The International Student Reception event at Kent State’s library Thursday, Feb. 3, saw an increase in attendance since last semester.
“Approximately 175 RSVP’d from last fall because we did a little bit more marketing and we made sure to let them know that returning students are welcome as well,” the Resident-Global Education Librarian Peggy Nzomo said.
The staff members of the University Libraries and the Office of Global Education hosted the International Student Reception on the fourth floor of the campus library.
“The PC downstairs (first floor library) are very good, because it solves a lot of problems for a lot of people. The training programs (workshops) are an excellent thing, because what I personally experience in the job field, I believe that from more that you are taught in class, these courses (workshops) are the actual thing which will help you survive the job field,” graduate student Ajay Rastogi, an engineering management and tech major, from India, said.
The event’s goal is to help international students get the opportunity to learn about resources that the library offers and to meet the librarians.
“It’s mostly to just work together with the international students and to let them know that they can come into the library anytime,” Nzomo said. “It’s also an opportunity for them to meet the librarians that can meet with them one on one and make appointments with them. This is for them to get to know the librarians and that they are there to help them and to not be afraid to come into the library and talk to any of them.”
During the event, staff from the Writing Commons, located on the fourth floor of the library, introduced themselves and spoke about how they help students on campus to structure their papers.
“The international students make up about a third (25 percent) of our clientele. There is a difference between us and the ESL Department and when it comes to getting a grasp on the essence of the English language that’s more their peer’s view. Then they come here and we help that transfer over into written communication,” said Dylyn Hazen, a manager and professional development coordinator in the writing commons and senior English major. “A lot of times, it really varies because international students have the same concerns that most students do here, like if they’re going to their ESL courses they may be primarily more (concerned) with grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, but beyond that they have the same worries as you and I, ‘Is this coming across to someone different than me, is it clear?’”
In addition, a new librarian position, the Global Education Librarian, has been created to make more resources available for the international students.
“One of the things that we started to do was look at the workshops that we offer and try to gear them more towards what students need,” Vanessa Earp, the interim head reference and EHHS librarian, said. “There have been things like that and we’ve added more workshops on citations and research management. I think by us having a global education librarian position, which is a newer position, it really helps them feel welcomed and invited to know that they have their subject librarian.”
Earp noted that the students also have other librarians available for anything their subject librarian can’t handle.
“One of the big things that I hope to achieve is for every international student to realize is that they are a part of Kent State University and that they don’t think that these opportunities are not available to them,” Director of International Partnerships and Marketing and Communications from the Office of Global Education, Sarah Malcolm, said. “That’s one of the reasons we partner with places like the library, to host an event like this, to give them an opportunity to come out and be introduced to the services. I think that this is a great way for students to start feeling like they are more connected to the campus.”
Alissa Reyes is the International students reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.