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Zuheir Sofia Endowed International Faculty Seminar

Participants of the ZSEIFS 2017 to Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Nansen Dialogue Center in Mostar. Photo by James Kenney.

Participants of the ZSEIFS 2017 to Bosnia and Herzegovina on a walking tour of Sarajevo. Photo by James Kenney.

ZSEIFS 2016 Participants after a presentation at the Korean Foundation in Seoul, South Korea.

Participants of the ZSEIFS 2017 to Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Office of the High Representative. Photo by James Kenney.

Participants of the ZSEIFS 2017 to Bosnia and Herzegovina in a meeting with Brcko municipal officials. Photo by James Kenney.

Zuheir Sofia Endowed International Faculty Seminar

The Zuheir Sofia Endowed International Faculty Seminar (ZSEIFS) is an intensive, interdisciplinary seminar focused on a single country, intended to internationalize the teaching, research, and service of its faculty participants.  The International Year Of ... (IYO) program is designed to provide the WKU campus and surrounding community with a rich, complex sense of place and interconnectedness through a year-long celebration and emphasis on a single country/region. In addition to complementing the IYO, the ZSEIFS impacts the WKU campus through the internationalization of the curriculum, research, and academic programming of our university. 

Zuheir Sofia graduated with degrees in Economics and Business Administration from Western Kentucky University in 1969. Sofia went on to have a very successful career in the financial industry, and he is a published author.  His articles have appeared in "The American Banker," "Ohio Banker" and "Euromoney," and he also authored the book "External Debt of Developing Countries: Its Applications to Country Risk Analysis."  Sofia serves on the WKU Board of Advisors and was inducted into the WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1998. He and his wife, Susan, made a generous $500,000 gift in support of the Office of International Programs. In recognition of their gift, WKU's International Center is now named the Sofia-Downing International Center, honoring both Sofia and his longtime friend, the late Dero Downing, WKU's fourth President. The Sofia's reside in Bexley, Ohio, and they have three children. 


The Zuheir Sofia Endowment was created to facilitate the mission of the Office of International Programs, which endeavors to provide leadership in the development of a strong international profile.  This is accomplished through the support of:  

  • international programs such as study abroad;
  • assistantships for international students studying at WKU;
  • programming to promote international understanding and appreciation of cultural differences;
  • expansion of resources for international education, to assist colleges and departments in internationalizing their curriculum, and to help further develop faculty knowledge and understanding of cultures and issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click the videos below to hear faculty alumni from the 2016 ZSEIFS to South Korea share their insight and experiences on the value and benefits of this professional development opportunity.  

Why apply to the ZSEIFS? 

Click here to download a transcript of the audio.

How do faculty participants prepare for their time in-country?

Click here to download a transcript of the audio.

What is the value of the ZSEIFS experience? 

Click here to download a transcript of the audio.

  

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Video footage captured by WKU student Francis "Paul" Wilson, International Affairs and Photojournalism, Fall 2019;
Videos edited by the WKU Technology Resource Center. 

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 Last Modified 1/30/18