Webster Athens Participates in the 1st Annual Iraqi-European Business & Investment Forum

Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susie Michailidou, Admissions Director and HPIR Instructor Antonia Dimou, and Head of HPIR John Nomikos participated in the first “Annual Iraqi – European Business & Investment Forum”  on April 21, 2016, in Athens, Greece, with the support of the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, the Annual Iraqi-European Business and Investment Forum.


The Forum emphasized Iraq’s rising international status by strengthening its trade, economic and academic relations with European partner institutions and entities, resulting in new partnerships between Iraqi companies and their European counterparts. It is this context, Dr. Susie Michailidou and Ms. Antonia Dimou conducted a series of private B2B meetings, presenting Webster Athens undergraduate and graduate programs aiming not only to attract Iraqi students, but also to explore avenues for academic cooperation.

By Thanh Dinh

Webster Athens Participates in the 3rd Annual EENE Economic Forum

Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susie Michalidou and HPIR Instructor and Admissions Director Antonia Dimou participated in the 3rd Annual Economic Forum on April 20, 2016, titled Challenges for Growth organized by the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Association (EENE) and the Wharton Alumni, University of Pennsylvania; Club of Greece.

Hellenic Entrepreneurship Association 2

Susie Michalidou and Antonia Dimou at the Annual Economic Forum on April 20, 2016

The forum’s agenda focused on Geopolitics and Geo-economics: The direct economic impacts of regional instability on the Greek Economy;

  • Growth and Job Creation: Entrepreneurship, Investment and Funding
  • National Production
  • Extraversion
  • Foreign Investment
  • Competitiveness: Moving forward with Productive Reconstruction, and
  • The key-players of the Greek Economy and the Future: Tourism, Shipping, Energy & Emerging Industries

Dr. Michalidou and Antonia Dimou elaborated on Webster Athens academic programs and discussed strategies for the development of the institution.

By: Thanh Dinh

Webster Athens Faculty Participates in Athens Natural Gas Forum

Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs Susie Michailidou and HPIR Instructor and Admissions Director Antonia Dimou participated in the 3rd Athens Natural Gas Forum 2016 on April 22, 2016, organized by the Hellenic Institute of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development (IEA), SGT Symeon G. Tsomokos S.A. and Boussias Communications.


The Forum centered on issues ranging from developments in the Greek energy market and the European energy policy to the geopolitical and geo-economic aspects of pipelines in the East Mediterranean and the wider Middle East. Special attention was paid to the energy effects of the crisis in Syria, the re-entry of Iran in the global energy markets, and the long-awaited development of the Greek economy. Speakers included economists, members of parliament, energy experts, businessmen and academics.

By: Thanh Dinh

Professor Daniel Hellinger Lectures at Webster Athens

Professor Daniel Hellinger visited Webster Athens on April 24-29, 2016. During his visit, he delivered a lecture to Webster Athens faculty staff and students titled: “Cuba: Reform or Transition?


Dr. Hellinger giving his lecture about Cuba

Hellinger, an expert on Latin American Affairs elaborated that reforms in Cuba, were supposed to ignite economic growth to reinforce the social programs that guarantee social and economic inclusion for all Cubans. He informed the audience that he spent two months in 2015 in the Vedado district of Havana. During his stay, the Cubans welcomed change on the grounds that the future is discerned by the following set of guarantees, namely free and universal health care, free and high quality education, security and peace in terms of lack of crime and/or violence.

Hellinger concluded that the normalization of U.S. – Cuban relations has provided a golden opportunity, opened the way for high profile political delegations to Cuba and peaked the interest of business people eager to identify investment opportunities.



By: Thanh Dinh

Webster Hosts Third Biannual Research Across Disciplines Conference

Last weekend, April 29th and 30th,  the East Academic Building at Webster University was overtaken by more than forty graduate and undergraduate students from St. Louis area universities who presented their intellectual or creative work. The biannual Research Across Disciplines conference kicked off on Friday evening with oral and poster presentations, followed by a Webster University dance ensemble spring concert.  The conference continued on Saturday with a breakfast reception and oral and poster presentations. Concurrent student presentations were held throughout the following week (May 1-4) at various locations around campus.

This is the third time Webster has hosted the biannual Research Across Disciplines conference since the inaugural conference in the spring of 2015. Research topics at the Spring 2016 conference were varied, and featured the work of both Webster University and Maryville University students from the following disciplines: Continue reading

Registration Open for Fall 2016 Travel Hybrid Course

The College of Arts & Sciences is offering an opportunity for students to combine a classroom or online learning experience with a trip abroad this fall.  Space in the short-term hybrid course is limited, so students are encouraged to apply soon!

Berlin Hybrid Course

ILC 2150/ISTL2550 Berlin in Film

  • Location:  Berlin and Dresden, Germany
  • Online Course Dates:  September 26 – November 19, 2016
  • Immersion Experience Dates:  October 14 – October 23, 2016
  • Student Program Fee:  $600
  • Study Abroad Fee: $175
  • Registration Deadline:  Monday, August 15, 2016

Faculty Leader:  Paula Hanssen, hanssen@webster.edu

Apply through the Office of Study Abroad, worldview@webster.edu

This program aims to help participants develop an understanding of contemporary European culture as represented through one of Europe’s most prominent cities. The program will provide a brief but intensive immersion in Berlin and film, first through a two-week online preparation in which the course will be introduced and developed, then through a 9-day trip to Berlin. The relatively brief contact established will provide case studies that illustrate, develop, and expand upon the themes of art, theater, architecture, through Film, which will be used for the final project after return to St. Louis.

It is the intent of the program to use the city and nearby towns visited as lenses through which may be viewed a broad range of urban-cultural issues both have in common. The approach will therefore be an interdisciplinary one, focusing on the cultural history including music, theater and film. The course is open to all, regardless of major or training, and students are required to travel to Berlin as part of the course.

Happy Holidays from the Deans of Arts & Sciences

holidayimage2015 has been a big year for Webster as students, faculty, staff, and alumni across the globe have celebrated the University’s centennial. It’s been a big year for Arts & Sciences, too – full of growth and change. We launched several new programs (among them an MA in Human Services and a BS in Computational Biology), hosted two Global Leaders in Residence, held the inaugural Research Across Disciplines conference, and enabled student learning around the world. We also said goodbye to Dean Emeritus David Carl Wilson, whose leadership guided the College through 13 years, as he stepped down as Dean, and the two of us stepped into the roles of Interim Co-Deans.

As 2015 comes to a close, we pause to catch our breath, reflect on these changes, and think about where we want to be this time next year. Undoubtedly, there are more changes to come between now and then. But the character of the College of Arts & Sciences remains steadfast. We are the intellectual foundation of the University – a haven for critical thinking, open minds, and global perspective. These elements of our identity sustain us, and we will work, in turn, to sustain them as we enter this next year together.

happyholidaysscreencapWebster University’s annual holiday greeting celebrates a facet of character this year: kindness. Please take a moment to watch the video, and join us in honoring the central role that kindness plays in Webster’s mission, and the value of treating one another well in a troubled world.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season, and look forward to working alongside you to make 2016 great.

Interim Dean Jenny Broeder, Division of Professional Programs & Interim Dean Joseph Stimpfl, Division of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Goedereis Wins Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award

IMG_0571cropEmerson Electric has awarded Eric Goedereis, Associate Professor of Psychology, an Excellence in Teaching Award. The award, first established in 1989, “annually recognizes more than 100 educators in the St. Louis metropolitan area – from kindergarten teachers to college professors – who are examples of excellence in their field.” Goedereis and his fellow awardees were recognized at a ceremony on November 22.

“When I learned that the honor encompasses teachers at all levels and at various types of institutions, I was completely humbled to be among that group,” says Goedereis. In speaking to other award-winning educators at the recognition ceremony, “it was clear that [they] are passionate about teaching and committed to their students.”

Many of Goedereis’s Webster colleagues would say the same of him – among them, Danielle MacCartney, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (and a 2011 Emerson award winner herself).

“Eric is incredibly deserving of this acknowledgement,” says MacCartney. “Here at Webster, we’ve long known Eric as a talented and dedicated educator – someone who really makes a difference in his students’ lives. It’s wonderful to see him recognized among the city’s best.”

Goedereis, who has taught at Webster since 2009, says he approaches teaching the way a coach might approach his team, encouraging goal-setting and providing feedback and encouragement as students strive to meet those goals.

“Unfortunately, some of our students come to [college classes] having been so focused on grades and the outcome of an assignment or the course that they completely de-value the process of learning,” he says. “To challenge this, I try to get my students to embrace (or sometimes adopt in the first place!) what psychologist Carol Dweck calls a ‘growth mindset.’ What this means in the classroom is that students should concern themselves less with whether or not they’ll get an ‘A’, but to constantly reflect on where they are in the process.”

IMG_0586smallThat process isn’t always easy, Goedereis notes, but in the same way athletes must compete against better teams to grow their own abilities, so must students challenge themselves to improve their skills.

“I tell [students] that if the material is easy and they’re not struggling with it in some way, then they’re most certainly not learning anything new,” Goedereis says. “I try to get them to actually embrace that struggle and value the effort and work associated with college.”

Goedereis’s recent focus, both within the classroom and beyond, has been facilitating and promoting collaborative research between students and faculty as a key part of the college experience. He is the Provost’s 2015-16 Faculty Fellow for Promoting Faculty-Student Research Partnerships, and has designed activities for this spring that will help his fellow faculty incorporate collaborative student projects into their own curriculum.

Ultimately, he says he would “love to see Webster University create a Center for Collaborative Scholarship that seeks to promote these sorts of student-focused opportunities in a coordinated and focused way.”

“I’m encouraged by Webster’s recent commitments in this area and am optimistic that we’re moving toward this goal.”

Goedereis is not the only educator with a Webster connection recognized with an award from Emerson this year: five Webster School of Education alumni received the award as well.

Information about next year’s awards will be available from Emerson Electric in summer, 2016.

Cultural Connections: Yōkoso, Michiko!

cultural connections bigger

Each month, Global Thinking features a “Cultural Connections” guest post written and curated by a member of the Department of International Languages and Cultures (ILC). This month’s post profiles Michiko Sasaki, the department’s international teaching assistant from Japan.

Michiko (left) with former ILC representative Maggie Dankert at Eckert's Farm

Michiko (left) with former ILC representative Maggie Dankert at Eckert’s Farm

Michiko Sasaki is the Japanese teaching assistant at Webster this year. Originally from Shiga, Japan, which is near Kyoto, she is very much enjoying living in St. Louis. While here, she is teaching two workshops and a course in Intermediate Japanese.

Though living in St. Louis without a car has been a challenge for her, she really likes the city itself. Shiga is not a big city, so coming here was a change, she says, though she really likes the atmosphere of St. Louis — that it is “not too big, but not too small.” She says that there is always something new to do, but that it still has a laid back feeling.

Michiko (center) with friends on a trip to Portland, Oregon

Michiko (center) with friends on a trip to Portland, Oregon


She attributes the smooth transition from Japan to Webster Groves largely to the Webster community. She says that everyone has been so nice, kind, and willing to help. She also says that her fellow TAs have made transitioning easier; everyone is coming from different cultures and is eager to help and to learn about each other.

As a person who loves to volunteer and a total dog lover, Michiko is looking at shelters where she can help take care of the animals. In addition to dogs, Michiko also loves sea animals. She said that if she had to choose a superpower, she would love to be able to dive down as deep as whales can go so that she could observe the animals in their natural world.

Michiko (right) with fellow TA Camille at Niagara Falls

Michiko (right) with fellow TA Camille at Niagara Falls

Interview and article by Erin McNellis.