Northern Virginia Center hosts administrators from Near East, North Africa

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, March 21, 2005 – Virginia Tech''s Northern Virginia Center in the National Capital Region was one of the first stops recently for 12 university administrators from the Near East and North Africa on a 21-day International Leadership Program tour sponsored by the Bureau of International and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. The visitors hailed from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank and Yemen.

Marcie Boucouvalas, professor and program director, Adult Learning/Human Resource Development, key contact for the group, arranged for them to meet with: Karen Akers, director, Northern Virginia Center; Nick Stone, deputy director, National Capital Region; Amir Zaghloul, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Alexandria Research Institute; Barbara Micale, public relations and marketing manager, National Capital Region; and two doctoral students in the ALHR program, Ahmed Alwani, who comes from the geographical region of the visitors, and Khairul Mansor from Malaysia.

The visiting university administrators had diverse academic credentials including education, environmental law, architecture, economics, civil engineering, physics, French literature, popular culture, pharmacy, and English literature. Their titles included university president, vice president of academic affairs, secretary-general, dean, director of the library, minister of education, and director of public relations, among others.

An interpreter offered simultaneous Arabic/English translation throughout the two-hour meeting. While the discussion spanned a wide variety of topics related to the U.S. system of higher education, Virginia Tech programs related to adult learners and adult education and the use of technology for academic purposes were of primary interest to the visitors.

During their 21 days traveling throughout the United States, they will be meeting with other public and private university administrators, government officials, trade professionals, academics and members of community-based organizations.

Virginia Tech has fostered a growing partnership with the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C., community since 1969. Today, the university''s presence in the National Capital Region includes graduate programs and research centers in Alexandria, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg. In addition to supporting the university''s teaching and research mission, Virginia Tech''s National Capital Region has established collaborations with local and federal agencies, businesses, and other institutions of higher education.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech''s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.