By Valerie Morris
For the third non-consecutive year, LCCC hosted the Midwest Institute for International/Intercultural Education (MIIIE) conference. The conference, which took place in the Spitzer Conference Center April 5-6, celebrated its 20th year with panels and presentations focusing on international education.
More than 40 community colleges participated in the conference at LCCC, representing community colleges from states such as North Dakota, Tennessee, Missouri and Michigan. MIIIE is the largest organization for developing international curricula in the country. According to Annouska Remmert, director of International Education at LCCC, the college had received a rare honor to host the conference for a third time.
“I tried to get our college to be the site for the annual conference,” said Remmert of her efforts to have the conference at LCCC the first time. “And they wanted to come back. They love the campus, they love the college. Everything went very smoothly.”
Remmert added that no venue can host the event for consecutive years, since so many colleges in the MIIIE network vie for the chance to host. The only other college that has hosted the conference as many times as LCCC is Kalamazoo Valley Community College, where the MIIIE is based.
Remmert has served on the committee since 1998, and joked that the other committee members won’t let her leave since she keeps getting voted back on. Her hard work was recognized during the conference when she was given an award for leadership. Remmert said she was touched by the honor, since awards are not usually given during the conference.
Dr. Roy Church, president of LCCC, spoke at the opening of the conference, welcoming everyone to LCCC. There were 12 members of LCCC’s faculty who presented sessions during the weekend. They presented on topics including Global Comparisons and Student Experiences in Haiti, which nursing instructor Patricia Sedlak spoke at, and Curriculum Development for a more Sustainable World, which Ruby Beil and Brett Joseph of LCCC spoke at. Remmert was pleased that so many members of LCCC’s faculty wanted to get involved in the conference. In the evening the conference attendees got to see Cudamani, a group visiting the area as part of the Arts Midwest World Fest.
Next year, the conference committee has discussed expanding its reach.
“It started in the Midwest, but because the demand is so high, we’re going national, and even international next year,” said Remmert. “These are people who go to conferences all over, and the college got recognition from everybody.”