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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Celebrating International Education Week And Recognizing North Carolina’S Efforts To Advance Global Education November 19, 2015
David Price, D-NC
"Mr. Speaker, this week, November 16-20, marks the 16th annual International Education Week (IEW), which is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education that serves as an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange programs worldwide and encourages participation in them. This important week is observed all across the United States and in more than 100 countries overseas. I want to recognize some of the efforts within my home state of North Carolina to provide a global education experience to as many students as possible. The theme of this year’s IEW is `International Education: Advancing Access for All,’ which is critical because opportunities to learn global competency skills are not currently accessible to all students. I want to call attention to the North Carolina State Board of Education, whose members help to guide NC’s global education efforts via their 2013 report, `Preparing Students for the World: Final Report of the State Board of Education’s Task Force on Global Education.’ As noted in this report, “Students in North Carolina are no longer preparing for future jobs in North Carolina. They are preparing to work and compete in a global workplace. The impact of cultural sensitivities and the capability to collaborate in a diverse international setting … cannot be understated. Our State Board of Education in North Carolina is rightfully focusing on these skill areas, as they will become even bigger factors and differentiators in determining the future success of our students.” At least in part due to this statewide focus on global education, there are an increasing number of course offerings and enrollment in language studies and an increasing number of K-12 dual language/immersion programs in North Carolina. Today, there are at least 15 world languages being taught in our state’s K-12 schools, including Chinese, Russian, Arabic and Hindi. And there are over 100 programs—a number that is rapidly growing—utilizing several different learning models being implemented in school districts across the state. The State Board of Education recently designated Piedmont Middle School as the first Global-Ready School under the Board’s Global Education Strategic Plan and 15 schools have indicated an intent to apply for this designation in the upcoming year. I am also proud that North Carolina is home to the nation’s first statewide Global Schools Network that serves to connect teachers, school administrators, non-profit and for-profit partners with a deep commitment to international education and 21st century student preparation. The Network’s founding partner is VIF International Education, based in my district, an organization that supports the efforts of more than 180 Global Schools in 22 districts across the state. These schools are a mix of urban, rural, low-wealth, affluent, magnet and traditional sites and each provides school-wide access to global learning experiences via international exchange programs, global competence training for all teachers, a school-wide global curriculum, virtual classroom to classroom partnerships, and/or dual-language/immersion programs. VIF’s mission of `Global Education for All’ serves as a rallying cry for the schools statewide. Our North Carolina universities further help to advance global competencies at the undergraduate and graduate level. For example, the statewide University of North Carolina (UNC) system hosts a myriad of global education programs, including World View, which provide daily proof of the positive impact of international exchange. And the Center for International Understanding (CIU), a program of UNC General Administration, is working to develop a first-in-the-nation strategy for North Carolina’s business, government, nonprofits and educational institutions to strategically engage globally. Many of our state’s universities are also using IEW as an opportunity to inform students about how to participate in Study Abroad programs or other opportunities for international learning that encourage the exchange of knowledge and understanding and promote enlightened and responsible global citizenship. The UNC system-to-system student exchange partners currently total 32 campuses in seven countries, and individual UNC campuses offer numerous additional opportunities for students to study or intern overseas. In the 2012-2013 academic year, more than 6,300 UNC system students participated in a study abroad program, studying in 89 known countries, and the percentage of students participating expected to increase in future years. Further, there are global certificate programs at 6 UNC campuses and most campuses are developing strategies to enhance such offerings. There are also countless faculty-to-faculty interactions that occur across nations in a variety of ways, primarily through research. During this International Education Week, I rise to celebrate these and the many other North Carolina-based organizations that are working day-in and day-out to ensure that our state continues to benefit from the efforts of international education. Further, I re-state my commitment to working this week, and every week, to help ensure that global competence is the norm rather than the exception for every student."
The Unaffordability Of The Affordable Care Act November 18, 2015
Garret Graves, R-LA
"The median cost of the bronze plans, one of the most popular offerings because of its relatively low premiums, will rise by 13% in 2016. As for the high-end insurance coverage options, gold’s median premium will jump 15% and platinum’s rate will rise by 12%."
Honoring Peter Dipaola November 17, 2015
Eliot Engel, D-NY
"As Town Supervisor, Peter has worked diligently to maintain the beauty and charm that has defined Pelham for decades. In spite of state mandated tax caps, he has overseen a redesign and improvement of the Town Court, a renovation of Gazebo Park, an expansion of the offerings by the Pelham Recreation Department, as well as an improvement of town services and programs, all while staying under the 2 percent tax cap. He has also worked hard to obtain vital funding through local, state, and federal grants, some of which my office has helped procure, for initiatives ranging from Superstorm Sandy repairs to improvements to Trotta Park. Peter’s ability to deliver the services Pelham’s residents have come to expect from their local government, while exhibiting strict fiscal responsibility, has been masterful, and as Pelham’s Congressman I have always counted myself fortunate to have such a wonderful partner in government."
Commending The Work Of Dr. Earl Brooks, Ii October 22, 2015
Marlin Stutzman, R-IN
"While The American College President Study reports a downtrend nationally in average leadership tenure—from eight and a half years in 2006 to an average of seven years in 2011—Trine University President Dr. Earl D. Brooks II completes 15 years at the helm, with ongoing plans firmly in place for years to come. When Brooks stepped into leadership 15 years ago, he was the youngest college president in the state. Now, he ranks second on the list of longest tenures at Indiana colleges and universities. Why is Trine celebrating Dr. Brooks’ tenure? What has defined his success over the past 15 years? His list of accomplishments is too long to enumerate here, but some highlights include: Total enrollment up from 1,350 to 3,800; 78% of that increase experienced over the past five years, with an additional 15% projected for Fall 2015 Transition from undergraduate to graduate and doctorate degree status Upgrade of athletic programs from NAIA to NCAA Successful completion of the largest capital campaign in Trine’s history ($90 million) and raised 55% of current $75 million Invest in Excellence campaign Update and revitalization of the physical campus through a $100 million investment in new projects, including eight new apartment-style student housing units Renovation of the Health Sciences Education Center Expansion of welcome/admissions center New university center and library New athletic and recreation center, complete with a new stadium Renovation of the administration building and the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts Renovation of Ford Hall, home of the Ketner School of Business Construction of the Jim and Joan Bock Center for Innovation & Biomedical Engineering New College of Engineering and Business Full-time faculty bolstered by 60%, from 53 to 89 A career-placement average of 99.7% for Trine graduates, compared to the national average of 75.6% as reported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in 2013-2014 To celebrate what has been accomplished under Dr. Brooks’ leadership, however, must lead naturally to a discussion of why he has been so successful. “I started in the classroom teaching, which I still love,” says Brooks. “You never grow tired of that exposure to young people.” After teaching biology and physiology, Brooks worked his way up from classroom professor to department chair, then to school dean. At universities in Tennessee and Delaware, he served as both vice president for academic affairs and executive vice president/chief operating officer, eventually becoming immersed in the various operations of a college campus. But three years into his role as chief academic officer at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, Brooks awakened to the crucial function of fundraising and development. Consequently, his academic history and his fundraising experience together produced a love for administration that prompted his desire to pursue the presidency. “I’d learned through that process the two most critical areas for the success of an institution,” says Brooks: “The enrollment aspect and the fundraising aspect.” He attributes part of Trine’s success as a team to understanding and focusing on those two priorities. “Financially, enrollment and fundraising drive the institution.” The fact that higher education has seen drastic changes during Dr. Brooks’ tenure emphasizes its focus. “Higher education has become more and more of a business,” he says. “We’ve learned to operate like a business.” Schools are becoming consumer-driven now, which makes the student a customer. “Kids arriving today need an education with a career in mind.” Trine’s astonishing 99.7 percent career-placement average for graduates is hardwired directly to the school’s career focus. “We’re fortunate to be a school that is more professional-oriented in our degree offerings, which gives us a clear advantage,” says Brooks. Possibly the greater advantage for students, however, is the school’s connection to local business and industry. By arranging practicums and internships with local companies, the faculty sets up its students to gain valuable experience outside the classroom and to build relationships with potential employers. “The key to success today—particularly on the education side, but also the job-placement side—is that linkage to business and industry,” says Brooks. In fact, all new programming at Trine is seen through the lens of its potential for career outcomes. If Dr. Brooks had a word of advice for his peers, he might add two elements to the list of reasons why he has succeeded as a leader. “Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Be bold,” he says. “Be bold in your vision, stick to your beliefs, listen to the market but don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk.” Second, drop the long-range planning. “I’m not sure that long-range planning fits higher education,” he says. “Ten-year plans don’t fit, so we’ve adopted a philosophy we call a rolling three-year plan.” Here again, a look at why Dr. Brooks has succeeded must be cut short, primarily because the president would rather talk about who has made him successful. “People make the institution. You try to hire great people with talents greater than yours and not be threatened by that,” he says with warmth and a wry smile. Indeed, the plaque on his desk reads, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” Whether luck or talent, Brooks has the knack for attracting good people to an organization at all levels—faculty, staff, board of trustees, donors and, of course, students. “You need good people to lead an amazing transformation,” he says. And while Brooks is no longer in the classroom, he still finds multiple ways to engage the students. He maintains an open-door policy with them, an ideal that one might question until Brooks hands you his business card, which includes his home phone number. “That connection with students is something that just never goes away,” he says. This year, Trine University is celebrating the 15-year tenure of its president, Dr. Earl D. Brooks II, and for good reason. He has done much and he has gone far, and for that, he deserves a fair share of the credit."
Recognizing The 50Th Anniversary Of Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus October 6, 2015
Bill Shuster, R-PA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. Since the return of Penn State undergraduate education to southwestern Pennsylvania in 1965, the Fayette campus has grown to encompass about 100 acres and 10 buildings. Penn State Fayette’s impressive development is also illustrated by its increased breadth and depth of program offerings, which now includes nine baccalaureate and seven associate degree options. Just as when it first came to the area, Penn State Fayette continues to offer our area students a local option for a globally competitive education. Additionally, I am proud to highlight those who have made these remarkable advancements possible. While a debt of gratitude is owed to those who have supported Penn State Fayette’s continuing progress, like the Eberly Family, the campus’s administration and faculty have also played a fundamental role in this success. Unlike many other universities, the faculty at Penn State Fayette serves students as not only teachers but also advisors, enabling students to get a truly worthwhile educational experience. Walking around the campus today, visitors will notice an atmosphere of unity that has been cultivated by more than 25 student clubs and organizations. In addition to creating this vibrant and dynamic learning environment, the Fayette campus also maintains the Coal and Coke Heritage Center, which pays homage to the area’s rich industrial past and represents the hardworking nature of Fayette County citizens, from its students to those who have long since retired. I am privileged to congratulate Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus for 50 years of success, and to thank all who have helped this community continue to grow and prosper."

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