October 2008

Volume 2, Issue 3

Virginia International University Expands to Third Site

Virginia International University’s (VIU) steadily climbing enrollments have led the school to acquire a third site. The newest quarters, located at 3953 Pender Drive, are a short walk from the school’s two existing sites in the Fairfax Executive Park office park and Fair Oaks Corporate Center. Says Virginia International University’s Business Manager Christina Lavoie, “We’re all thrilled to have this great new space for our students. And we feel that we are extremely fortunate that it became available to us before the start of the fall semester. We have our biggest enrollments ever!”

Virginia International University opened the doors on its Pender 2 building at the start of the Fall 2008 semester. The new facility houses student activities, offices, and the university library.

The new site is called the Pender 2 building by those inside the VIU community (the other sites are called Pender 1 and the Waples Mill building). It is the new home to the school’s enlarging library, offices, and also headquarters for VIU’s student activities program. According to Sebastien Mortreux, VIU’s Student Activities Director, “It is wonderful for us to have a new recreational space for our students. They’re already having a ball coming over here to play a game or just to relax between classes.”

Virginia International University is located near Route 66 and Fair Oaks Mall and is easily accessible by public transportation. VIU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and diploma and certificate programs in business administration and computer science, a four-level English as a Second Language program with TOEFL preparation, and continuing professional education. For more information about any of the programs of study offered, please visit the Virginia International University website at www.viu.edu. Or, for additional information about the VIU’s programs, admissions requirements, and scholarships, please call 703-591-7042.    

Virginia International University and Columbia College Sign Articulation Agreement

Virginia International University (VIU) and Columbia College signed the papers on September 11 to facilitate student transfers between the two Fairfax-based institutions of higher learning. According to Isa Sarac, Ph.D, VIU’s President, “There is a lot of synergy here that energizes both of our institutions. This articulation agreement provides a clear way that Virginia International University and Columbia College can complement, supplement, support, and collaborate with one another.” Adds Columbia College Academic Dean S. J. Chung, Ph.D., “Working together as we are here, we will be much better able to meet our students’ needs.”

Representatives of Virginia International University (VIU) and Columbia College joined together at the VIU campus on September 11 to sign an articulation agreement between the two schools.

The articulation agreement between the two schools enables students who complete Columbia College’s associates and certificate programs to complete their bachelor’s degrees at Virginia International University by way of a simpler and faster admissions process. Columbia College’s International Student Advisor John Jeong Kim says there are huge advantages to such an agreement. Kim says, “I believe the biggest advantage goes to our students. Foreign students must go through many admissions processes. Now they will have much less to worry about.” Hasan Burk, VIU’s Executive Vice President of University Affairs adds, “Our goal is to facilitate, not block students. This articulation agreement between our schools makes it so much easier for foreign students to transfer so they can complete their bachelor’s degrees.


VIU’s English Language Students Enjoy Smithsonian Museum Offerings

Virginia International University’s English as a Second Language (ESL) students visited the Museum of the American Indian and the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. on September 24. Both of these museums are part of the world-class Smithsonian Institution.

Students focused on two exhibits: Apollo to the Moon and Our Peoples. The exhibit Apollo to the Moon tells the historic story of the United States’ human exploration of the moon. The defining moment of this journey occurred when Astronaut Neil Armstrong took the first human steps on the moon on July 20, 1969. Five more flights carried astronauts to the moon, the last in 1972.

The exhibit Our Peoples focuses on the last 500 years of Native American history and shows how the arrival of newcomers in the Western Hemisphere set the stage for one of the most momentous events in human history. Nearly every native community wrestled with the impact of deadly new diseases and weaponry, the weakening of traditional spirituality and the seizure of homelands by invading governments. The exhibit explores how Native Americans intentionally and strategically kept their cultures alive

VIU’s ESL students had a chance to visit the displays while completing worksheets developed by their instructors. The activities were designed to bring structure to the field trip while giving students the freedom to follow their own curiosity. The students used their prior knowledge about the subjects of the exhibits, summarized what they saw, and evaluated their experience.

Tram, an advanced-level ESL student, enjoyed the trip tremendously, saying afterwards, “I liked almost everything in the Our Peoples exhibit because I learned more things about the history and culture of the Americas.” Yoo Sun, a College-Prep-level student, wrote that she liked the Black Feet tribe material best. She said that she especially enjoyed watching a video about buffalo and learning about the Black Feet tribe through the exhibits images and cartoons. Nyamsuren, a College-Prep-level student, wrote that he was particularly impressed by the four types of rocks (basalt, breccia, soil, and anorthosite) that the Apollo 17 astronauts brought from the moon to the earth.

VIU’s ESL students enjoyed being able to spend a whole day with their new friends while exploring the exhibits and taking lots of pictures. The ESL instructors were pleased, too, as their students discovered new ways to explore museum resources and learned a lot about the life, history, and art of the Native Americans and the American explorations of the moon.

Virginia International University’s English as a Second Language students took a field trip recently to visit two Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C.

VIU Poetry Coffeehouse a Huge Success: Can You Dig It?

Students in GEC 103: Oral Communication Skills held a poetry coffeehouse entitled The Road Not Taken on October 8. All tolled, they presented more than 30 poems by Robert Frost, one of America’s leading 20th-century poets and a four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. The Waples Mill Building lounge was transformed into a coffeehouse atmosphere through the judicious use of candlelight, jazz music, informal seating groups, and the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee and baked goods.

Students adopted the style of beatnik poetry coffeehouses popular in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s by snapping their fingers rather than clapping their hands to applaud the poetry performances. A few students also wore berets, the hat worn by many at beatnik coffeehouses of the past. Says Sharak Stephenson (Jamaica), a VIU MBA student who attended the program and helped set up for it, “Within one hour we made the room feel like an authentic poetry coffeehouse. The students all did a great job and made it a very special event.”

VIU student Constance Moyo Kaptouom (Cameroon) donned a beret and read a poem called “Stars” on October 8 at The Road Not Taken, a beatnik coffeehouse celebrating the poetry of Robert Frost. The coffeehouse was held by students in GEC 103: Oral Communication Skills and featured readings of Frosts’ poems by more than 30 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