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UNC-Chapel Hill Hosts Virtual International Visitor Leadership Program on Higher Education Partnerships and Jobs

June 21, 2021
UNC Global Affairs
Zoom grid of profiles

International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) virtual delegation.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted 25 higher education representatives from El Salvador in a virtual delegation from the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on June 3 addressing the theme, “Higher Education Partnerships and Jobs for the Future.” The participants included officials from the Ministry of Education, as well as administrators from 15 universities in El Salvador.  

The program featured presentations by two UNC-Chapel Hill speakers: JoonHyung Cho, director of business development at UNC Industry Relations, and Sheryl Waddell, interim director of economic development at Innovate Carolina.  

Cho and Waddell discussed how their offices work to address some of the areas of emphasis for the program: building academia and industry linkages, aligning curriculum design and applied research with local industry, and helping students transition from education to employment, while also driving innovation and local economic development. 

Waddell provided an overview of Innovate Carolina, a university-wide initiative in the Office of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. She outlined their services to the campus community, which are categorized under four areas: faculty innovation, venture strategy, research and impact, and content and communications. 

Cho discussed the goals and strategies of Industry Relations which connects offices and people across the University. He explained that building intentional and sustained relationships can help solve some of the world’s grand challenges by engaging faculty, students and industry partners. 

The session was organized by Melissa McMurray, manager of global partnership administration in the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs. She convened the meeting by describing the University’s global strategy and emphasized partnerships and collaborations with institutions around the world.

“Carolina’s collaboration with the IVLP has enabled numerous UNC faculty and administrators to share ideas and best practices with professionals from a wide variety of countries, as well as build mutual understanding and professional exchange,” said McMurray.   

The U.S. Department of State operates IVLP as a professional exchange program that brings international professional and educational leaders to the U.S. for short visits, which they have done virtually since the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure safety. During their time with U.S. counterparts, IVLP participants interact with private and public sector organizations in their field of interest to form lasting connections. International Focus, a nonprofit organization in Raleigh, serves as a local organizer for U.S. government public diplomacy programs, including IVLP, connecting visitors with Triangle businesses, institutions, and people for exchange and dialogue. 

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