Ready for the World regularly provides funding for special projects that help promote international and intercultural awareness. Below are examples of projects that have been funded:
Faculty Member Visits Bergen, Oslo and London
Micheline van Riemsdijk, an associate professor of geography, spent part of the summer of 2016 on a study abroad planning trip to Bergen and Oslo, Norway, and London which was made possible by a Ready for the World grant. The objective of the trip was to lay the groundwork for a study abroad program called The Age of Migration. The program will allow students interested in geography to experience a variety of guided tours of Oslo and London’s geography and relevant geographical museums in both cities. As a result of the trip, Riemsdijk has chosen to exclude Bergen from the 2017 study abroad program due to logistical difficulties. Students who participate in the study abroad program will better understand the impact of world history, multicultural influences, and immigration on international geography. The visit allowed Riemsdijk to evaluate the educational value of these destinations, teaching and residential space, logistical needs, and enhance intercultural undergraduate curriculum for 2017.
Faculty Members Visit Cuba
Faculty member Liz Teston from the College of Architecture and Design returned June 4, 2016, from a five-day planning trip to Havana, Cuba, that was made possible by a Ready for the World grant. The objective of the trip was to develop a new study abroad program called Systems of Exchange/Havana for the upcoming May mini-term. The opportunity will allow students interested in architecture to observe and analyze unique urban conditions in Cuba. As a result, students will understand the impact of world geography, global economics, and international politics on Cuban history, architecture, and design. The visit allowed Teston to evaluate teaching space, residential space, and other logistic needs related to executing the 2017 course with fellow faculty member Jennifer Akerman.
Native American Student Association Educates Community through Sport
In April 2016, students in the Native American Student Association (NASA) hosted a Native American stickball exhibition to showcase Native American culture while engaging others. Stickball is a traditional Native American activity used to resolve conflict among conflicting tribes. Using support from a Ready for the World grant, NASA members were successful in hosting the event, sharing Native American traditions, and garnering attention on the issues that Native Americans face.
French Connections Celebrates Culture
During the last week of March 2016, Pi Delta Phi hosted UT’s second annual French Connections event. The week-long celebration of French and Francophone cultures across campus and in the Knoxville community brought together many groups on campus including those interested in art, cuisine, music, and engineering. Through the funding received from Ready for the World, the organization was able to better advertise through fliers, T-shirts, and banners, which allowed them to reach a wider, more diverse audience. The funds also allowed the group to provide interactive activities to participants, which resulted in increased student participation and engagement.
Embodying Enlightenment: Buddhist Art of the Himalayas
In September 2015, UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture hosted a group of Tibetan monks from the Mystical Arts of Tibet to supplement the museum’s special exhibition Embodying Enlightenment: Buddhist Art of the Himalayas. The monks—whose visit was made possible by a Ready for the World grant—performed an intricate sand mandala painting, complete with opening and closing ceremonies. During the week of September 21, 2016, while this activity occurred, museum attendance soared to 3,000, which is approximately four times the average visitor attendance for a one-week period. In addition, the museum’s department of academic programs coordinated gallery tours of the Embodying Enlightenment exhibition for more than 400 UT students.