The Grambling State University administration made a bold move last January by adding a new member. Mahmoud Lamadanie, who is the latest addition to the team, was hired to function in two capacities.
He is the associate vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and well as the executive director for the Center for International Affairs and Programs (CIAP).
As the associate vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Lamadanie is concerned with promoting, building and fostering the spirit of diversity and competitiveness on campus.
The ultimate goal of the new venture is to build a campus without borders. Lamadanie will serve as a bridge between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs. As the executive director for CIAP, his goal is to increase campus awareness of the different cultures represented and take GSU to the fast paced milieu of diversity and globalization. The world has become a global village where geographical borders are just a small hindrance which can be resolved with the click of a mouse.
“The idea is to embrace the ethos of one humanity, one world concept and apply it to GSU where it will be implemented as the Global Classroom concept,” Lamadanie said. “I am tasked to create a Center for International Affairs and Programs whose purpose will be to promote pluralism in all domains on campus.”
The center will provide full-time professional advisers to keep students abreast of the ever-changing immigration laws. Leveraged scholarships will be offered to international students, and it will encourage and embrace the idea of global literacy.
The International Center will also advise students on the SEVIS (Student Exchange and Visitor) program, which comes in at a much needed time in order to comply with law and satisfy the regulations of the Department of Homeland Security.
International students at GSU have gone from not having an international students’ office to having a center dedicated to them.
Dr. Horace A. Judson, GSU president, and Lamadanie worked together in Plattsburgh University in New York, where Lamadanie created a successful International Center that was often described by outside consultants as the envy of the New York system of education. GSU President Horace Judson provided the leadership at Plattsburgh that led to increasing the international student enrollment there by more than 1200 percent, from 37 students to 450 within four years. It was a model that was copied by other universities because of its success as it made headline news on TV stations and local newspapers in New York. According to the Institute for International Education, the international student body accounted for 6.4 percent of the 14 million people enrolled in colleges and universities around the country. The international students generated an astounding $12 billion dollars in revenue every year. International students spend money locally on shopping, entertainment and transport. There is a symbiotic relationship between the community and the international body and between the international student body and the rest of GSU.
“I plan to make GSU committed to diversity, global ethos and citizenship, which will aid in their preparation of our graduates to meet the challenges of the information and highly interconnected global age 21st century,” Lamadanie said. “We must change and adapt our methods in order not just to survive but to thrive.”
According to Lamadanie, President Judson is a visionary, creative thinker and open-minded leader who will make courageous decisions to move GSU to a world class university. Dr. Judson cares about the students as if they are his own children, Lamadanie said, and will go out of his way to serve them and prepare GSU graduates to serve others.
Lamadanie explained that the new senior administration has an open door policy for the students and the faculty, which should foster the team concept and help the university move forward.