Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Univ. of Central Oklahoma Using Music to Promote Global Initiative

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Univ. of Central Oklahoma Using Music to Promote Global Initiative

Article excerpt

In March, the University of Central Oklahoma opened the Centre for Global Competency to prepare students to compete in the world economy.

As the program nears its first anniversary, the initial group of UCO students is studying abroad and an ambassador-in-residence has been named to use "music diplomacy" to promote the Centre for Global Competency in other countries.

Kyle Dillingham, UCO's ambassador-in-residence, promotes the program with his violin and bow - the music diplomacy.

"People are a little shocked at first because they've never encountered anything like it," said Dennis Dunham, executive director of International Affairs at UCO

Dillingham took his first trip as the UCO ambassador-in- residence in October. He and Dunham went to Thailand and Korea. Their trip included a visit to the U.S. Counsel General in northern Thailand to promote a partnership there for UCO students studying abroad.

"There is no budget that can buy the good that was done on that trip with something as simple as playing music," Dillingham said.

When the UCO delegation visits other countries, people usually expect to just receive information about the school, Dunham said. But that changes when Dillingham starts to perform.

"Music brings people together - everyone gets it," Dillingham said. "It allows people to have a relationship and begin building partnerships."

Building partnerships for study-abroad opportunities for UCO students and recruiting foreign students to UCO are the main goals of the trips. UCO has students from more than 90 countries on the Edmond campus.

Four UCO students are studying in France this semester - the first group to study abroad as part of the program. About 60 students are interested in the study-abroad program, Dunham said.

"What we are really about at the Centre for Global Competency is finding global opportunities for Oklahoma students," he said. …

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