Eleven High Schools in the Midwest Participated in Euro Challenge 2014

Eleven high schools from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin participated in the 2014 Euro Challenge.

GlobalFest 2014

GlobalFest is an annual event that celebrates world languages and cultures, and encourages middle and high school students to make connections with the global society.

U-46 Teacher Travels the Globe to Enhance Her Lessons

Elgin Area School District teacher Chris LaRue spent two weeks in Turkey in 2013, a trip that was almost entirely funded by the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

EU Centers of Excellence Education Trip to Belgium

Read two teachers' experiences during the 2013 EU Centers of Excellence Education Trip to Belgium.

TED Helps European and American Educators Connect

The Transatlantic Educators Dialogue (TED), held from February through May, gives American and European educators an opportunity to meet virtually to discuss educational issues.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Record Entries for University of Illinois EU Center Essay Contest

February 28, 2012
Record Entries for University of Illinois EU Center Essay Contest

This year 27 high school students from across the United States participated in an essay contest
sponsored by the University of Illinois EU Center. This annual event is an opportunity for
high-achieving high school students to showcase their knowledge on EU-US relations. This
year’s topic was “The United States and the European Union: Seeking Sustainable and Secure
Connections in Food, Energy & Governance,” which also serves as the theme for the EU
Center’s Summer Study Tour for K-12 educators and local officials.

The EU Center received a record number of entries from Illinois, Pennsylvania, Arizona,
Virginia and Michigan. High school teachers covering a range of subjects—including French,
Spanish, History, Environmental Science, English, Geography, Computer Literacy, and
Government & Politics—supervised students’ participation in the contest.

The annual essay contest is one way the EU Center promotes learning and curriculum building
on the European Union. A second is the Center’s annual summer study tour with educators,
elected officials and journalists. The European Commission’s Getting to Know Europe Grant
funds this year’s Study Tour and the anticipated trip dates are June 23-30. 8-9 Illinois educators
will be a part of the study tour, with one of those spots reserved for the respective teacher of the
first place student from the essay contest.

The EU Center congratulates the following students selected by a review panel as the winners:

First place: Anya Marchenko, Naperville Central High School, for her essay The
Other Side of the Pond. Anya earned a $500 cash prize and her teacher, Ignacio
Gamboa, will participate in the EUC's Summer 2012 Study Tour this June.

Second place: Lara Orlandic, University Laboratory High School (Urbana, IL)
for her essay Accessibility vs. Advancement: The Differences in Healthcare and
Education between the United States and the European Union. Lara earned a
$250 cash prize.

Third place: Thomas Hassiepen, Peoria Notre Dame High School for his essay
Common Problems Create Common Solutions. Thomas earned a $150 cash prize.

The winning essays can be found on the EU Center’s website at http://www.euc.illinois.edu/essaycontest2011/. The winning students, their families and teachers have been invited to the EU Center’s EU Day Luncheon on March 29, 2012, where an award ceremony will be held.

The annual EU Day (this year held on March 29) is the EU Center’s signature event.
EU Ambassador to the US, His Excellency João Vale de Almeida, will be delivering the
keynote “State of the European Union” address. The Ambassador’s 10:00 am address will be
held at the University of Illinois Alice Campbell Alumni Center (601 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana,
IL) and is open to the public.

The EU Center is always looking to connect with more K-12 schools and educators and the
center invites your school and students to participate in future events. Please check the EU
Center website http://www.euc.illinois.edu this coming fall for details on the 2012 Essay

Contact: University of Illinois European Union Center, eucenter@illinois.edu
328 International Studies Building, 910 S. Fifth Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Ph: (217) 265-7515

Monday, February 20, 2012

Regional Faculty Working Conference Featured in Muskegon Community College Newsletter

On January 13 & 14, the EUC sponsored its annual Regional Faculty Working Conference to increase research on and teaching of the European Union at institutions in the Midwest. The conference was featured in Muskegon Community College's e-Newsletter, Global Awareness. You can read the entire newsletter, or check out the expanded article below!

by Tom Schurino

If you are looking for a way to infuse international content into your classes then you may want to consider attending the next European Union Regional Faculty Working Conference sponsored annually by the European Union Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana with support from the Center’s US Department of Education Title VI and European Commission grants. Bringing together regional college faculty, this conference includes panel discussions on effective teaching of EU-related subjects. This year’s event was held on January 13 and 14 in Chicago, in partnership with DePaul University’s School of Public Service.

With the aim of increasing research and teaching of the European Union at universities and four-year and two-year colleges in the Midwest, the conference had a very positive impact on the three dozen participants who came from Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. Here is what a few of them had to say:

Seth Koehler, Muskegon Community College: “The most interesting topic at the conference dealt with the Euro debt crisis, and how it can affect the rest of the world. The presentation by Elisabeth Oltheten, Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Illinois was the best speech of the entire conference, and explained everything in layman's terms, which is good for us educators because we can transfer the message immediately to students. In my classes, the knowledge gained from the Euro debt crisis lecture will be extremely important. Members of the community rarely have a good idea of how the rest of the world’s economy can affect us here in America. By learning more about Europe, and the challenge it faces while trying to unify its currency, we can better understand why and how our economy functions as a piece of the global financial puzzle.  “I think faculty should attend this conference because it covers a variety of topics: immigration, music, economics, foreign policy, business, to name just a few. While attending these conferences, faculty can network with other educators from multiple colleges and universities in the Midwest. The European Union is an important entity today, and the better we understand it, the more we can use it to accomplish our educational goals. Whether those goals be cultural, economic, or political, the European Union Conference is hugely beneficial to those who attend, and in turn, those benefits can be passed on to students.“

Here is what Patty Croonquist and Sheryl  Griffith from Iowa Central Community College had to say:  “The whole conference was interesting, but my favorite presentations were the “European Union Agricultural Policy—A Closer Look at CAP and its International Effects” by David Bullock, Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, and “Breaking Up the Family- —Migrants, Homophobia, and the Political Left in Europe.” by Patrick Ireland, Professor of Political Science, Illinois Institute of Technology.   I think the one on agriculture interested me because it is so close to home in the Midwest.  The whole conference made me aware of how the EU affects us every day.”

“Why should other faculty go to this conference? This was a very informative conference. And it applied to all disciplines from music to mathematics. I found all of the sessions interesting and presenters well prepared. And European Union Center Office Manager Kim Rice did a great job of organizing everything.

“I found all of the topics to be very interesting. I especially enjoyed the presentations on agriculture and economics and will use them in my classes. I think that faculty from all areas will find this conference helpful and interesting with material they could add to their courses, as we are a global community. Thank you again for a great conference.”

There you have it, another successful European Union Conference. To access more information about this year’s event, including resources such as speakers’ PowerPoint presentation files and sample course syllabi, visit the conference web page at http://www.euc.illinois.edu/facultyworkshop2012/

If you would like to be notified about next year’s conference, plus periodically learn of other resources and opportunities for educators, contact the European Union Center (EUC) at eucenter@illinois.edu and ask to be added to their regional faculty listserv. Since its inception in 1998, the European Union Center (EUC) has become the focal point on the University of Illinois campus and throughout the Midwest for teaching, research, and outreach programs on the European Union. The Center’s EUC will continue to bring together faculty and students from diverse disciplines across campus to promote the study of the EU and transatlantic relations, making it one of the most comprehensive EU centers in the US.

Tom Schurino is the past director of the Center for International Trade and Development for Riverside California Community College and the former Executive Director for The Corning New York Chamber of Commerce. He holds a M.A. degree in International Business Education from California State University Long Beach (CSULB) and a BBA degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University. He recently completed a Fulbright Research Trip to Africa with the Midwest Institute for International-Intercultural Education. The project provided a rich mixture of cognitive and affective learning with overseas colleagues, other professionals and citizens in Botswana-S. Africa-Swaziland. The primary purpose of the project was to internationalize their teaching through curriculum development. Tom Currently teaches international business at Muskegon Community College.

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