Conference sessions, the Expo Hall, and the Knowledge Community Networking Centers were abuzz yesterday.

The Colloquium on Internationalizing Teacher Education was back this year following the huge success at last year's inaugural session. The keynote speaker, Kenneth Zeichner, Boeing professor of teacher education and director of teacher education at the University of Washington, dove into the characteristics that define a "world-minded teacher." Zeichner lead colloquium participants on how to develop internationalized curriculum designs that address their desired outcomes.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="160" caption="Sheryl WuDunn"][/caption]

The highlight of the day's events was the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC)–sponsored plenary address speaker, the inspiring Sheryl WuDunn. WuDunn is the first Asian-American to win a Pulitzer Prize. The best-selling author and successful business executive has held a number of positions at The New York Times , where she edited the paper's coverage of global and alternative energy issues and international markets. She worked as a foreign correspondent in Beijing and Tokyo and has served in managerial roles in strategic planning and circulation. WuDunn spoke from her recent book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, coauthored with her husband, Nicholas Kristof, the famed Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and journalist for The New York Times. WuDunn ended the event by signing copies of her books.

NAFSA has identified three organizations working to improve opportunities for people around the world and recently launched the Making a Difference campaign to raise attention and support for those causes.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Book Signing"][/caption]

Please give generously to one or all of these programs: Kakenya's Dream: School for Girls in Kenya; Afghan Institute of Learning: Building a Better Future for Afghanistan; CARE: Defending Dignity, Fighting Poverty. Also new this year was Sustainability, Peace & Justice, and the United Nations Luncheon, presented by the Sustainability MIG, the Peace and Justice MIG, and the United Nations MIG.

During the plenary, NAFSA's prestigious Cassandra Pyle Award for Leadership and Collaboration in International Educational Exchange, which honors the contributions of a senior international educator to global education and exchange, was presented to Zuhair Humadi, executive director of the Iraq Education Initiative . Other National NAFSA awardees recognized included: The Marita Houlihan Award went to Rosemarie Arens, U.S. State Department; the Homer Higbee Award went to Janice Bogen, Thomas Jefferson University; and Life Membership Awards went to Valerie Woolston, University of Maryland, and Sue Marlay, Arkansas State University. To read more about each NAFSA recipient and to share your congratulations, please visit the NAFSA blog. Congratulations to all of the recipients!

[caption id="" width="500" caption="From left: Christopher Viers, Deb Pierce, Zuhair Humadi"][/caption]

Wednesday's events finished in swing style as conference-goers hit the town for a cultural evening at Kansas City's historic 18 th and Vine District, which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. A ttendees were immersed in the city's famed jazz culture as they spent the evening at the American Jazz Museum and the adjoining Blue Room (a replica of the original 1930s club) where they were transported back to an era when Kansas City jazz icon Charlie Parker's saxophone bellowed throughout the streets. Influenced by the blues, KC produced a more relaxed or rough-and-tumble musical styling, which was later, referred to as "boogie-woogie." The 18 th and Vine District is also home to the famed Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which is housed in the same building as the Jazz Museum. Many folks took the opportunity to tour the museum and take in the rich history of the leagues from the 1920s to the early 1960s, including the Kansas City Monarchs.

In other exciting news, NAFSA and the Annual Conference were featured on Kansas City's local NBC station and will be part of the lineup on two award-winning public affairs programs on KCUR, the NPR station in Kansas City, today, June 3. At 10 am on the “Walt Bodine Show,” a conversation about Liberia and democracy will include NAFSA plenary speaker Nathaniel Kwabo. At 11, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene Johnson will join a panel discussion focused on international education on “Up to Date.” Catch both programs on 89.3 FM or online at

Tell us how your day went!

[caption id="" width="500" caption="Dr. James Skelly, visiting professor of Peace Studies at Magee College, University of Ulster in Derry, Northern Ireland"][/caption]