For the second year in a row, Shippensburg University was selected to host international undergraduate students participating in the U.S. Department of State sponsored Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders program.  Shippensburg will host a cohort of the Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders from Europe program which provides European undergraduates with a deeper understanding of the United States and leadership development. 

Last summer, the university hosted a SUSI on Civic Engagement. The participants learned about positively contributing to their home communities through a series of workshops and community service projects. This included packing and distributing food to over 200 food insecure local families as well as a Potomac River cleanup.   

This year, Meridian International Center has organized a consortium of three partner universities; Shippensburg University, Michigan State University, and Arizona State University; to host 60 undergraduate students.  

At Ship, a cohort of 20 participants will engage in a four-week academic residency with a theme of Environmental Issues. They will explore climate change through the lenses of watersheds, food systems, and energy and environmental policy in South-Central Pennsylvania. With its rich history as an agricultural center and location in the Chesapeake Watershed, participants will work and connect with diverse environmental organizations to develop their understanding of the environment and its intersectionality with politics, race, culture, gender, poverty, history, and class in this rural area of the Mid-Atlantic region. The program is designed to get participants out in the field, interacting with the environment directly and meeting practitioners and environmental specialists. 

Dr. Lonce Bailey, professor of political science, and Dr. Claire Jantz, professor of geography and earth science and director for the Center for Land Use and Sustainability (CLUS) at Shippensburg University, will collaborate to deliver the program.  

“The core of the CLUS mission is to foster healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities and a key value that we practice is collaboration. We are excited to host this Environmental Issues Institute and we look forward to exchanging ideas with the SUSI European Student Leaders. Today, every community around the world is facing the challenges of climate change, sustainability, and environmental pollution. Through the program, we will foster conversations that will allow these student leaders to return home with real, implementable solutions in their communities, extending the mission of the CLUS and the values of Shippensburg University abroad,” said Jantz.  

Bailey, who coordinated last year’s program, is excited to host a new group of international students and cultivate future opportunities for the benefit of the international students, the Ship community, and beyond.  

“Shippensburg’s continual selection as an implementing partner on these projects both signals the longstanding educational expertise and institutional capacity to design and manage international programs.  Hosting these institutes allow us to offer opportunities to our faculty and students to work with international audiences, for us to continue the various educational and research missions that that the university excels at, and to continue to network with other implementing universities. We hope to leverage these early program successes to further expand our work with international audiences and with groups like Meridian International Canter and the U.S. State Department,” said Bailey.   

The four-week academic residency at Shippensburg University begins on June 24. 

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders from Europe program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by Meridian International Center.