As a champion of diversity, the University of Mississippi has created a separate entity to build partnerships not only around the country but outside the country as well. The Office of Global Engagement was created to streamline international activities here at the university. Who better to head this office than well-traveled professor Nosa Egiebor?
Egiebor is senior international officer and executive director of the Office of Global Engagement and also serves as a chemical engineering professor. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Benin in Nigeria and his master’s degree from the University of Manchester in the UK. He holds a Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Three UM departments were combined to create this new office: the Office of International Programs, Study Abroad and the Intensive English Program. Egiebor said he believes this consolidation will enhance the university greatly.
“This office provides leadership for the comprehensive internationalization of the campus, and this is the direction most major national and international universities are going. We are going to train graduates to go into the rest of the world to operate and compete. We want our graduates to have a good understanding of how the rest of the world functions. We want them to be leaders in their fields of study. That way, they can come back and be representatives of this school, state and country.”
In an ever-changing society, it is a must that students leave UM with diverse skills. Egiebor said that is why the Office of Global Engagement was created.
“We want our international students to come here to learn and bring their culture here, but we also send our students abroad to learn about different cultures and gain education,” he said. “Beyond that, the Office of Global Engagement also works with the academic units across the university to internationalize the curriculum. We want them to find ways to introduce international content into various areas so our students are exposed to a variety of international education and content. That leadership comes from here. It is my job to [collaborate] with deans and faculty to get this to work.”
While Egiebor is expected to expand international culture here at the University of Mississippi, he also knows his staff will be key in the Office of Global Engagement’s success.
“If you have ever interacted with staff from any of the three departments created to form the Office of Global Engagement, you find that they are particularly excited about what they do. They provide all of the support international students need on campus, and they are the ones who do all of the ground work. Our staff is critical to the Office of Global Engagement.”
The university has recognized the need for students to be well-rounded, and so it has mandated an increase in international students here at the University of Mississippi. Egiebor said he is up to the challenge to meet these requirements as well as implement his personal goals for the office.
“I want to lead successfully the comprehensive internationalization of the University of Mississippi over the next five to 10 years. That is my goal and objective,” he said. “If I can achieve that, I will be satisfied with everything I was able to accomplish at the University of Mississippi.”