Fall 2023 Newsletter

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This year the Institute for Global Studies celebrates its 25th anniversary. From its inception, IGS has been committed to building a home for an extraordinary, interdisciplinary group of faculty and an undergraduate curriculum focused on the day's critical social, political, cultural and environmental issues.

When the Institute was created in 1998, it was one of the first global studies programs in the country and was hailed as a national leader in this new field, promoting an innovative way for CLA students to engage with the world.  

The global studies major brought together a diverse array of exciting young scholars to build a course of study that was both interdisciplinary and coherent. From its start, the curriculum has encouraged students to engage with the world by combining challenging coursework, experiences studying abroad, and internship opportunities.

As IGS has matured, the young scholars became leaders in their fields, bringing new strengths and insights to the classroom. In IGS we have been attentive to our changing world and have modified the curriculum to reflect these changes as well as changes in student priorities. As a result, we have graduated phenomenal students who have had a transformative impact on the world through their work in organizations spanning the local to the global. 

Our alumni work in non-governmental organizations in Minnesota and around the world. They are members of the Foreign Service and serve in local governments. They work for UN agencies and have created their own businesses with global connections. They have pursued post-graduate degrees in law, public health, public policy, and PhDs in a wide range of disciplines. Many have benefited from the generous support of donors who have provided scholarships that made study at home and abroad attainable.

The strengths of our faculty and curriculum as well as the achievements of our alumni have resulted in the US Department of Education designating IGS a National Resource Center in International Studies for most of our history. We continue to play this role, supporting the internationalization of the curriculum, instruction in less commonly taught languages, and outreach to K-14 educators.

This newsletter shines a spotlight on the experiences of our students, faculty, and alumni as examples of the work that we have been doing over the last 25 years.  

As we remain committed to our mission, we are also committed to strengthening our reputation as an Institute that critically examines important global issues and that provides undergraduates with the knowledge and tools that will ready them for careers of their choice.

IGS is more important now than ever before given the many issues—global climate change, the rise in authoritarianism, new humanitarian crises, unparalleled global health crises, and the importance of information transmission and social media—that demand the complex, multidimensional investigation that is only possible when scholars from a range of disciplines are brought together. 

Warm regards,

Evelyn Davidheiser

We Would Love to Hear 
from You

UMN campus

As we celebrate this year, we are curious, excited, and just plain eager to hear from you—our global studies and international relations alumni— about your updates, your big news, or even the small victories that put a smile on your face.

We invite you to take a trip down memory lane and tell us about your student days at the U—the unforgettable moments, the lessons, and the aha-moments. What made your time here special?

If you’re willing, we'd also love to tap into your wisdom and experience to benefit our current students. Whether it's advice on post-grad life, career choices, or just life in general, your insights can be inspiring for the current students who want to know where their enthusiasm for learning about the world can take them.

We can't wait to catch up and keep our community strong.

Share your updates and advice


Globe displaying words "25 Anniversary"

Support Learning 

For our anniversary, we are asking for your support for our International Study Award. It supports students studying abroad, helping them to gain meaningful exposure to other countries and cultures and developing their interpersonal skills.

And, thanks to a generous match by Thomas Klas, '97 graduate of the International Relations program, all gifts to this year's Give to the Max Day for Global Studies will be doubled!

Make a gift to the International Study Award


Some Stories to Share

We wanted to share some stories about our students, alumni, and faculty to catch you up on some of the work they’ve been doing.


Our Students

Global studies students find that their major brings many perspectives on global challenges and opportunities to explore what their future paths may be.


Our Alumni

Our alumni—whether their major is international relations or global studies—find their footing in many fields. We have three stories to share about alumni who have taken a global perspective on their life’s calling.


Our Faculty

IGS brings together faculty from different disciplines to help students delve into the complex processes shaping our interconnected world. They collaborate with the community to address global issues and offer an innovative curriculum to prepare students for global citizenship.


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