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From the Director

Dr. Teresa Longo, Associate Provost for International Affairs and Executive Director of the Reves Center for International Studies

In January 2024, Professor, Tyler Meldrum led his second cohort of W&M students to the German Cancer Research Institute in Heidelberg. Their study abroad experience in Germany opened up exciting pathways for those twenty students. It also unleashed an impulse that will serve them well inTeresa Longo careers still to be discovered. They were already intellectually curious, and familiar with a science lab. However, as Meldrum explains the leap of faith he took in creating this new program in Heidelberg, the students also needed to be just a little bit brave. They needed to move away from the familiar, be willing to get lost, willing to step into the unknown.

This edition of World Minded is full of stories about people who have taken many such steps. Shakia Taylor works in the Reves Center's Office of International Students, Scholars and Programs (ISSP) where she designs and delivers new and inclusive cultural programming. Taylor's goal is to help international students thrive at William & Mary. Araba Andrews is a graduate student from Ghana. With support from Taylor, ISSP and the School of Education, Andrews is indeed thriving. More than a little bit willing to step into the unknown, she already sees her next steps-- a Ph.D, a return to Ghana, and establishing a new school.

Stephanie Frankel Szostak ('94)-- actor, author, mental health advocate and entrepreneur-- spent her early years in France before coming to William & Mary. Educated in the European system, Szostak's first year on campus was not an easy one. So she sought faculty support, joined the golf team, lived in Reves Hall and the French House, and ultimately, flourished by getting a little bit lost. Laimis Kisielius ('08)-- investment advisor and professional athlete-- came to William & Mary from Lithuania to play basketball and study. Years later, in summer 2023, when our study abroad students stepped into his world in Lithuania, Kisielius also stepped into theirs, as their unofficial country director and guide.
Benedito Ferrão is among the dozens of William & Mary faculty with a recently published book on global affairs. The Uninvited Host: Goa and the Parties not Meant for its People tells the story of the effects of tourism on local communities and the environment. Ferrão's collaborators in Goa are the satirical cartoonist, Angela Ferrão, and the designer and artist, Maria Vanessa de Sa. Their combined talents led to the launch of an art exhibit at the Gallery Gitanjali in Goa and a decision to publish The Uninvited Host in comic book form. The intended audience for their work includes students preparing for their next step, study abroad in Goa.

In Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 professors Holmes, Kitamura and Manna spearheaded a symposium on U.S. - Japanese baseball diplomacy, where Historian Sayuri Guthrie Shimizu from Rice University noted that baseball has been key to the relationship between the two countries since 1872. Shimizu said she looks forward to the positive impact of baseball diplomacy for future generations. Stay tuned. That impact is already taking shape. In summer 2024, as part of the diplomacy initiative, a team of 11- and 12-year-olds from Williamsburg will visit Japan, meet Japanese players their age, and take a hopeful step, perhaps the first of many, into the unfamiliar.