ASU's Cronkite School to host international scholars, students for SUSI programs


Image of an aerial view of a group of people seated at a table with laptops and papers superimposed with the letters "SUSI."

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) programs partner with American universities to expose global professionals and youth to cultural activities, workshops and service projects that provide insight into American democracy and promote global leadership. Photo courtesy SUSI

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This summer, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is hosting two Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) programs for international media professionals, scholars and student leaders, who will spend a portion of their summer studying media law, media literacy and journalism education.

SUSI programs are funded by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. 

Beginning in June, the Cronkite School will host almost 40 participants in Phoenix.

SUSIs are five-to-six-week academic programs hosted by U.S. educational institutions that promote a better understanding of the culture, institutions and people of the United States among foreign students, educators and scholars. Focusing on various themes, SUSIs include an intensive academic residency on a U.S. university or college campus and an educational study tour to a different area of the United States.

The Cronkite School will implement two SUSI programs geared toward journalism and media.

SUSIs for Scholars are academic programs for mid-career scholars, professors and practitioners designed to strengthen curricula and improve the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions and secondary schools overseas. Participants meet with scholars and experts; interact with diverse U.S. communities; visit civic institutions; and explore U.S. society, culture, values, diversity and institutions.

The Cronkite SUSI Scholars program is a post-graduate-level academic institute that serves journalism and media scholars and faculty from emerging nations. The 18 scholars will conduct independent research projects and engage in discussions on community journalism, the ways in which new technologies are shaping media literacy and misinformation, American democratic institutions and journalism education, with an introduction to the Cronkite School’s teaching hospital model. 

The program started June 2 and will end on July 13, with four weeks in Phoenix followed by a two-week study tour.

“These scholars come to ASU from all over the world to discuss vital topics about the intersection of journalism, technology and democratic systems of government,” said Cronkite School Assistant Dean and Associate Professor Dawn Gilpin. “In five years of hosting the SUSI Scholars program, we have found that it’s an incredibly enriching opportunity not only for the participants but for our faculty and students who have the opportunity to meet and engage with some of the most brilliant and motivated global educators and leaders. These are the people who are truly working to change the world for the better, and the relationships we build with them make us better as a result.”

While in Arizona, the scholars will visit the Grand Canyon and Southern Arizona, including the border city of Nogales. The group will also travel to Los Angeles, where they’ll tour ASU FIDM, part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and learn about the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. 

ASU is one of six institutions hosting international scholars through the program. 

This is the fifth year the Cronkite School has hosted the scholars and the third year that the school has participated in the SUSI Student Leaders from Europe program. 

SUSIs for Student Leaders are designed for foreign undergraduates to improve their understanding of the United States and develop their leadership skills. The institutes include an academic residency, leadership development, local community service activities and interaction with U.S. peers.

Twenty international undergraduate student leaders will visit ASU to participate in the SUSI for Student Leaders from Europe journalism and media institute, titled “Journalism and Challenges of Democracy in the 21st Century.” Participants will attend classes in multimedia reporting, media literacy and communications theory, audience engagement and media law, and will produce multimedia packages on a pressing social issue. 

The student leaders hail from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia. 

Participants will begin their American journey on June 25 in Washington, D.C., and will arrive in Phoenix on June 29. They will finish the program with a study tour of Philadelphia from July 27–31.

While in Arizona, they will visit the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Flagstaff, and partake in various Phoenix-area cultural activities, including a Phoenix Mercury game and a visit to the Phoenix Art Museum.   

The 2024 SUSI Scholars participants are:

  • Shu-Fei (Sophie) Chang, PhD, director and associate professor, Ming-Chuan University, Taiwan.
  • Kaoma Lamba Daka, lecturer, University of Zambia, Zambia.
  • Sabir Haque, PhD, assistant professor, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
  • Anzula Jafarova, lecturer, Baku State University, and senior director of 24media.az, Azerbaijan.
  • Ravi Kumar Kakumanu, assistant professor and department head, St. Francis College for Women, India.
  • Gayane Mirzoyan, journalism lecturer, Brusov State University, Armenia.  
  • Nicoleta Annemarie Munteanu, PhD, lecturer, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania.
  • Abigail Odozi Ogwezzy-Ndisika, PhD, professor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Nigeria.
  • Parvina Omonovam, main trainer/project designer, NGO New Media Education Centre, Uzbekistan.      
  • Lekhanath Pandey, assistant professor, Ratna Rajyalaxmi Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
  • Brenda Guadalupe Ramos Villasenor, head of the Digital Journalism Training Center, Universidad de Guadalajara, México.
  • Ali Abdullah Saleh, PhD, university lecturer, Erbil Polytechnic University, Iraq.
  • Issaaf Santos Karhawi, PhD, professor, Paulista University (UNIP), Brazil.
  • Flywell (Samir) Dosha Simkonda, lecturer, University of Livingstonia, Malawi.
  • Kaye Leah Sitchon, communications instructor and writer, Saint Louis University, Philippines.     
  • Asel Kairbekovna Sooronbaeva, editor-in-chief, Checkit Media (Association of Factcheckers), Kyrgyz Republic.
  • Bounsong (Song) Sorkeomany, head of scientific research and academic services division, faculty of education, Champasack University, Laos.
  • Nicole Talmacs, PhD,senior lecturer, University of Malta, Malta.

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