The Globe Newsletter Spring 2021

International students can make great changes in this world despite all the circumstances that had happened and is happening. In this Spring 2021 issue of The Globe, we hope to inspire everyone with the great achievements and accomplishments by our very own Lewis' international students. Programs and activities by the International Student Association are also featured to encourage camaraderie and provide multicultural interactions.

A Message From Director of the International Student and Global Scholar Services

What a year it has been! Of course, we keep in prayer all those in our Lewis community who were and continue to be affected during the pandemic - students, colleagues, family and friends here and abroad, St. John Baptist De La Salle, Pray for us!

The International Affairs Team and The Office of International Students and Global Scholar Services is once again excited to share with you information on all things "international" here on our campus and around the world. As we continue to successfully utilize various social media platforms to reach potential students, provide on-campus support for our international population and work more closely between departments and offices with much success, we are hearing from many in the international education field that Lewis continues to lead in internationalization efforts.

Michael Fekete with the students of De La Salle University - Dasmarinas, Philippines (2019)

In this issue of the Globe, we again feature highlights on recruitment initiatives and study abroad to current activities and services (mentor program, on-going virtual workshops, and orientations) involving collaborations between students, faculty and staff - particularly with the Writing Center and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Of particular interest has been the activities within the International Association of LaSallian Universities and the COIL initiative, bringing internationalization to classrooms by connecting students and faculty in an engaging and collaborative model of multi-cultural, global, and online programming.

A quality Lewis education is obvious when we hear from our current students, one of our alums and several of our faculty. We hope you enjoy this issue of the Globe and wish students soon to graduate in peace, happiness, and joy in their years ahead!


  • Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)
  • Spring in Rome 2022
  • Travel Study Program to the Holy Land
  • Workshop in Writing
  • Spring 2021 Virtual International Students Orientation Program
  • Life of an International Student Athlete
  • Letting My Dreams Take Flight
  • International Mentor Program
  • Tuition Support and Global Rankings
  • FULBRIGHT: US Student Program
  • Globalization Course: College of Nursing Panel
  • Lewis University - International Student Senate
  • International Students Association Activities
  • Lewis University International Alumni
  • Meet Our Staff

By Roman Ortega Jr., Executive Director - Office of International and Military Affairs

Collaborative online international learning (COIL) is online learning in an international setting, with interactive involvement of students and faculty from different international and intercultural backgrounds in and outside the classroom.

Lewis University is proud to be a part of the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program within the International Association of Lasallian Universities (IALU). COIL is an approach that brings students and professors together across cultures to learn, discuss, and collaborate as part of their class. Professors partner to design the experience and students partner to complete the activities organized. COIL becomes part of the class, enabling all students to have a significant intercultural experience within their course of study. Lewis University has already completed different facets of COIL with Lasallian institutions in Mexico, France, Colombia, and the Philippines, and we are looking to increase the involvement. We would leverage the IALU network to find professors as partners within our language parameters. The aim is to have COIL be part of a holistic international program that is integrated with semester study abroad, travel study, and international virtual engagement of our students—essentially building out a menu of international options.

What can COIL be?

It can be in any discipline and not just academic major alignment. COIL is a perfect opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborations. It can be culturally focused and not just academic to meet the general education globalization requirement. It can be executed in 8 weeks, 16 weeks, or even as a travel study program for a short duration in the respective country. It can count towards academic credit at each respective institution for each set of students. It can leverage the lessons learned from shifting our learning online towards achieving our COIL goal.

“My students and I really learned a lot about the Filipino culture as it relates to restorative justice. We believe that further research in the area of restorative justice with a comparison to restorative justice in the US and other cultures will be beneficial.” - Dr. Morris Jenkins from Criminal Justice

The COIL course does not have to be in the classroom with the COIL partners every week. The Lasallian University Center for Education (LUCE) in Rome, Italy can potentially be used as a hub for physical interaction with the COIL partner, and the city can be used as a classroom.

Spring in Rome 2022

By Christopher Swanson, Director of Study Abroad

Get ready for Spring in Rome 2022! Planning is underway for the Rome Program at LUCE in Italy for the spring semester 2022. The semester-length program is a unique study abroad opportunity for students from Lasallian colleges and universities around the world to study with each other while living at the Lasallian Universities Center for Education (LUCE) in the Generalate, the motherhouse of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in Rome, Italy. In addition to using Rome as the classroom, the program takes participants on excursions outside the city to explore other parts of Italy as well. The program includes housing in a single room, a meal plan, medical insurance, excursions, transportation passes, and visits to sites in Rome. For Lewis students, the cost is only Lewis University tuition and their financial aid applies to the program.

The Spring 2022 Rome program at LUCE will be led by Dennis Cremin from the history department and Joanne Kuttner from the theology department.

The course offerings will be posted soon on the Study Abroad website and will include a variety of courses to satisfy major, minor, and Gen Ed requirements.

The program is open to all majors and years - first year students included!Students should talk with their major advisor now to plan their courses to take full advantage of the offerings in Rome.

For more information and to apply, visit the Lewis University Study Abroad website at www.lewisu.edu/studyabroad or contact Chris Swanson, Director of Study Abroad (Email: swansoch@lewisu.edu)

Brother Robert Schieler and Megan Kowalis in The Lewis 2020 Rome Program at LUCE

Travel Study Program to the Holy Land

By Christopher Swanson, Director of Study Abroad

Dennis Cremin, associate professor and chair of history, and Claire Rothschild, professor of theology, will be leading a Travel Study to the Holy Land during the Winter Break next academic year. This exciting program will take students to a number of important sites in the Israel and Palestine, including Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and the Sea of Galilee, while taking coursework toward their academic plan.

Travel Study Program to the Holy Land - January 2020

They will have the opportunity to visit our Lasallian sister school, Bethlehem University. Dr. Cremin and Dr. Rothschild will be teaching UNIV-20007 Christians as the Romans Saw Them on the program, which satisfies the Integrated Learning-Interdisciplinary Seminar Gen Ed requirement. Participants will register for the course in the fall, with travel occurring after Christmas 2021. For more information and to apply, visit the Lewis University Study Abroad website at www.lewisu.edu/studyabroad or contact Chris Swanson, Director of Study Abroad (Email: swansoch@lewisu.edu)

Workshop In Writing

By Jasmine Castillo, M.A., Writing Center Coordinator

During the Spring 2021 semester, the English department offered a one-credit hour writing workshop for students not currently enrolled in a First-Year Writing course. The goal of this course is to provide additional support to students, including multilingual international students, with their writing and English language learning. The course, ENGL 120: Workshop in Writing, pairs each student with a Workshop in Writing Mentor, a Writing Center tutor trained in offering feedback on writing at various stages and is taught by Jasmine Castillo, the Writing Center Coordinator. Each week, the students meet with their Mentor to receive feedback and support for their current course writing. Mentors offer feedback and strategies for writing and help students practice and improve their writing skills by identifying patterns, focusing on higher-order concerns, and sharing writing approaches and strategies to help students prepare for their First-Year Writing experiences.

"We want all Lewis writers to enjoy a successful first semester at Lewis, and we hope that this writing workshop will help make that possible."

Spring 2021 International Students Orientation Program

Zoom meeting with new international students for Spring 2021 Semester

Life of an International Student Athlete

By Daniela Navarrete Villegas - Mexico, Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management. Class of 2021.

My name is Daniela Navarrete. I was born and raised in Cancun, Mexico. I moved to Panama in Central America when I was 17. I came to the United States at the age of 19 to swim for Limestone College in South Carolina. After my freshman year, I transferred to Lewis University. I’m currently studying Sports Management with a minor is Marketing.

Daniela Navarrete on her main stroke, butterfly.

Some fun facts about me! This is my fourth semester of voice lessons at Lewis and got 2nd place at the LU Idol in Spring 2019. I danced ballet for 9 years and had the opportunity to dance at a Downtown Disney event in 2010 that celebrated the bicentenary of the Mexican’s independence. I look forward in to getting a Zumba certification so that I can teach. Last 2012, I appeared in a YouTube video that went viral in Mexico when One Direction gave their first concert!

Lewis University has provided me with so many opportunities that I have been able to take advantage of apart from swimming itself. I got a summer job as a coach at a swim camp at the University of Michigan, all thanks to my coach Roger Karns. I would consider one of my highlights and beginnings of my professional career. Also, thanks to the amazing professors Karen Lockyer and Ralph Miller who helped me out with recommendation letters, I won a scholarship as part of Delta Mu Delta (International Honor Society in Business). I joined The Flyer first as a sports reporter in fall 2019. I initially joined because previously in the summer of 2018 and 2019 I did a journalism internship with a swimming magazine and loved it, as I started to consider it one of my career options as well. I basically write about Lewis teams results or highlights (rankings, academic recognitions, etc.), but also about local Chicago sports and sometimes global if it would also interest the Lewis community, e.g., the Olympics.

"For international students, student-athletes, and international student-athletes, I would say get involved."

International students tend to hang out only with international students, but it is also very fun to get along with the locals, it could surprise you how much you can also learn from them. For the athletes, some would say that they don’t have time, but if you learn to manage your time effectively, you can fit many things in your schedule, so if you have an interest and maybe there is a club/organization on campus that runs on that interest, e.g., photography, go join! Also, try to create strong bonds with your professors and coaches; they could help you a lot when it comes to internships and jobs.

Letting My Dreams Take Flight

By Reece Bhave - India, Master of Science in Aviation and Transportation. Class of 2022.

Hey everyone, my name is Reece, and I am currently a Graduate Student studying in the Master of Science in Aviation and Transportation. I am also the Graduate Assistant for the Department of Aviation and Transportation! I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Technology & Aircraft Maintenance Management from Lewis in December 2020! Prior to my current job, I was a Student Employee for 3.5 years, in the Office of International Student and Global Scholars Services, working under Deacon Michael Fekete, Roman Ortega and our former G.A, Gerard Ortiz!

As an International Student at Lewis, I am so grateful for the opportunities I have received over the last 4 years! Academically, I’ve been able to challenge myself and get involved in technical research related to aviation and aerospace, ranging from creating a portable Ramjet, to designing, building and testing my own Advanced Aerial Inspection Vehicle (AAIV)! I was able to work as a Teaching Assistant which consisted of helping Professors set up their labs, creating exciting and challenging projects for students to complete, and of course, grading projects when needed!

Advanced Aerial Inspection Vehicle (AAIV) by Reece Bhave

Prior to my current G.A. Position, I was fortunate to have received the opportunity of working in the Office of International Student and Global Scholars Services back in 2017! Through my role in the Office, I was able to interact with new students, listen and learn from their stories, and assist whenever needed, as they ventured out to find their own path while at Lewis! Coming from a background of growing up and living in 4 different countries, I truly believe that my own experiences of always being an International Student helped shape me into the person I am today!

If there is anything that I can leave with you with, it would be to get involved in extra-curricular actives, make new friends whenever you can, and enjoy the experience of learning that you are embarking on.

"While the journey might seem hard at times, never forget that it will all be worth it in the long run!"

International Mentor Program

By Mai Hoang - Vietnam, Master in Education in Instructional Technology and Design. Class of 2021.

The International Mentor Program was created in an effort of our office to support and assist Lewis University’s international students with their academic and cultural transitions. In this program, mentors (volunteers who are also international students) start communicating with new incoming international students from before they arrive on campus, and we keep communicating with them during the semester to make sure that our new international students are provided with the information in their concern. We encourage mentees to get involved more by participating in activities and events throughout the campus, such as joining in a club, attending cultural discussions/presentations, etc.

Mentor program Zoom meeting with Hariprasad Berelli, international graduate student from India majoring in Computer Science.

As an international student, being a mentor is a wonderful opportunity for me because I could always see myself in my mentees; seeing and helping them growing from the same stage where I was when I first came here is one of the most meaningful and purposeful experience I’ve had. I also had chances to learn about new cultures and make friends with a lot of new students.

Tuition Support and Global Rankings

More details about PLEXUSS can be found here: https://plexuss.com/solutions/plexuss-college-services

FULBRIGHT: US Student Program

Vanny Nicole Kayirangwa - Rwanda, Master of Science in Aviation and Transportation. Class of 2022.

"Fulbright gave me a life-time opportunity to pursue world-class international education at Lewis University that I could not have otherwise."

I am grateful to the faculty and staff for creating such a welcoming and supportive environment to fulfill my childhood dream in aviation."

The Globalization Interview, organized by Lewis University’s Nursing Department, is held to promote cultural diversity of Lewis University. Every semester, a group of international students are invited to join the panel by the nursing professors to share about their home country’s culture, tradition and practices.

The panel discussion is an opportunity for the nursing students to not only learn about other cultures and meet amazing new friends from all around the world, but also expand their awareness, welcome multiple perspectives, and help build social skills. For international students, it is an occasion to bridge the gap by giving their insight into different aspects of their own culture to American students. It is a chance for all students to experience diversity at Lewis University and prepare themselves as a global citizen to be comfortable working and interacting with a variety of individuals of all nationalities.

“The interview was insightful and thought-provoking and I hope the students were able to understand a bit more about my culture. I would definitely join this discussion again when I have the chance.” – Lionel D’silva, a student who attended the panel discussion this Spring 2021.

Lewis University International Student Senate

Aurora Doan - Vietnam, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Class of 2024.

As an International Senator, I will represent the student as a whole and faculty to make the college experience well for everyone. I will be the voice for all international students and speak up for what they seek and desire.

I love helping other students because I want to give them the best college experience.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” — Dalai Lama.
Lewis University Student Senate 2021

Interview with Jada Hoffman, President of Student Senate

Student Senate is meant to represent all students effectively and voice their concerns and needs to the right administration. Whether you are a freshman or a science major, we have 24 senators that represent students all around the Lewis campus. Students are always invited and encouraged to bring their concerns and needs to the members of senate. We have all our members on the Lewis website and encourage everyone to take advantage of that. By going to the website, clicking 'Student Life' then 'Student Activities' and 'Student Senate' you'll be at the right spot. We can't wait to see everything everyone has to say!

International Students Association Activities

Lewis University - Student Life Fair 2020
ISA Pizza Party 2020
Lunar New Year 2021 goodies sent out to our International Students

Lewis University International Alumni

By Yiwei Zhou - China, Bachelor of Science in Aviation Administration minor in Aircraft Dispatch. Class of 2014.

My name is Yiwei Zhou. As an undergrad I majored in Aviation Administration and minored in Aircraft Dispatch. I also got my MBA with International Business concentration. I graduated in 2014 and 2016.

Photo credits: Yiwei Zhou

Working for Lewis' International Office as Graduate Assistant is one of the most valuable professional experiences I have had. Under the leadership of Mr. Michael Fekete, as an international student myself, I enjoyed helping students from different countries to be accomplished not just in academics but also their transitions to new life in America. It was extremely pleasant interacting with faculty and staff from other departments as everyone has the same goal while working collaboratively, that is, maximizing each student's success at Lewis and beyond.

I was on the Lewis Men's Volleyball Team from 2010 to 2014 and I am the first ever NCAA Men's Volleyball player recruited from mainland China. I am always thankful for being able to utilize the skills I acquired from Lewis to play an important role at my employer.

"Value every hour every day because time does fly."

Try not to get food from the Den after 10pm although sometimes it is hard to resist!

The Staff

  • Michael Fekete - Director of International Student and Global Scholar Services
  • Jay Ann Chan, Philippines - Graduate Assistant, Editor - The Globe Newsletter
  • Enzo Davanyaam, Mongolia - Student Employee, President - ISA
  • Aurora Doan, Vietnam - Student Employee, Editor - The Globe Newsletter
  • Mai Hoang, Vietnam - Student Employee

Contact Us:

Would you like to be featured in The Globe Newsletter? Do you have any suggestions or questions? Feel free to contact Aurora Doan at duyenhdoan@lewisu.edu for more information about The Globe.

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