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UIC Hosts 2023 Global Inclusion Conference

Panelists at the Global Inclusion Conference

A team of UIC faculty and staff presented at the 11th annual Global Inclusion Conference (GIC) held this year in Chicago from October 30 through November 3 and hosted by UIC. The GIC was founded to provide opportunities for learning, community building, critical conversations and collaboration for higher education professionals in service of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of global education.

“UIC was honored to host this year’s 2023 Global Inclusion Conference,” Charu Thakral, executive associate vice chancellor for diversity, stated. “This was a great opportunity to learn from other institutions and build a sense of community to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in global education as a critical part of the campus’s work to ensure the success of our students, staff and faculty.”

One of UIC’s panels consisted of Neal McCrillis, vice provost for global engagement, Thakral, Kyle Rausch, executive director of the study abroad office, and Mark Martell, executive director of the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC). Their presentation “Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus of an MSI University” was enthusiastically received by a packed room of attendees.

As the panelists noted, minority serving institutions (MSI) face both universal and unique challenges to internationalization, particularly when the student population is heavily first generation and Pell-eligible. In response to this, the panel highlighted a number of internationalization and DEI initiatives and units that demonstrate UIC’s commitment to inclusive education and global learning, fostering a sense of belonging and increasing access to global learning and international connectedness. These included the UIC Navigator Scholars program for underrepresented study abroad students, the First Year Flames Abroad program for first year, first generation college students, the Inclusive Education Scholars Certificate Program for faculty and staff, and the seven Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change (CCUSC).

Another highlighted UIC conference panel was “Supporting First Generation Students’ Transition to College through Study Abroad” presented by Rausch, Jennifer Olson, clinical associate professor from the college of education, Marc Mobley, director of new student and family programs and Claire Dombrowski, undergraduate student.

“Because study abroad is a high impact practice (HIP) that contributes to academic success, retention, progression and graduation for students as well as their interpersonal growth and career readiness, all students deserve equitable access to the benefits of global education,” McCrillis said.

Opening remarks were given by UIC Chancellor Marie Lynn Miranda and several other faculty, staff and students participated in panel presentations and as attendees. In addition, UIC received the “Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion in International Education Award” for “Student Engagement and Support” in recognition of the innovative UIC Navigator Scholars and First Year Flames Abroad programs.

“Having UIC as our host was fitting given its commitment to global education and to ensuring all of their students are positioned to thrive,” asserted Andrew Gordon, founder and CEO of Includifi and founder and senior advisor of Diversity Abroad/Global Inclusion Conference. “As we move this work forward it’s essential that all higher education institutions recognize, like UIC, the intrinsic connection between global education, diversity and inclusion and student success.”

For more information on the Global Inclusion Conference, please visit: