UGA Administrators visit Croatia

The Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences in Croatia marked the renewal of its cooperative agreement with the University of Georgia in a special ceremony on May 13, 2013 attended by Dr. Kavita Pandit, UGA Associate Provost for International Education and Dr. Jane Gatewood, Director of International Partnerships. Since 2006, the Institute has been the Croatian partner for UGA’s Maymester in Croatia study abroad program. Dr. Saša Borić of the Pilar Institute noted that it is unusual for a Croatian institution to have such a long-term and productive relationship with a U.S. institution. Dr. Vlado Šakić, Director of the Institute, presented UGA faculty teaching on the program with awards of recognition in the form of institutional medals. In conjunction with this event, Dr. Pandit made a public presentation on “Internationalization of Higher Education” at the institute.

The eighth consecutive Maymester in Croatia program commenced this week with 24 student participants. The interdisciplinary program involves faculty from multiple UGA colleges and has served over 200 students since its inception. The courses range from cultural heritage and conservation to politics and national identity, as well as social dimensions of public health. Student participation in the Croatian Maymester is supported in part by the UGA Croatia Partnership fund, established in 2005 through a generous gift from Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Phillips to support educational programs in Croatia.

Prof. James Reap, Associate Professor in UGA’s College of Environment & Design and Director of the program, was awarded for his commitment to promoting academic cooperation between the two institutions, while Dr. Carol Cotton, Lecturer in UGA’s College of Public Health, was recognized for her outstanding contribution to the promotion of Croatian science and for the development of interdisciplinary and intergenerational cooperation between U.S. and Croatian faculty and students. Dr. Kavita Pandit, Associate Provost for International Education, accepted an institutional award to UGA for the university’s commitment to academic collaboration with Ivo Pilar.

Coverage of the UGA-Ivo Pilar ceremony on state-run television can be viewed here. (Story begins 1:35 minutes into this report.)

UGA’s collaboration with the Ivo Pilar Institute is part of its broader engagement in Croatia. While in Zagreb, the UGA administrators were also received by Rector Aleksa Bjeliš and Vice Rector Bohan Baletic of the University of Zagreb central office which has long-standing collaborations with the VP for Public Service and Outreach at University of Georgia. They also met with administrators at the University of Zagreb’s School of Medicine which engaged in faculty and student exchanges and joint research with UGA’s College of Public Health. Another significant collaboration is that between UGA Institute of Higher Education and the Institute of Social Research, Institute for Development of Education, the Agency for Science and Higher Education, and the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb. Many of these activities are supported through the UGA-Croatia Partnership Fund established through the generous support of Dr. and Mrs. Phillips.

Croatia Maymester 2013 participants in Zagreb