When PhD student Dao Nguyen received an email about the University of Pittsburgh’s Employer Diversity Recognition Awards (EDRA), she immediately knew she wanted to nominate her workplace: the Institute for International Studies in Education (IISE) at the School of Education.
Led by faculty member Maureen Mcclure, IISE “strives to be the most dynamic and productive institute in comparative, international, and development education,” according to the organization website. For Nguyen, that has made serving as managing program coordinator for IISE a positive experience.
The University of Pittsburgh Career Center’s Employer Diversity Recognition Awards showcases employers that do exemplary work in the areas of diversity and inclusion, as seen through the eyes of students. In the nomination, Nguyen wrote, “the way Maureen Mcclure understands, respects, and promotes different views in work helps build IISE as a strong team of diversity,” and credits her with leading the development of a “unique scholarly center for international studies in education.”
Little did Nguyen know that another student, Anis Sundusiyah, would see the same email about the call for nominations and nominate IISE for the same award.
Sundusiyah said that at IISE, “diversity is reflected in the people, the perspectives, the programs and outreach sites,” Sundusiyah, who recently received a PhD from Pitt Education, works on the IISE marketing team.
“IISE has been an advocate of multiple, diverse perspectives in understanding and examining global events, especially in education, by employing inter-cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills,” she says.
When Sundusiyah reflects on her personal experience at IISE, she feels that the IISE has been an inclusive atmosphere.
“As a member of IISE who is not an American, I have developed a great sense of belonging during my work with IISE. I felt welcomed, accepted, and valued. This drives me to contribute in a better way, with larger scope, with more impacts,” she said.
The University of Pittsburgh Career Center hosted the 2020 Employer Diversity Recognition Awards this past January. Individuals from all over Pittsburgh gathered in the William Pitt Union to honor the 15 nominees. Nguyen and Jorge Enrique Delgado, IISE’s institutional partnership and alumni coordinator, joined Mcclure at the ceremony to celebrate the nomination.
The IISE team is filled with more globally-minded individuals like Nguyen and Delgado.
In addition to her doctoral studies and work with IISE, Nguyen has conducted research on private higher education in her home country of Vietnam and in the United States. Delgado both received his education in and taught in Bogota, Colombia, which motivates his research on Latin America.
Alumni of IISE have a presence around the world, too. There are over 100 alumni who do international work abroad or locally.
IISE also hosts the Visiting Scholars Program which attracts bright researchers from China, Korea, Germany, and Pakistan. IISE also has worked with UCIS to award the Heinz fellowship to a student coming from a developing country to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh.
Find ways to get involved with IISE, such as attending brown bag lunches or an international symposium.