Five Metro Atlanta Colleges and Universities Join Forces to Launch New Global Research and Education Collaborative

Posted August 27, 2020

The Atlanta Global Research and Education Collaborative (AGREC) will help connect the region's international assets through an emphasis on supporting "global at home" projects that serve students, faculty, and community partners and define the metropolitan area as a hub for global education and research.

The Atlanta Global Studies Center (AGSC) — a partnership of Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University — and Emory University’s Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives initiated the collaborative which developed to include Spelman College and Agnes Scott College.

“Georgia Tech is proud of our strong roots in Atlanta,” said Chaouki T. Abdallah, executive vice president for Research at Georgia Institute of Technology. “This expanded collective is a tremendous opportunity to continue to partner with like-minded institutions and scholars here at home and to cultivate a thriving, globally focused ecosystem that benefits the citizens of the greater Atlanta region.”

Philip Wainwright, Emory University’s vice provost of Global Strategy and Initiatives, said AGREC’s mission of building collaborations among scholars and practitioners doing global work in Atlanta is an initiative that aligns directly with Emory’s strategic priority to recognize and promote Atlanta as a global city and as a gateway to the world.

“AGREC fills a critical need for higher education in the Atlanta area by emphasizing the region’s international connections that benefit students, faculty, and community partners,” said Wainwright.

The collaborative will be housed in the Atlanta Global Studies Center, a National Resource Center and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship program, funded by a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

“One of our fundamental goals has been to catalyze and support collaborative research on global topics, and this opportunity represents a very timely and concrete manifestation of that commitment,” said AGSC founding co-directors Anthony F. Lemieux, of Georgia State University, and Anna Westerstahl Stenport, chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Modern Languages — a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

Leveraging Atlanta’s Strength as a Global Community

Academic units participating in AGREC will initially include Atlanta Global Studies Center of Georgia Tech and Georgia State University; Emory University’s Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives (GSI); Agnes Scott College’s SUMMIT Center for Global Learning and Leadership Development; and Spelman College’s Gordon Zeto Center for Global Education. The collaboration welcomes interest from other colleges and universities to join.

"This exciting initiative leverages Atlanta's enormous strength as a global community while bringing together the city's key players in higher education and research," said Wolfgang Schlör, associate provost for international initiatives at Georgia State University.

The collaborative seeks to raise the profile of Atlanta region, making greater Atlanta a hub for global education and research. A key goal is to build and strengthen collaborative networks of multi-institutional scholars and practitioners to support global research and education initiatives in the region. 

Grant Program to Fund Global Engagement Research Projects

As part of its initial programs, AGREC offers grants to support collaborative, interdisciplinary, and cross-university research and education projects with a focus on global engagement. The 2020-2021 grant program, “Connecting Globally While Grounded at Home,” will place significant focus on programs’ potential to develop new and sustainable relationships among partners such as universities, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and community groups, as well as their impact on Atlanta communities. More information about the grant program, including the call for proposals and online application form is available on the AGREC website.

“Spelman College is pleased to be a part of AGREC as its theme for this year, ‘Connecting Globally While Grounded at Home,’ is consistent with Spelman's curriculum internationalization agenda and faculty global research engagement” said Dimeji R. Togunde, Spelman’s vice provost for global education.

Gundolf Graml, Agnes Scott College’s associate vice president and dean for curriculum and strategic initiatives, said the program is closely aligned with the college’s SUMMIT Global Learning and Leadership Development curriculum.

“This project not only helps to forge important forms of collaboration between higher education and regional communities, but it also supports the thinking in local-global connections necessary for creative problem solving,” Graml said.

AGREC received generous support for the collaborative from Georgia Tech’s Office of the Vice Provost for International Initiatives through the Steven A. Denning Award for Global Engagement.

"It is becoming increasingly more urgent to show that fostering global engagement brings tremendous value locally here at home in Atlanta and in Georgia,” said Yves Berthelot, vice provost for international initiatives. “By leveraging the incredible strengths and complementarity of our local partners, we can fire up the innovative engine of the Atlanta community.”

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