Becoming Better Global Citizens: Introducing the 2011 SJSU Salzburg Program Fellows and Scholars

group photo in Salzburg

Salzburg 2010

By William J. Reckmeyer

Leaders from student affairs, the University Library and our International Gateways program, along with professors and students representing many disciplines are among the 31 individuals selected for the 2011 SJSU Salzburg Program.

“The lasting impact of an experience like this is tremendous,” said Beth Von Till, a two-time SJSU Salzburg Fellow who will serve as a faculty advisor for the 2011 trip. “It’s something that peaks student interest in a very historic location with world-class and world experienced faculty, changing forever the way students think about the world and their place in it.”

The 2011 fellows and scholars will begin with a variety of orientation activities on campus during the spring semester, organized and led on a voluntary basis by fellows and scholars from previous years.  In summer 2011, both groups will attend comparable but separate sessions of the International Study Program on Global Citizenship offered by the Salzburg Global Seminar.

The Setting: A Rococo Castle

The setting is Schloss Leopoldskron, a magnificent 18th-century rococo castle that is familiar to many as the von Trapp’s residence in the Sound of Music. There, the scholars and fellows will explore critical global issues with a world-renowned faculty.  Upon their return to campus in August, fellows and scholars will spend the following academic year working on joint projects to enhance the university’s focus on international matters.

The projects include a strong mentoring component in which the fellows advise their respective scholars on broader life and career plans.  The group will also participate in a variety of professional and social activities throughout the year, including substantial contributions to SJSU International Week each semester.

Top 10 Program

SJSU launched the SJSU Salzburg Program in 2006 as part of its efforts to prepare our students for successful lives and careers in a rapidly changing global world.  The program seeks to develop a critical mass of collaborative change agents from across campus working together on globalizing the university and encouraging our diverse constituencies — students, faculty, staff, and administrators — to become better global citizens.

Honored in 2010 as one of the “Top 10 Programs on Global Citizen Diplomacy” by the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy and the U.S. State Department, the program is made possible through a close partnership between SJSU and the Salzburg Global Seminar.  The seminar has been one of the world’s leading forums for dialogue about pressing international concerns ever since Margaret Mead chaired the first session in 1947.

Selection Process

Each fall, SJSU selects a small group of outstanding faculty, staff, and administrators to serve as SJSU Salzburg Fellows and another small group of exceptional students to serve as SJSU Salzburg Scholars through a competitive, university-wide process.  Those who are selected serve as active members of the program for at least 18 months; work on collaborative projects to globalize the university; and contribute on a general basis to organize and promote other program activities.

Nearly 125 people — 65 SJSU Salzburg Fellows and 59 SJSU Salzburg Scholars — have participated in this program in its first five years and conducted over 100 collaborative and individual projects to globalize SJSU.  They have also helped establish an annual talk on global affairs, the Peter Lee Memorial Lecture, and hosted a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence.

Reckmeyer is a professor of leadership and systems in the Department of Anthropology, an International and Extended Studies senior fellow, and director of the SJSU Salzburg Program.