International Education
International Education Week's Flamenco Dancers with Senior Liliana Peralta (right). (Photo by Emily Marmo)

by Jillian Torre

Mount Saint Mary College students participated in global themed events during International Education Week, an annual week-long celebration sponsored by the college’s Office of International Programs.

“By far this was the most successful year,” said Emily Marmo, director of International Studies.

The week started on Monday, Nov. 11 with International Trivia night in the Knight Spot. Students were asked 40 questions about different countries around the world. Senior Anthony Krueger and junior Geraldine Yniguez each took home a $50 Visa gift card for winning.

The rest of the week featured a different cultural experience every day.

A Dawali Celebration on Tuesday night allowed students to get henna tattoos, and on Wednesday Reynaldo Rincon, a New York based dance ensemble, performed a Flamenco show. Thursday featured an Irish Step dance performance in the afternoon and Salsa lessons in the evening. The week ended on Friday with an African drum circle on the Hudson field.

Senior Liliana Peralta, the office’s intern, organized the week under Marmo’s guidance.

“I had to figure out what events I wanted to have…then I talked to Emily to okay the events,” said Peralta.

According to Peralta, the flamenco show had the best attendance. Despite competing with the Career Center’s widely attended “A Career in Sports” event, the performance managed to get 25 attendees, a number that may seem low but is good compared to other on-campus programs.

The college’s food provider, Sodexo, joined in with International Food Day on Tuesday. It offered food from countries all around the globe including Poland, Japan, Italy, Greece, and Spain.

The office also collected international photo submissions. On Tuesday all of the submissions were displayed outside the dining hall and students voted on their favorites.

Another project incorporated into the week was “A Thousand Paper Cranes.” All week students were able to make origami paper cranes outside the dining hall.

The cranes originate from the story of “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.” Sadako was a young girl who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bomb. Ten years later she was diagnosed with leukemia. According to legend, if a sick person folded 1,000 paper cranes the gods would cure them. Sadako spent the remainder of her short life folding cranes but she never reached 1,000 before she died.

Today people all over the world create paper cranes in her memory.

Only 520 cranes were folded by the end of the week, but the office is continuing the project until they reach 1,000. Once the cranes are completed they will be delivered to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Children’s Cancer Center.

According to Marmo, this year was better than others because there’s been a “push for global education.”

“I think the campus in general is much more open to these kinds of events,” she said.

While pleased with the attendance, Peralta thought there was room for improvement. She said better advertising along with help from Student Activities could have resulted in better attendance.

“The people who attended loved it,” said Peralta. “At the end of the day you want people to come because we do this for them.”

As for next year’s International Education Week, Marmo said she tries to change up the events. She has always wanted to have a movie screening and opening and closing ceremonies, but it is mostly up to the intern.

“It’s my intern’s project…and she did a phenomenal job,” said Marmo.