Holly Joyner

Season 5 - Episode 512

March 25, 2022

Holly Joyner
Holly Joyner

What does it mean to help students become globally minded? In this Baylor Connections, Holly Joyner unpacks how the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) brings the world to Baylor and sends Baylor into the world. Joyner, who serves as assistant director of marketing and communications at CGE, explains how the Center for Global Engagement offers programming and other resources to help students engage internationally.

Transcript

Derek Smith:

Hello, and welcome to Baylor Connections, a conversation series with the people shaping our future. Each week we go in depth with Baylor leaders, professors, and more discussing important topics in higher education, research and student life. I'm Derek Smith and today we are talking about global thinking and global opportunities for Baylor's students and more with Holly Joyner. Holly serves as assistant director of marketing and communications for Baylor's Center for Global Engagement. The Center for Global Engagement provides programming resources and assistance to help faculty, staff and students engage in international activities like study abroad programs, internships, as well as supporting international students and scholars. These programs advanced the Baylor mission with an intentional focus on developing globally minded students prepared for leadership and service, bringing the world to Baylor and sending Baylor into the world. Joyner is a 2007 Baylor graduate and was a double major in Asian studies and international studies. And she is with is today on the program. Holly, thanks so much for joining us. It's great to have you here today.

Holly Joyner:

Great to be here.

Derek Smith:

Oh, good to visit with you about these topics and as students prepare for exciting opportunities around the world. Let's start off with a little bit of a brief look ahead as we head into the spring and summer months. How are things in the Center for Global Engagement and what has the attention or anticipation of you and your colleagues right now?

Holly Joyner:

Well, during even a regular semester, this would be where we were very busy planning for summer study abroad. We also have a new program called global scholars. It's going to be launching this August with freshmen. So we've been working really hard on that. We're obviously moving past COVID in some ways in the US, which is helpful, but it does remain a concern elsewhere in the world. So that also is something we're keeping our eye on. And then of course, we're very deeply concerned about the devastation happening in Ukraine. So that obviously makes us need to consider different options. We're always navigating things like that, geopolitical interruptions, adjusting and expanding opportunities. That's just kind of the bread and butter of our office. So new normal, for sure, but it's definitely something that we've navigated in the past as well.

Derek Smith:

Well, it's exciting to see some of these opportunities open up and new programs that we'll talk about a little bit later on as well as some that have been a part of what you all do for a while. I give brief description at the top of the program, but how would you describe the Center for Global Engagement to someone new to Baylor?

Holly Joyner:

I like to tell our students, it's just all things global. Basically anything international does run through our office that includes our international student scholar services. So that's all the international students who want to come and stay here either for a semester, which we call exchange students or for the full four experience at Baylor or scholars. So visiting researchers, professors, things like that. As well, of course, most students think of our office as the hub of study abroad, which it is. So all students who want to go abroad for a summer, a winter, a semester would come through our office. But then we also have other little smaller groups that come through our office as well, such as our global gateway, which is our international students who haven't necessarily started at Baylor yet, but are going to take the chance to take Baylor classes. That also is something that runs through us. So yeah, if you think global, you think Center for Global Engagement at Baylor.

Derek Smith:

Well, as we visit with Holly Joyner from the Center for Global Engagement, Holly, you talk about both programming and functional aspects. I want to ask you about that. You facilitate students coming and going. I know there's probably a lot of different answers you could provide here, but how do you do that? What are some of the basics and what are some of the keys to ensuring that smooth facilitation of our students traveling abroad and then international students then coming to Baylor?

Holly Joyner:

That's a great question. Obviously, both sides are different. So basically we call them the two sides of our office, the study abroad side and the international student scholars side. So we each kind of have our rhythms. But for the international student scholars side, they're obviously working with the state department and visas and clearances and things like that to get our students here and ready to start their classes and coursework at Baylor. They definitely work really hard to kind of adapt to change. Because, again, as we were talking about the top of the program, geopolitical things, things like that can run amok and make it a little more challenging, but they're always there to support our international students. And then on the study abroad side, they're working not only on risk management, of course, things like COVID or geopolitical interruptions, but they're also of just making sure our students feel ready. So having those conversations about cross-cultural collaboration, working with our faculty to find the best experiences for our students, also the most affordable ones. That's something that obviously our students always are keeping in mind is whether or not they can afford to go abroad. And that's something our office really wants to make sure that we leave open for students so that they have that to go abroad some time in their college career.

Derek Smith:

You know, as you described that in a lot of ways, your office, as you've said, has been maybe better prepared than some to weather the last two years and COVID-19. But as you look at you and your colleagues and working together with students, what are some of the ways that stand out to you about how CGE has weathered the last two years and been there for students in it?

Holly Joyner:

Yeah. Great question. I think for most students, the desire and passion for global engagement, didn't go away in this COVID. The need to engage in something was still there. So we had to kind of re-envision what we could have provide. Something I haven't mentioned that our office also supports is something called Global Baylor. So this idea that students should be able to have a global experience, both on campus and off. So when we had to shut down all programs and bringing in international students, we really had to focus on what we had here at home. So Global Baylor is a great way to do that. We have something called the Certificate in Global Engagement, which allows students to go to international events and activities on campus. So this would be seeing an international speaker, whether it's in person or over Zoom, or getting a chance to collaborate or do research that is internationally focused with a faculty member, or going on a mission trip. Just different ways that they could serve and create and provide these global experiences for themselves. So myself and our other assistant director of Global Baylor, Robert Lee, he and I worked really hard to come up with a plan or pivot point. So when would come to our office and say, "Hey, I can't go abroad anymore. What else can I do?" We would try really hard to focus them in on the certificate, in getting these other awesome experiences. And of course, depending on where they were in their Baylor career, we're hoping that now a lot of those students who started off doing more domestic things, now have a chance to go abroad if that's what they still wish to do.

Derek Smith:

So it sounds like you all have had to, like a lot of people in your own ways, flex some different creative muscles in the last couple of years.

Holly Joyner:

For sure. I think what was exciting about it is the certificate and Global Baylor as a whole had already been put in place. We started that in 2019. So it really did become worth it when we had that to rely on and not having to just create new things. I work on a task force called diversity abroad marketing. So working with my other colleagues from across other colleges, it was really nice to be able to tell them what we were pivoting to and be able to give them maybe a roadmap since something we had already discovered for ourselves, as opposed to having to create that on the fly in the midst of COVID. So we felt really excited and happy that we had that benefit.

Derek Smith:

Visiting with Holly Joyner from the Center for Global Engagement. Holly, this is another question that probably there's no way we can adequately describe, but I want to ask you, so how can people picture of the Baylor footprint globally? From here on the campus in Waco to, I know so many different areas around the world. How would you describe that?

Holly Joyner:

Well, if you asked our study abroad director Bo White, he might tell you we have 100 different program options on six continents with 65% of those in Europe, but we also have students ability to go on internships as well in several locations and are hoping to expand those opportunities as well as of course, we're looking at different research collaborations as Baylor has obtained that R1 status that has opened up some doors for us to add more layers to that for study abroad. We also are increasingly focusing on different countries and cities for larger programs. So we have Baylor in Maastricht, Baylor in St. Andrews. And we are increasing our Dublin locations in Dublin, Ireland as well. So these are like large BU cohorts that get to go with a semester option with a faculty member, which our students really enjoy. And then we have other just outstanding partnerships that exist in [inaudible], Japan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul with some smaller number of students, but still offering those awesome options as well. I personally studied abroad in Tokyo when I was a student at Baylor.

Derek Smith:

That's great. Well, maybe a good question for you then, I think people know... we all know that these global opportunities have a positive impact, but obviously I mentioned at the top of the show, you double majored in Asian studies and international studies. So this was an area of particular importance, maybe a passion for you. What impact did studying abroad spending that time abroad have on you? And maybe from that we can also extrapolate how maybe future students what impact [inaudible] could have.

Holly Joyner:

Yeah, that's a great question. Question I definitely tried to bring up to my students when I'm advising them about study abroad. The fact that I went abroad changed everything. Before that I felt very interested in international studies, in Asian studies, obviously majoring in it, but I didn't really know how or why I was going to use it. By going abroad, it really gave me that independence and autonomy to know, "Oh, I can go where I want to in this world and apply for jobs maybe outside of Texas and maybe outside of my own skill area." It just gave me a lot of confidence. So for our students, especially the ones who decide to do more of our autonomous programs, I think it really does help them see that they do have the skillset and that Baylor has prepared them for this ability. And it also just opened up culture for me. So knowing and understanding now Japan is so different than America. So getting a chance to really see that for myself and understand how someone so on the other side of the world could see the world and feel the world so differently and myself, I think was a really unique opportunity. So that also helped me, honestly, with my career thus far. Every position I've gotten since graduating from Baylor has had, or it's been brought up in an interview that I've gone abroad to Tokyo and that's always been a conversation point. So I feel like it's something that's really helped employers see me in different light. So I would never tell any student that studying abroad is ever going to hurt you. It's only going to help you. Only 10% of students nationwide study abroad. So every student who does it, whether it's as short as a winter term or summer term, or as long as that semester or year are going to benefit greatly from it.

Derek Smith:

This is Baylor Connections. We are visiting with Holly Joyner, assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for Baylor's Center for Global Engagement. And Holly, I think you just described that to some extent, but I want to ask you specifically, we think about Baylor's mission even, worldwide leadership and Christian environment here at Baylor and that worldwide leadership aspect, what does it mean for students to be globally minded to you and your colleagues in CGE?

Holly Joyner:

It means a lot of things. It means preparing them for an increasingly global world where information and resources cross the physical and cultural boundaries at a rate unheard of 20 years ago. It means being able to think and understand the global impact of local decisions and thinking about the bigger picture in your decision making. It means preparing students to competitive for graduation. When they're looking for jobs, intercultural skills are never going to go out of style. It's definitely something that is going to assist our students and make them more competent as they're looking at different options in the workforce, regardless of whether they decide to be an international studies major at Baylor, or they are an accounting major at Baylor. Having a global competency is always going to be helpful for them just for their own interactions with the world around them here domestically, but of course, abroad as well.

Derek Smith:

Baylor is such a... when you think of the thousands of students in different disciplines and that goal for them is such an exciting vision, whatever their discipline is, how do you work beyond those who travel abroad or as you work to expose those who might travel abroad, how do you try to build that goal of global mindedness into programming, or the culture here at Baylor or in ways that connect with students?

Holly Joyner:

That's a great question. I think some of our biggest ways we do that is something called the GBL courses. So we have GBL 1101, 1102 and 1103, and we to come out of the global Baylor program. And GBL 1101 is before you go abroad. So any student can take this one unit course where they can learn about cross-cultural competencies, experiencing the role around them, talking through what it would be like to go abroad. Especially for our students whose families have never been abroad before, this is really helpful. Just getting to converse and research and can make a plan. The class is just credit/no credit, but they do get a one unit credit for going to it. So a lot of students really love having that benefit. And then GBL 1102 is required of all our students and it is while you're abroad. So those students will take that course either with a Baylor faculty member, if that faculty member is leading their trip, or they'll take it online with our vice provost for global engagement. And it gives them a chance just to process their experience while they're abroad. So writing down their feelings when they first arrive in the home country and writing about their experiences as they go through and when they come back. And then we do have GBL 1103, which is processing your experience. And I am grateful to be able to teach that course. And it's a great chance for students who, when they come back from being abroad, they get to sit down with someone and say, "That was amazing. Now, what do I do with it?" Or, "I'm having a hard time coming back. I loved it so much and being here is so different again." And students really do sometimes feel that way. I know that's what you think that they're going to experience upon arrival, but sometimes you experience that when you come back as well. So we process those feelings of wondering about whether you'll ever go abroad again or what that means for life and how it impacts you because usually study abroad impacts our students really greatly. So it's really great to be able to have those conversations. And then other ways students can be global mindful, even if they aren't taking the GBLs is the global certificate, which I mentioned earlier. So the chance to sign up for this extra certificate that is not a major, minor, it's just something they can add to their degree. And it gives them a chance to go to different international experiences, events, get involved with missions, study abroad. It runs the gamut, any sort of diverse or intercultural experience that Baylor counts towards it. Different classes that have global components can count towards it. So we try to make it very flexible for students. So if they earn that certificate, it does go as a line on their transcript. Dr. Livingstone does sign a certificate for them and they do get cords at graduation. So that's another great way that they can really broaden their global mindedness as a student at Baylor.

Derek Smith:

Talking with Holly Joyner from the Center for Global Engagement. You've mentioned Global Baylor and the certificate program. Let's talk about some of these different programs. You've mentioned Global Baylor. What about First Abroad Fellows?

Holly Joyner:

Yeah, that's a smaller initiative that came out of Global Baylor. Global Baylor's kind of our overarching platform, but First Abroad Fellows is a unique program just for our first generation students. So students who are first gen before coming to Baylor can sign up in the summer to apply to be a part of our cohort of fellows. And we take 40 every year. And if you are selected as a fellow, then you basically earn a free $3,000 scholarship to help apply to when you go abroad. So the only thing the students have to do in order to obtain that scholarship is sign up for a Baylor study abroad experience, as well as come and meet with our office once a semester, they get advised basically on going abroad. And that's usually really helpful for our fellows because as first gen students, most of their parents haven't gone abroad before. So they need just some extra advice and experience in terms of planning, preparing for that. And what we tell our regular students too, is usually the two reasons why students don't make it abroad is finances as well as planning. So you come in our office early and often your chances of going are much higher because you've got a plan, you know what classes you need to save. My tagline for my students says, "Why would you want to take a class here? You could have been taking in Paris."

Derek Smith:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Holly Joyner:

So just have to kind of save those courses and think about it. And with our First Abroad Fellows, they get the extra opportunity to meet with our office every semester and start on that plan early and know in advance when they're going, how much it's going to cost them. And of course, we also help them look for other scholarship opportunities as well. Something I don't want to harp on too much about finances, but it is important for people to know is going abroad doesn't have to be expensive. If you go for a full semester, our students financial aid does come with them. Of course, we also have to think about exchange rates. So if the dollar is stronger in the country the students choose to go to, then that also can make a financial benefit for how much it's going to cost them to go abroad. So we always want our students to believe that study abroad is an open option for them. So I really encourage them to come in and talk to us before they just assume that it might not work out for of them.

Derek Smith:

That's great. That's great. What about the Global Scholars Program? What's that look like?

Holly Joyner:

Oh, that's a great one. I'm incharge of that program and that program is brand new for this year and it is specifically for our freshmen, which is kind of funny, because if you read our website, we specifically say, "You've got to have 30 hours before you can go abroad on Baylor campus." But these freshmen would be exempt from that rule. They would actually get to go to Dublin, Ireland as soon as they arrive on campus in fall of their freshman year.

Derek Smith:

Wow.

Holly Joyner:

So it's a really cool opportunity for students who are excited about seeing the world early and also getting that experience to study abroad early in their college career. [inaudible] scholars isn't all just about the first semester. It is a four year program. So students who apply and are accepted, sort of like our fellows will get advisement from our office every semester on different international opportunities. They're still going to be part of whatever major in college they've chosen, but they'll get this extra opportunity to add international research to their globally minded interest. They'll get a chance to go abroad a second time. So we are helping them support that. But that doesn't necessarily have to look like the first time. We could help them with doing international research, or an internship, or a mission trip as opposed to a straight study abroad experience. So we're recruiting our cohort right now for the class of '22, the freshman. So myself and Dr. Charles McDaniel and the [inaudible] will be helping gain those students abroad and he will be directing them once they get to Dublin.

Derek Smith:

That's great. And what about Global Gateway as well?

Holly Joyner:

Global Gateway has been around for a few years now. I mentioned it a little bit earlier, but that is basically our bridge program. So it is for international students who already know English, but maybe they're just a little bit on the edge in terms of being academically prepared for their English skills to start courses at Baylor. So instead of just dropping them straight in, we have them go through gateway courses, which allows them to be supported and better prepared. So they take advanced, intermediate, beginner courses that will assist them with being able to take regular Baylor courses. And generally alongside of these classes, they are taking one or two Baylor courses at a time. So that by the time they graduate from the program, the program can be up to three semesters long. It just depends on where they are academically. Then they will come in with some course credit and they will automatically be admitted as long as they pass all semester in terms of those things that they need to do for the program as a freshman at Baylor, and be able to then earn their degree at Baylor. And we have already had a few students go all the way through and graduate from Baylor, but they started as a gateway student. So it's a really great unique program for students in that situation. And we're excited to have more come see us. We have a whole faculty group dedicated to assisting and serving them.

Derek Smith:

That's great. Well, and final question for you, you've painted a great picture of the opportunities. If people want to learn more, get involved, particularly students here, how can they do so? What's the best way you'd recommend they do so?

Holly Joyner:

Come to our office. If you really want to be involved, especially in one of the programs I just mentioned or going abroad, it never hurts to come in. We also do Zoom appointments now. So if that's more your speed, we are happy to see you from that vantage point as well. But it's really important that students come to see us. We're located over in the Hankamer Academic Center. Now we are offering in our lobby area all these international flags that we've hung at the top of the lobby. So it's a really good focal point now for our office. So if you've been in that lobby and you've seen the flags, just know that our office is right there next door in the hallway, and we would be so grateful to have the students come in and see us and learn more about the awesome options and opportunities that we offer.

Derek Smith:

That's great. We hope students will definitely take you up on that and get involved. Holly, thanks so much for taking the time to share with us today.

Holly Joyner:

Oh, welcome. Thank you for having me.

Derek Smith:

Appreciate it. Holly Joyner, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for Baylor Center for Global Engagement, our guest today on Baylor Connections. I'm Derek Smith. Reminder, you can hear this and other programs online at wwwdoorcounty.com/connections. You can subscribe to the program on iTunes. Thanks for joining us here on Baylor Connections.