Lincoln, Neb. —The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has launched the new CASNR Global Learning Hub.
The goal of the hub is to give a greater number of student opportunities to have international experiences during their time at UNL, said Jon Kerrigan, Global Programs Manager for UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In addition, Kerrigan hopes the new hub can help students think about how they can apply those experiences to the real world.
Many students may equate having an international experience with education abroad, Kerrigan said. While those experiences are valuable, they’re not feasible for every student. A goal of the Global Learning Hub is to connect students to an array of opportunities that allow them to connect with people, culture and ideas from around the world. This might include attending a global seminar series; participating in an informal coffee talk on a global issue; or exploring internship opportunities related to international trade offered through UNL’s Yeutter Institute.
Beyond that, Kerrigan said, the Global Learning Hub will work with students to help them understand how the international experiences they have at UNL could be relevant to their lives and careers after college. In our increasingly connected world, that’s important.
“The reality is that you go to any community across Nebraska, no matter how big or small, and you’ll find some companies with a presence overseas,” Kerrigan said.
Kerrigan’s career in international engagement began with his own education abroad experience to China. His experience was cut short by the SARS epidemic, but he enjoyed his time there so much that after college he returned to China after college and lived there for four years.
He hopes the hub can help other students imagine how they might continue to have international experiences after college, too.
Opportunities will be offered in both virtual and in-person formats, Kerrigan said, though for now, most events are virtual. During the summer 2021 term, for example, CASNR faculty will offer several online and in-person for-credit courses that explore a number of global issues. Course topics include the historical, cultural and economic dimensions of cocoa growing and chocolate production; conservation and ecotourism guiding in southern Africa; and the rise of China and its global impact. Students interested in learning more about these courses or registering can do so online.
In addition, the hub offers numerous events. Upcoming options include a March 3 seminar on virtual engagement; a March 4 panel event featuring UNL students, faculty, and local nonprofit leaders on how they are working toward the sustainable development goals, and an April 7 event with tips for students on health and wellbeing. More details on these and other events and Zoom links are available online.
The Global Learning Hub will be located in Agricultural Hall and will be open in the coming weeks. The Hub will be a welcoming space for small events, informal discussions and collaboration.
Ultimately, the Global Learning Hub will help students think about how they look for solutions in their own careers, said Brianne Wolf, IANR Global Program Manager.
“It is absolutely critical that we get people with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints into the same room when we try to address complicated worldwide problems, a concept which some universities consider as the very definition of global learning,” Wolf
In addition, Kerrigan hopes that the hub will help connect domestic and international students at UNL to each other, as well as to peers, experiences and opportunities around the world.
“We want to use it as a recruiting tool for students, faculty and staff,” he said. “This is one way we’re working to increase our students’ global competency.”
Learn more about the CASNR Global Learning Hub and view upcoming events at https://casnr.unl.edu/global-learning-hub.
Cara Pesek | IANR Media