Exchange Matters / December 15, 2020

International Education Week 2020

Compiled by Olivia Estes, Communications Intern, Global Ties U.S. 

Editor’s Note: Global Ties U.S. celebrated International Education Week (November 16-20) with exchange impact stories from our 2020 cohort of Emerging Leaders. Learn how global engagement has shaped their career trajectories and inspired them to be global leaders in their communities. Highlights are below and on our website at 

Kezia Daniel 
Global Ties Alabama
Project: Networking Webinars with Emerging Leaders Program Alumni

Kezia organized networking webinars with other Emerging Leaders Alumni to discuss how the program and experience has helped their careers in international affairs. “As a future educator I believe that the world is a classroom itself. One must be exposed to other individuals, opportunities, and what the world has to offer. The Emerging Leaders Program provides outstanding young professionals the opportunity to attend the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, an exceptional networking forum. Over the course of a few days, Emerging Leaders attend workshops and sessions, build their networks, and are exposed to what is going on in the Global Ties Network.”

Ryan Maza 
World Oregon
Project: Global careers informational session for undergraduates

“As a member of the Emerging Leaders Program, I was fortunate to receive a great amount of information and insight into a wide range of career pathways for building a global community through international exchange programs and diplomacy. Following this experience, I set a goal to bring this new knowledge back to my community…. [and] hosted a career informational session for undergraduate students … to learn about different careers with both the U.S. Department of State, and organizations such as Global Ties U.S. and WorldOregon. Ultimately, my goal is to encourage the students in my community to move forward with their passions for a career in the international relations realm and to lead them towards the many opportunities they may have for success.”

Mollie Sullivan 
International Focus
Project: Q&A with a U.S. diplomat for undergraduate students

“Ask Me Anything” provided undergraduate students the opportunity to interact with Kathryn Crockart, Diplomat-in-Residence for the mid-Atlantic Region, through a virtual format.I chose to facilitate this project because I know how important gaining first-hand knowledge about one’s potential future career is, and I wanted to ensure that students were given this opportunity regardless of the transition to distanced-learning. Participating in the Emerging Leader Program has inspired me to be an agent of change in my community and bolstered my confidence in the power of civil discourse and diplomatic efforts.”

Gregory Wischer 
Global Ties Idaho
Project: Cultural diplomacy presentation to middle school students

“I presented my Emerging Leaders project to my sister’s middle school class in rural North Dakota. It focused on Indian culture, including celebrations, education, and food. I spent five months in India last year, so I used my experience to inform the hour-long discussion.The Emerging Leaders Program revealed to me the strength and importance of U.S. soft power, which is the ability to attract countries to adopt pro-U.S. policies. With American culture, politics, values, and people, the public diplomacy potential of the United States is immense–and we must maximize this soft power tool to advance our foreign policy.”

Julia Wygant 
World Affairs Council-Seattle
Project: Global careers presentation to high school students

“As a 2020 Emerging Leader from the World Affairs Council in Seattle with Global Ties U.S., I had the opportunity to go back to my old high school and present to a group of graduating seniors the various ways they can get involved in international affairs. Through a 37 person zoom call, I shared the ways I got involved in international exchanges and answered questions about study abroad, and current events. It was encouraging to see the students engage and ask questions I was too afraid to ask as a high-schooler.”