Madison. Continue reading

2016 Day in Africa brings 185 high school students to campus

The University of Wisconsin–Madison welcomed 185 juniors and seniors from eight Wisconsin high schools on April 13 for the 2016 Day in Africa program at Union South, sponsored by the African Studies Program.

The high school students explored the languages and cultures of Africa through a variety of sessions led by UW-Madison faculty, students, and staff. Many sessions incorporate the theme of health and healing in Africa and beyond.

The participating high schools were: Madison West, Madison East, Beloit Memorial, Pardeeville, Westosha Central, SAPAR, Oregon, and Kettle Moraine Global.

UW Day in Africa 2016 012Neil Kodesh, associate professor of history and director of the African Studies Program, gives the keynote remarks on Global Health in Africa to open the day’s program. Continue reading

Fulbright: Whitmire to examine historic African American presence in Denmark

Walking through a cemetery and noticing a name that seemed out of place led Ethelene Whitmire to a surprising discovery – and has provided the basis for her latest line of research.

“In the summer of 2013, I spent six weeks in Copenhagen,” explains Whitmire, professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “I lived near Assistens Kirkegård, a cemetery where Hans Christian Andersen is buried. I would take a shortcut to my favorite café. On the path back to my apartment, I saw a prominent headstone with a very non-Danish name.”

Etheline Whitmire in Kerteminde, Denmark, where African American painter William Henry Johnson lived in the 1930s.

Etheline Whitmire in Kerteminde, Denmark, where African American painter William Henry Johnson lived in the 1930s.

The stone read “Ben Webster, 1909-1973.”

“I discovered that Ben Webster was an important African American jazz musician who lived in Copenhagen,” she says. She further learned that Webster – a saxophonist who had played with Duke Ellington and others – was among seven African American jazz musicians buried in Denmark.

“The more I visited the country, the more I learned about other African Americans who had a connection with Denmark. I wanted to learn more and to tell their stories,” she says.

Whitmire has received a 2016-17 Fulbright Scholar award to conduct research during the fall 2016 semester for her book project, The African American Presence in Denmark in the 20th Century.  She aims to address two questions: Why did African Americans go to Denmark? What were their experiences as African Americans in Denmark? Continue reading

International Division, IRIS award seed grants for interdisciplinary research

Six interdisciplinary research projects that blend place-based scientific inquiry with international expertise have been awarded incubator grants by the International Division and the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

These projects focus on Africa, South Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America, in fields as diverse as public health, child development, civil engineering, climate science, archaeology, genetics, virology, and environmental studies.

Offered this year for the first time, the grants are aimed at bringing together faculty in STEM fields who are conducting place-based research abroad with experts from regional and area studies centers within IRIS.

“These grants are based on the idea that scientific inquiry will improve through collaboration with regional experts, while area specialists will benefit from working with colleagues in the physical, biological, and quantitative social sciences,” says Richard Keller, associate dean of the International Division.

Funding for these awards, of up to $50,000 each, comes from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and other International Division funds. Continue reading

Fulbright US Student info session for undergraduates

Erin Crawley, the campus Fulbright program advisor, will hold an information session for students interested in learning more about the Fulbright US student program and the campus competition process.

Fulbright info session for undergraduates
Monday, April 25
3:00-4:00 PM
336 Ingraham Hall

The Fulbright US Student Program 2017-18 competition is open. New application and country program information is available at The campus deadline for application submission is 11:59 PM Tuesday, September 13, 2016.

If you cannot make the information session, but would like to make an appointment, please email Erin at
More information can be found at