August 27, 2001
Newby to cross new borders with ICIS
By Michael Terrazas email@example.com
Gordon Newby has been executive director of the Institute for Compar-ative
and International Studies (ICIS) only since June 1, but already he has
big plans for the Emory College entity charged with the broad task of
bringing the world home to campus.
Formerly director of Middle Eastern Studies, Newby is well acquainted
with the sometimes amorphous work of ICIS. He knew going into the job
that many people in the college are unaware of all the institutes
initiatives, and so one of his primary duties is to communicate to the
University what ICIS entails and what it can do for Emory.
My job, Newby said, is to help figure out what internationalization
is and help coordinate activities so that were all working together
toward this common goal. The reason I took the job has to do with my vision
of what comparative and international studies should be on this campus.
Created in 1998 by former college Dean Steve Sanderson, ICIS is a diverse
entity that comprises three area studies programsthe Institute of
African Studies, Asian Studies, and Latin American and Caribbean Studiesthe
Center for International Programs Abroad, the Emory College Language Center
(ECLC) and two faculty seminars that focus on comparative cultures and
international economic and social development. In January the office moved
from its previous home in Candler Library to the former Kinkos building
in Emory Village at 1385 Oxford Road.
Newbys job is made easier by the fact that he can build on the
solid foundation laid by previous executive director Howard Rollins. Under
Rollins tenure, for example, the number of Emory undergraduates
spending semesters abroad skyrocketed, jumping from just 27 students in
199697 to 227 in 19992000.
Rollins also strengthened language instruction by helping form the ECLC
and its new high-tech teaching space in Woodruff Library.
Now, Newby said, the goal is to widen the umbrella.
Much of ICIS work has been directed toward social sciences and
the humanities, and Newby would like to reach out to the pure sciences
and fine arts andin close collaboration with the faculty in questionexpand
international opportunities for those disciplines.
Its a tricky dance, Newby said of making global opportunities
available to students studying, say, biochemistry or neuroscience. With
the worlds finest facilities and many of its leading minds located
in the United States, the advantages of sending future scientists abroad
might not be as readily apparent as those awaiting anthropology students,
But Newby, who began his undergraduate education with the goal of becoming
a physicist, said such experiences hold benefits that might not be obvious
in the short term.
We do more than train people here at Emorywe
educate, Newby said. The people who graduate from Emory are
going to be leaders. Theyre going to be called upon to make leadership
decisions that go beyond the confines of their disciplines, and we need
to educate people wellboth specifically and broadly.
Finally, Newby plans to accomplish this not only with the resources offered
by the rest of the world, but those available right here in Atlanta and
The city that played host to the 1996 Olympic Games has an increasingly
global profile, with international communities scattered around the metropolitan
area and growing each year.
Newby said by connecting with these communities, there are many opportunities
for University students and faculty to share expertise and gain invaluable
international experience in return.
Following the lead of Residential Services Students Program for
International Cultural Exchange (SPICE) House, Newby hopes to design student
housing arrangements at the Clairmont Campus that facilitate even more
We can fill in the gap between academics and the living experience with programming that is a mixture of both, Newby said.