St. Charles Community College will celebrate International Education Week with presentations, student panels and films about education, history and international affairs Nov. 12-15.
Michelle Killeen, SCC international student coordinator (middle) talks with Oscar Njihi (left), SCC alumnus from Kenya, and Venkatesh Sattaru, SCC student from India.
“International Education Week enlightens SCC and our surrounding community by teaching us about other countries,” said Michelle Killeen, international student coordinator. “I love the ESL student panel where they talk about life in the United States – it’s wonderful to hear their stories and viewpoints.”
Killeen has been in her current position at SCC for six years, but she has worked with international students at SCC since 1996. Back then there were fewer than 15 international students at SCC; currently there are nearly 100 international students who Michelle advises.
“Our international students are so dedicated,” Killeen said. “They have a thirst for knowledge, and not just about academic subjects, but about life in the United States. And, they have so much knowledge to give us in return.”
Killeen has developed several close relationships with her international students, including students Oscar Njihi, a former SCC student from Kenya, and Venkatesh Sattaru, an SCC student from India.
Njihi came to Killeen’s office more than three years ago in desperation: he needed an education and SCC was his last option. “Michelle was the first person to smile at me and make me feel welcome,” Njihi said. “She relieved all my tension and told me, ‘You can do it.’ She changed my world.”
Njihi moved to the United States from Kenya in August 2009 in order to get an American education, but due to financial reasons was unable to attend the university of his first choice. Time was running out for Njihi, but thanks to Killeen, he was able to enroll at SCC in fall 2009.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Michelle,” he said. Njihi graduated from SCC in May 2011 with an associate’s degree, and is currently working for a Creve Coeur law firm. He plans on attending Barnes-Jewish Goldfarb School of Nursing, once he can save some money for it.
Sattaru also said SCC changed his life for the better and he couldn’t have done it without Killeen. “Michelle explained everything to me perfectly and helped me map out a timetable and schedule,” Sattaru said. “She remembers everything and everyone – she’s wonderful.”
Njihi and Sattaru have both benefitted from the international student services offered by Killeen at SCC, and Killeen only hopes SCC and the surrounding community can also benefit from other international students like them.
The International Education Week program is sponsored by the SCC Global Education and Multicultural Programming committees. The majority of the events will take place in the auditorium of the Social Sciences Building on the college’s campus in Cottleville.
International Education Week Agenda and Descriptions
Events will take place Nov. 12-15 in the auditorium of the Social Sciences Building, unless otherwise noted.
Monday, Nov. 12
7 p.m. – “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” (Film)
Award-winning director Nuri Bilge Celan’s film, “Once Upon a Time in Anatoli,” is a detective fiction set in Anatolia, Turkey. This film is not rated.
Tuesday, Nov. 13
11 a.m. – Study Abroad in Cannes (Presentation)
Denise McCracken, SCC professor of foreign language, will talk about her trip to Cannes.
7 p.m. – “Babies” (Film)
“Babies” is a documentary film about the lives of four babies from four different countries around the world, including Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco and Tokyo. This film is rated PG.
Wednesday, Nov. 14
10 a.m. – Culture Shock: Adjusting to Life in America (Student Panel)
Becky Ingraham, SCC professor of reading, will moderate a student panel made up of English as a Second Language students, who will discuss what it is like adjusting to life in America.
Noon – International Jeopardy (Game)
Play “International Jeopardy” in the Student Center Plaza Bistro.
7 p.m. – “Reggae Brittania” (Film)
“Reggae Brittania” shows how British reggae music came from Jamaica in the 1960s to influence, both British music and society. This film is not rated.
Thursday, Nov. 15
8:30 a.m. – “Why Singapore Math?” (Presentation)
After spending a month in Singapore, Joyce Lindstrom, SCC professor of math, will discuss why Singapore math is taking over U.S. school districts by storm.
11 a.m. – Holidays Around the World Event
Enjoy a sampling of food, history and culture from SCC’s international students. This will take place in the Plaza Bistro of the Student Center.
7 p.m. – “Lemon Tree” (Film)
“Lemon Tree” is the story of a Palestinian widow who must defend her lemon tree field when a new Israeli defense minister moves next to her and threatens to have her lemon grove torn down. This film is not rated.
For more information on SCC’s International Education Week, contact Kelley Pfeiffer at firstname.lastname@example.org 636-922-8544.
St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit www.stchas.edu.