Fifteen years ago, Dr. Isa Sarac had a dream – a dream of helping students from all over the world achieve their dreams through excellent, affordable education. He started university with one building, one degree program and a handful of students in Fairfax, Virginia. Now, VIU has expanded to three buildings, an innovative online school and several cutting-edge programs offering graduate and undergraduate degrees and certificates educating students from more than 60 different countries!
What’s the hottest new club on the block? The VIU IT Club! The IT Club started the year off right, holding a popcorn fundraiser to raise money for future events. It brought in a real old-time popcorn machine and charged just $1 for a bag full of popcorn. Their fundraising efforts were matched by VIU Student Affairs to make for a great program of events to come.
On January 21, 2013, a cold and clear Monday, several VIU students and staff members went to downtown Washington, DC for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th President. Along with thousands of other people, VIU students and staff cheered, clapped and held up signs stating “We ‘got your back’ Mr. President.” The 57th Presidential inauguration, held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was entitled “Faith in America’s Future” to commemorate the United States’ perseverance and unity and marked the 150th year of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol Dome in 1863. For VIU participants, it was an unforgettable experience.
The first known New Year’s celebrations took place over 4000 years ago in ancient Babylon, in the spring on the eve of the vernal equinox, to celebrate the new moon and the rebirth of nature. Today, celebrations of New Year around the world vary, both in timing and in traditions. For the Western New Year, celebrated from December 31st –January 1st, cities around the world put on fireworks displays, have televised parties and count down until the clock strikes midnight.
On Sunday, December 9th, seven VIU students and staff ushered in the holiday season at the Jingle All the Way 8K Race. The race was held in downtown Washington, DC and included over 4,000 participants. Participants ran past the monuments the Capitol, and other DC landmarks. Even on a chilly and damp December morning, the racers were cheerful and excited, running to benefit the local Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization which builds homes for people in need.
All through November, VIU collected donations of non-perishable food items for the Capital Area Food Bank, a non-profit organization that provides meals for local people in need. At the end of the month, VIU Student Affairs staff delivered the donation to the Food Bank distribution center – VIU had collected 165 pounds of food!
The Capital Area Food Bank was founded in 1980 to serve the needs of the local community. Its mission is “to feed those who suffer from hunger in the Washington metro area by acquiring food and distributing it through its network of partner agencies; and educating, empowering and enlightening the community about the issues of hunger and nutrition.”
Currently, the Capital Area Food Bank serves over 2.1 million meals each month and expects to distribute over 30 million pounds of food, including 15 million pounds of fresh produce, to families in need.
On November 27, 2012, Dr. Victoria Ashiru led her Labor Relations class on a field trip to the AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington, DC. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations is the umbrella organization of 56 U.S. labor unions, which collectively represent about 12 million Americans.
“The purpose of this field trip was to take the lecture out of the classroom and into the real world. I believe that taking the students to the AFL-CIO office will help them better understand and also get a better picture of how the U.S. labor relations systems seek to achieve major objectives of employment relationship (equity, efficiency, and voice) by striking a balance.”
AFL-CIO’s Facilities Manager, Mr. Zobrisky, served as tour guide to the VIU students and explained the history of the union as well as its current challenges with employers and the legal system. He also shared the history of the building and every single one of the 42 conference rooms that hold over 4,000 conferences a year.
Following the growing trend toward globalizing education, last month, the U.S. Department of Education published a new international education strategy for 2012-2016.
This strategy comes on the heels of the second International Summit on the Teaching Profession held on March 14-15, 2012 in New York and the 13th annual International Education Week,November 12-16, 2012.
The goal of the 2012 Summit was to explore three specific topics: 1) developing school leaders; 2) preparing teachers for the delivery of 21st century skills; and 3) preparing teachers to work and succeed where they are most needed.The U.S. Department of Education, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Education International (EI), the global federation of teacher unions, together with U.S.-based organizations—the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Asia Society, the Council of Chief State School Officers(CCSSO), the National Education Association (NEA), and public broadcaster WNET as well as the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) participated in the summit.
Over 130 students, staff and faculty gathered in the Waples Mill Conference Room for VIU’s traditional Thanksgiving Lunch. The annual event was started in 2007 to introduce our international students to an integral part of American culture and make all of our students, staff and faculty feel at home.
VIU Vice-President Sue Ann Myers started off the event by sharing a little about the history of the holiday. Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States and Canada on the fourth Thursday of November (USA) and second Monday of October (Canada). While accounts of when and how the first Thanksgiving occurred vary, it is traditionally a holiday when people give thanks for the things they have. “Now, we give thanks, we eat a large meal and watch football,” Sue Ann laughed. Thanksgiving celebrations had varied in the different United States from the time of our Founding Fathers,until Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation that Thanksgiving was to be celebrated on the same day throughout the United States, de facto making it an official American holiday.
Whether you aspire to be a marketing guru, a Wall Street financier or the founder of the next Google, you just realized you want an MBA. But in this new high-paced globalized world with thousands of programs to choose from how do you get an excellent education that will prepare you for business success without breaking the bank?
According to Business Insider, there are two important factors students must consider when selecting an MBA program: which key business skills students need to succeed in their career, and what kind of network they would like to build. “Globalization, Innovation and Flexibility are three main pillars of a successful business,” says Dr. Sergei Andronikov, Dean of Virginia International University School of Business, “Today’s leaders must be prepared to creatively conduct business across comfortable borders, with international teams and within a global environment.”