April 2008
Volume 2, Issue 1

VIU to Offer Free Seminar for Embassy Personnel on May 13

Virginia International University will offer a free two-hour seminar for embassy personnel entitled “Understanding American Culture” on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A luncheon will be served immediately following the program.

The seminar is designed specifically for the individuals who work in foreign embassies in nearby Washington, D.C. It explores typical American viewpoints on a variety of topics that include time, space, gender, race, food, family, religion, athletics, finances, homes, and aging. It also explores the do’s and don’ts of American etiquette and increases sensitivity to the ways Americans really speak, act, and think. This jam-packed and fun program is chock full of the information embassy personnel need most about the American mindset and collective experience.

Participants of this free seminar will enjoy:

  • A two-hour interactive program with an American college professor and other speakers
  • A greater understanding of and appreciation of American culture
  • The opportunity to network with personnel of other embassies
  • Program handouts
  • Lunch
  • A certificate of participation

“Understanding American Culture” will be held at the VIU Waples Mill Building. Registration is limited. To reserve your place at the seminar and luncheon (and to receive driving or public transportation directions to the VIU campus), contact Christina Lavoie at 703-591-7042, ext. 318 or christina@viu.edu.

“Understanding American Culture” is for embassy personnel and members of their immediate families only. It is a community service program provided by Virginia International University’s Continuing Professional Education Series (CPES).

"Understanding American Culture," a seminar for embassy personel, will be held at the VIU campus on May 13, 2008.

Please click here to download PDF flyer.

New VIU Research & Development Institute Opens at VIU

Virginia International University is proud to announce the opening of the VIU Research & Development Institute. This new arm of the university will provide opportunities for original research, scholarly inquiry and discourse, funding initiatives, professional seminars, workshops, and colloquia. Says VIU’s president Isa Sarac, Ph.D, “Our new R & D institute is one of our most exciting new projects here at VIU. I’m extremely proud of this great achievement.”

The VIU Research & Development Institute is already seeking funding for a number of initiatives. According to Christina Lavoie, who has been actively working on grant-seeking activities on behalf of the new R & D Institute, “VIU is in the ideal position to establish a research and development institute. We have so much to offer.”

Virginia International University has just opened a new research and development institute.

University Launches Continuing Professional Education Series (CPES)

VIU has just launched a new continuing education division and is proud to introduce its new Continuing Professional Education Series (CPES). The CPES offers two-day, two-week, six-week, eight-week, and online programs for busy career professionals. It caters to business professionals, teachers, health care career professionals, IT professionals, call center representatives, managers, entrepreneurs, corporate trainers, non-native speakers of English, and anyone who is committed to lifelong learning.

The new VIU Continuing Professional Education Series (CPES) offers cost-effective, timely, and relevant programs for career professionals.

CPES programs are cost-effective, timely, relevant, and delivered conveniently and affordably. We are able to deliver our programs at VIU’s modern campus in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area or offsite anywhere in the world. We also design and deliver new courses. A sampling of our programs includes:

  • Business English
  • Introduction to Network Security
  • Information Technology: Past, Present, and Future
  • The Top 10 Human Resource Dilemmas
  • Understanding American Idioms, Slang, and Thinking
  • Developing Your Leadership Potential
  • Introduction to Import/Export Management
  • Maximizing Personal Productivity and Performance
  • Entrepreneurship: Starting a Successful Business
  • English for Call Center Representatives
  • Health Care Management Systems
  • Methods for Engaging Students
  • Developing a Viable Business Plan
  • Introduction to Computer Graphics
  • English for Health Care Professionals
  • Communicating with a Diverse Client Base
  • Training for Trainers
  • Web Development Methods

             … and much, much more.

For more information about VIU’s new Continuing Professional Education Series, including a downloadable brochure and course catalog, visit www.viu.edu/our-university/media/brochures.html or send us an email at cpes@viu.edu.


L to R: VIU business students Zoya Ionova and Anna Atlaskina (Russia) spoke at the Society for the Advancement of Business conferance in Alexandria, Virginia.

VIU MBA Students Research Global Energy Security Issues:Participation at SAM 2008 International Business Conference a Huge Success!

Virginia International University MBA students collaborated with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) MBA students to present papers on the topic of Global Sustainable Energy Innovation at a prestigious international conference on April 5, 2008. The business and innovation conference, held in Alexandria, Virginia, was organized by the Society for the Advancement of Management (SAM).

The students’ research project explores the complex socio-political, economic, cultural, and organizational dimensions that are involved in forming transnational innovation alliances to develop sustainable energy. Three student teams collaborated to consider the challenges of and opportunities for transnational innovation models. Their efforts provide insights into the most effective ways to build global partnerships to address the imperative for securing global energy.

The VIU MBA students who took part in the project worked on their papers and presentations throughout the 2007-2008 academic year in partial fulfillment of their MBA coursework. Thomas Triscari, Ph.D, their instructor, coordinated and facilitated their collaboration with the RPI students. Dr. Triscari is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar for LMI Research Institute in McLean, Virginia; Academic Director of Executive Programs at RPI; and Adjunct Professor in Business for Virginia International University. Professor Roger Powell, chair of VIU’s Business Programs Department, also played a key role in supporting the students in their project.

According to VIU student Anna Atlaskina (Russia), who spoke at the SAM conference, the experience working on this project was filled with firsts. Says Atlaskina, “This was the first time in my life preparing for a large-scale presentation and also the first time I’ve ever worked jointly with students from another university and from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.” Atlaskina says that this has been a huge learning experience and adds that she takes great personal pride in this project. “I felt a huge responsibility to represent VIU and students from my own country well,” she says.

Badamsukh Yadamsuren (Mongolia), another VIU student who presented at the conference, agrees that the project means a lot to her personally. Says Yadamsuren, “Mongolia is rich in coal and that can be a great thing for the people in my country, as long as we use the resource efficiently and wisely.” Yadamsuren says that the collaborative project helped her learn a great deal more than she used to know about coal processing and its environmental implications for Mongolia. “I hope to raise everyone’s awareness about this important issue,” she says.

The entire VIU community wishes to recognize all of the VIU and RPI students who worked so hard on this project and their participation in the SAM conference. We congratulate them and are proud of them for their tremendous accomplishment.

VIU Soccer Team Goes Full Steam into New Season

The ever-popular VIU soccer team has hit the fields again for the spring season. According to Luis Carlos Torres (Colombia), who serves as the soccer club president and plays midfield for the team, the “coolest” thing about playing soccer is getting together to form friendships. Says Torres, “It’s great to share time together with classmates apart from our studies.”

The soccer team plays a number of other teams in the region and will complete a minimum of eight games this season. “We’ll know by the end of May or beginning of June whether we qualify for a second run,” Torres says. Adds Torres, “We really enjoy getting to know the players on the other teams. Playing soccer is a great way for us to socialize and meet new people.”

VIU Student Luis Carlos Torres (Colombia) serves as the school's soccer team president and plays midfield for the team.

New Graduate Student Assistantships for VIU Students Starting Fall 2008

Two pilot programs for graduate assistantships beginning in Fall 2008 will provide new and exciting employment opportunities for VIU students. The first assistantship program employs Teaching Assistants (TAs) to assist VIU professors in their work teaching undergraduate classes. The second employs Research Assistants (RAs) to assist both the university and individual professors in their research.

According to Dean of Students Hasan Burk, “Teaching Assistants will work closely with VIU faculty members and get involved in many interesting aspects of course delivery. They may work on syllabi, course design, classroom preparation, quizzes, exams, and could even run recitation classes to help students directly.” The TA position is an ideal job for students who will become “tomorrow’s educators,” Dean Burk says, and who wish to serve as mentors to our undergraduate students. He adds, “The TA position is wonderful because it combines professional growth with peer recognition.”

Research Assistants will be put to work on a project basis and have a chance to work closely with esteemed members of the VIU faculty. “RAs will learn to work in a demanding project environment and to deal with stress and time management,” Dean Burk says. “They will learn to solve real world problems within tight deadlines,” he adds, experience that will be very valuable when the student graduates and seeks employment. 

VIU students interested in applying for TA or RA positions should see Dean Burk in the Pender Building for an application form. Applicants must be continuing full-time graduate students at VIU and have excellent communication and organizational skills. Applicants for the TA position must also have a graduate GPA of at least 3.5. Once hired, both Teaching and Research Assistants must maintain Minimum Satisfactory Progress as outlined in the VIU Academic Catalog. Applications will continue to be accepted until the add/drop date of the fall semester. 

Says Dean Burk, “Assistantships are new high level academic jobs at VIU. We’re very excited to offer this new opportunity for employment and professional growth to our graduate students.”


11200 Waples Mill Road, #360 , Fairfax , VA 22030; 703-591-7042/703-591-2760
Academics: 3957 Pender Drive , Fairfax , VA 22030; 703-591-1844
Editor: Laura Hills E-mail: lhills@viu.edu
Designer: Idris Ulas