IVLP Alumni Spotlight: NGOs leading the way in response to COVID-19 in Cote d’Ivoire

This post was submitted by Mark Rebstock, Vice President of External Relations in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division. As cases of COVID-19 began to emerge in Cote d’Ivoire in March 2020, non-governmental organizations began to mobilize to meet community needs. For NGO AGIS, headed by IVLP Alumnus, Dr. Aboubakar Sylla, this meant setting up informational sessions about the importance of hand-washing and other precautions, collecting and distributing PPE and other supplies, and a special operation to disinfect the bus stations in Cocody, Cote d’Ivoire. Dr. Sylla registered AGIS in 2012 to prevent pneumonia in children and to reduce the mortality...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Conserving Antiquities in Sinai

This post was submitted by Addie Curley, Program Associate in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division. In April of 2019, three Egyptian antiquities experts embarked on their International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) experience after attending the American Research Center in Egypt’s (ARCE) annual meeting. The week-long program brought them to Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, and New York, NY to examine how U.S. institutions utilize technology in the area of conservation, engage in dialogue with experts to increase international cooperation, and create opportunities for future partnerships between U.S. and Egyptian museums and academic institutions. Mr. Hesham Hamed is the Director-General of North...

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IVLP’s Pivot to Virtual Programming: Reinforcing Networks

The following was written by Meridian Professional Exchanges Division Program Associate Julia Koski. Normally, connecting emerging leaders and Americans in traditional IVLP style is as straightforward as riding a bike, however, in the last few months, program teams have had to find a completely new set of wheels. The tried and true practice of bridging Edward Murrow’s “last three feet” with in-person programs is a paused reality due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and online convening tools have entered as the new medium to connect with and engage our global community. In this virtual pivot, Meridian mobilized to look...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: E-learning and Media Literacy

This blog post was contributed by Lee Norrgard, Program Officer in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division. Even before the stay at home orders closed 124,000 elementary and secondary U.S. schools last spring, a survey of approximately 17,000 U.S. teachers and administrators almost unanimously indicated digital learning is now an integral part of teaching and learning. However, with the coronavirus acting as a catalyst, e-learning is dramatically changing education as millions of students remain distance learners. Without the internet, there would be no teaching and learning right now; but on the same internet, disinformation, misinformation and malinformation flourish. In a Stanford...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Strengthening U.S.–Japan Government Bonds

This blog post was contributed by Lee Norrgard, Program Officer in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division For almost 170 years, the United States and Japan have organized informational and cultural exchanges between our two countries. Arriving in 1871, Umeko Tsuda was a seven-year-old girl sent to learn Western ways in Washington, DC. Her foster parents provided schooling that led to her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. Upon returning to Japan, she founded the prestigious women’s school Tsuda University which continues the intercultural exchange first experienced by the young Umeko Tsuda. Carrying on this long tradition, in the 1970s, the Government of...

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