INTERLINK partner, A.C.E. Language Institute at MSU, and the Office of International Programs at Montana State University celebrated the 20th anniversary of the partnership between Associates in Cultural Exchange and Montana State University on September 29, 2015. Around 100 guests, colleagues, and students—both former and current—gathered at the MSU Alumni Foundation Great Room at 3:00pm.
Dr. David Di Maria, MSU Associate Provost, welcomed the guests and gave a short speech discussing the highlights of the partnership. Dr. Di Maria explained that, “A.C.E. serves as both a strategic partner and an entry point to MSU for undergraduate and graduate students from all around the world. A.C.E. also supports internationalization at MSU through collaboration on short-term training programs created for international organizations, foreign governments and other such entities. ” He went to say that, “Twenty years is a very long time. In fact, the partnership between A.C.E. and MSU has outlasted many Fortune 500 companies. Such an enduring relationship speaks to the quality of a program that has a life-changing impact on students, faculty and communities. It speaks to a program that makes Montana’s land-grant university accessible to international and domestic students from non-English speaking backgrounds. It speaks to a program that brings the world to a research university committed to addressing the world’s greatest challenges.”
“Such an enduring relationship speaks to the quality of a program that has a life-changing impact on students, faculty and communities.” – Dr. Di Maria
Mr. David B. Woodward, A.C.E.’s President and CEO, followed Dr. Di Maria expressing his admiration for Montana State University’s leadership in the field of international education and commenting on the strength of the partnership, thanking President Cruzado and the MSU leadership for their vision and long-standing friendship. Mr. Woodward commented on the 3,000 international students from all over the world who have come to Bozeman over the past 21 years as a result of this collaboration and tens of thousands of others in Montana and around the world whose lives have been positively impacted as a result.
MSU’s President Waded Cruzado spoke about the lifelong benefits of learning a second language and the contribution of international students to the student body of MSU.
After an exchange of appreciation plaques, former student, Mohammed Refai, doctoral student in Chemistry and president of the MSU Saudi Student Club, spoke about his experiences coming to Montana State, and the help that A.C.E. staff and teachers gave him. Next, current student Jesus Garcia Alvarez spoke about his language learning journey at A.C.E. and of his appreciation for the teaching and learning at A.C.E. Language Institute.
Then, David Woodard and Mary Ulrich, Director of the LI, recognized several long-term employees for years of service: Cherí Ladd LeCain, 21 years of service; Ana Valdivia, 15 years of service; Matt Rabinsky, Shannon Mahoney, and Ann Sorenson, each with 10 years of service.
Finally the guests, colleagues and students enjoyed conversation and hors d’oeuvres. Two student research posters of Mabarak Aldawsari and Yazeed Alghanmi were also highlighted, with Mabarak on hand to discuss his research project along with Shannon Mahoney, the instructor of the class.