I am sure we can all agree that this past semester came with a unique set of unexpected circumstances and challenges to our local and global communities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The international health crisis we currently face quickly and continuously alters the reality of our daily lives, and has, ultimately, cast a spotlight on the globally interconnected world in which we live and are a part. This is precisely why this is a critical time, a “pivotal moment” I would argue, to re-imagine the possibilities for comprehensive internationalization at LMU and think together about creative pathways to provide our students, faculty, and staff with global learning experiences.
As we wrap up the spring semester, I want to take this opportunity to provide you with a brief update about the work of the ACE Internationalization Laboratory (ACE Lab) –– appointed and supported by Provost Poon –– that started at the beginning of the year with the goal of formulating a tactical and action-oriented plan for LMU’s global engagement efforts.
Overall, our work the past few months has been slower than anticipated, but steady. Each of the five ACE Lab working groups (Articulated Institutional Commitment, Structure, and Staffing; Curriculum, Co-Curriculum, and Student Learning Outcomes; Faculty/Staff Development, Policies, and Procedures; Education Abroad; and Collaborations and Partnerships) has met multiple times and created work plans tailored to their group’s questions and charge. We have adjusted our timeline to extend the data collection phase of our internationalization review to allow more time to engage the community in an inclusive and dialogical process about topics connected to comprehensive internationalization across our campus. As we determine next steps, we want to honor what has been done in the past by using that information, along with newly collected data reflecting our changed reality, to direct us on the best way forward.
At this opportune time, I and Provost Poon want to express our extreme gratitude to every member of the ACE Lab, including the Steering Committee and each member of the working groups. We are grateful for your dedicated commitment this semester, especially under the most difficult conditions. Your generous service is greatly valued and appreciated.
Roberta Espinoza, Vice Provost for Global-Local Initiatives
Senior International Officer
ACE Lab Steering Committee, co-Chair