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CCA Global Readiness Certificate Cohort Announced

Twenty-four students from the College of Creative Arts join Miami's GRC Program

With international flags in the background, CCA cohort poses for a group picture in the lobby of MacMillan Hall
The CCA cohort gathered for a group photo during their January orientation at MacMillan Hall
Excellence and Expertise Student Success Global Connections

CCA Global Readiness Certificate Cohort Announced

The CCA cohort gathered for a group photo during their January orientation at MacMillan Hall

Global Initiatives is pleased to introduce the latest Global Readiness Certificate Cohort, consisting of 24 students from the College of Creative Arts (CCA).

The Global Readiness Certificate (GRC) combines Miami coursework, co-curricular activities, and community involvement focused on global readiness. The courses and experiences in this certificate program provide students with the knowledge, awareness, and skills necessary for global and intercultural communication and teamwork.

According to Program Coordinator Alicia Castillo Shrestha, there are currently over 60 students in the program from five different cohorts including the College of Education, Health, and Society; Farmer School of Business; College of Arts and Science; College of Liberal Arts and Applied Sciences; and now, the College of Creative Arts. Fifteen students have graduated with the certificate since it started in 2019.

Student Perspectives

For many students, the GRC establishes a foundation for an international career. Architecture major Jacob Abodeely (Class of 2026) says that the opportunities and knowledge he will gain are unmatched. "By the time I graduate, I want to be able to have a better overall understanding of cultures and cultural differences and similarities than most people. The GRC will help me understand international clients better," he said.

Similarly, Communication Design major and ambassador for the College of Creative Arts Ashleigh Brelage (Class of 2025) believes that the GRC will have a positive impact on her career. "The GRC will allow me to be increasingly aware of the clients and companies I design for and their global impacts. It helps me develop compassion and care to understand the impacts of my designs on a broader audience," she said.

Brelage is also looking forward to giving back to her community. "I hope to gain more cultural and global awareness through this experience and the courses and traveling opportunities that accompany it."

Faculty Perspectives

The GRC connects powerfully with the global creative arts community. Faculty Liaison for the Global Readiness Certificate Diane Fellows (Associate Professor, Architecture & Interior Design) emphasized that opening oneself to other cultures requires a certain degree of curiosity: a willingness to embrace the unknown and be creative in areas that you don't know. That willingness helps students gain confidence in their own creative curiosity and work.

"The opportunity for artists, designers, musicians, actors, technicians, to see how their counterparts work in different geographies and different cultures enriches how they see how spaces are designed and utilized, how music is heard—not just played—how dance is performed and who gets to perform that... That's really quite magical and offers the CCA creative minds a means to imagine even more," she said.

Fellows recently led architecture students on a spring break trip, Studio Boundaries, Borders, and the Imaginary, to the border cities of Del Rio,Texas–Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. She said, "The communities in Del Rio–Acuña know what they're doing, and they are dealing with some serious issues. However, they don't have the luxury of time to explore all they wish to in how they see their futures unfolding. So this workshop let them 'borrow' our time, and our students are learning how to have that conversation with the communities. The GRC curriculum enables all of us, faculty included, to begin to cultivate the kind of questions that are both practical and respectful of who we're working with."

What's Next?

Lana and Maddy pose next to the MacMillan Hall International flagsShrestha is excited to start a new phase of recruitment for the certificate now that it has been embedded across campus. "In the Fall of 2023, we will open applications for any first or second year from any college or school within Miami's Oxford and Regionals campuses. From there, scholars will be selected to join the program and will be connected to other students and their faculty liaison based on their major," she said.

And this spring, the program will celebrate the graduation of its largest group yet. Scholars from EHS, FSB and CAS will be recognized on Wednesday, April 19th for achieving this academic distinction and will receive certificates and medallions to highlight their achievement in a ceremony hosted in MacMillan Hall.

Introducing the Spring 2023 GRC Cohort

Jacob Abodeely
Franklin Abt
Olivia Aloisi
Alena Bender
Ashleigh Brelage
Liz Chrobak
Aakash Dutt
Jenna Eder
Nicole Evans
Rachel Farver
Chloe Golling
Dylan Griffis

Lana Gruver
Emma Hildebrand
Erin Lambert
Mya Langfelder
Ellie Lehman
Sara Noall
Brigitte Reynolds
Elizabeth Robertson
Lizzy Shiplett
Maddy Silver
Thomas Smith
Natalie Wilson