Three members of the School of Human Ecology community contributed to the new book Wisconsin in the World, which explores internationalization at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, contributors to the book were compelled to reflect on this decades-long process, examine how it had prepared the university to face a global health event and consider the future of campus internationalization.
What resulted was the 40-chapter Wisconsin in the World, edited by Elise S. Ahn, director of UW–Madison’s International Division and the International Projects Office.
One of the chapters was co-authored by Mary Beth Collins, the executive director of the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies (CommNS); Lori DiPrete Brown, director of the campus-wide 4W Women and Wellbeing Initiative, director of Global Health and Human Ecology and distinguished teaching faculty; and Constance (Connie) Flanagan, Vaughan Bascom Professor Emerita in Women, Family and Community. This chapter, titled “Connecting Landscapes: A Collaborative Collegial Exchange and Community-Engaged Youth Environmental Project,” tells part of the story of the long-standing relationship between UW–Madison and the University of Guadalajara. It highlights a cross-disciplinary effort to expand the impact of the University of Guadalajara Museum of Environmental Science, which became a formative opportunity for the CommNS and the beginning of strong relationships with colleagues from Guadalajara. The partnership provided unique opportunities to explore community leadership, youth civic engagement, and nonprofit and NGO efforts across contexts.
DiPrete Brown contributed to three additional chapters with other co-authors:
- “Centering the Lived Experiences of Women for the Wellbeing of All: The 4W Initiative and the UNESCO Chair on Gender, Wellbeing, and a Culture of Peace” lays out the origins of the 4W Initiative (Women and Wellbeing in Wisconsin and the World) in 2014 as a collaboration between the UW–Madison School of Human Ecology, the Global Health Institute (GHI) and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. The initiative has become a interdisciplinary effort to improve the well-being of women globally and promote their full participation in society. The chapter provides lessons for other higher education institutions looking to implement similar programs and also looks to 4W’s future.
- “UW–Madison and the University of Guadalajara: A Half Century of Collaboration in Socioenvironmental Sciences” delves further into the collaboration between UW–Madison and the University of Guadalajara, which began in the mid-1970s with a partnership between two botanists. This led, over the next two decades, to the establishment of several biological research stations, a federal biosphere reserve, three undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and interdisciplinary grant funding that supported the creation of new watershed and waste management agencies. The partnership would eventually include 11 additional universities, non-governmental organizations and community-based initiatives in the United States, México, Canada, Bolivia and Ecuador.
- “Fostering Equitable Sustainable Wellbeing for All: UW–Madison’s Global Health Institute” examines how the university’s Global Health Institute evolved from a health-sciences/education-oriented entity to one that engages the entire campus in education, research and outreach — grappling with complex global health challenges from the personal and public to environmental and planetary health and well-being. This chapter also explores a number of collaborations between GHI and organizations like UniverCity Alliance and the 4W Initiative.
A book launch event will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 in Varsity Hall III at Union South. Register before Oct. 18 at witwbook.international.wisc.edu/presentations-events/book-launch-event/.