Monday, February 25, 2013

Center of European Studies at UNC Awarded the EUCE Outstanding Outreach Activity Award

Erica Edwards, Executive Director of the Center of European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, accepted the EUCE Outreach Activity Award in a ceremony as part of the 12th Annual EU Day at the University of Illinois on February 15, 2013.
CHAMPAIGN—The European Union Center at the University of Illinois is pleased to announce that the Center for European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded the European Union Centers of Excellence (EUCE) Outstanding Outreach Activity Award for their activity, Transatlantic Masters Program Partnership with Global Webfriends. The Program was led by the Center’s Executive Director Erica Edwards, Outreach Coordinator Anna Brigevich, and TAM Associate Director Sarah Hutchison. The EUCE Outstanding Outreach Activity Award was initiated by EU Center staff at Illinois to increase the awareness of excellent outreach projects conducted by the ten EU Centers of Excellence located throughout the United States.

The review committee—comprising representatives from the Irish Embassy (His Excellency Michael Collins, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States), the French Consulate in Chicago (Consul General Graham Paul), and the Delegation of the European Union to the United States—acknowledged the success of UNC’s submission for the award. UNC’s EUCE, along with the submitted activities of eight other centers, will be featured in promotional materials to be distributed domestically and throughout the European Union in an effort to promote EUCEs in the United States.

For the second year running, the Center for European Studies has teamed up with UNC's World View to link TransAtlantic Masters (TAM) students at Carolina with a program called Global Webfriends. TAM students are recruited to serve as overseas liaisons to elementary, middle and high schoolers throughout North Carolina. Each TAM student who takes part in the program maintains contact with a specific classroom while studying overseas in the UK, Czech Republic, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Italy, and/or Germany. Over the course of several months, the TAMbassador communicates with the designated classroom via Skype and other communication avenues and answers questions about the foreign country in which he or she is studying. Public school teachers and students throughout North Carolina have embraced the program with great enthusiasm, and interest among the TAM students remains high.
On November 16th, 2012, Alexandria Faulkenbury and Katharine Robinson of World View conducted a Webfriends information session for TAM students and a number of them volunteered to share their future overseas-study experiences next semester. Last year, when the program was launched, several TAM students participated with two North Carolina classrooms.

Established in 1998 as the result of a first-of-its-kind national competition, UNC’s EUCE has successfully received renewal with each subsequent national competition. The Center is led by Director, Lenski Professor of Political Science and Sociology, John D. Stephens. Ten U.S. institutions of higher learning were designated as Centers of Excellence in 2011 and will receive funding support through 2014. The European Commission funds the EUCE initiative as part of a broader effort to promote people-to-people ties across the Atlantic.

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