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IGU’s Intracampus Synergies Committee Seeks to Engage Students and Build Interdisciplinary Partnerships Across Campus

By Chelsea Franchette

“Intracampus synergies” is a complex phrase that can be simply explained by examining each word in the phrase. The first word, intracampus, means within a college or university, and synergy means to have two or more entities interacting and cooperating with one another to achieve a common goal. These terms as a whole signify collaboration among various organizations on a campus to accomplish a larger goal, namely, the IGU’s mission of promoting awareness of global affairs and cross-cultural understanding issues both on and off campus.

The Intracampus Synergies Committee was established in July 2020 as part of the IGU’s official relaunch. The IGU Faculty Advisory Council created this committee because it identified a need for an organization that could bridge the gaps among faculty, staff, students, and student-led organizations. The Intracampus Synergies Committee encourages unity among these different groups and will assist the organizations in reaching the goals that they might have struggled to achieve on their own. This committee facilitates synergy through outreach to student and faculty leaders on campus who are involved in the various organizations.

The Intracampus Synergies Committee has three members: Professor Claude Taylor, a lecturer in Communication Studies and the Director of Academic Transition and Inclusion; Dr. Lisa Daniella, Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Program in Gender and Intersectionality Studies; and Associate Professor Jing Zhou of the Department of Art and Design. The IGU Faculty Advisory Council collaborates with the committee to advance the committee’s mission of connecting with students, student organizations, faculty, employees, and institutes at Monmouth University to develop ways for people within the campus community to become involved with the IGU’s work. The committee seeks to support organizations at the university in their global thinking in the hope that these organizations can increase their engagement with the IGU. The institute seeks to amplify students’ and student organizations’ voices on subjects worldwide.

The importance of a committee like Intracampus Synergies at Monmouth University lies in its significant capacity to promote cross-cultural and global conversations outside of the students’ classrooms. Students of any major can apply what they are learning in their courses to their lives outside of the classroom. This allows students to grasp how they fit into the world around them on local and global scales.

One of the committee’s immediate goals is to introduce itself to the Monmouth community. Doing so will raise campus and community awareness of the IGU and of global issues with local opportunities for education and engagement. Although the current COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the committee’s efforts, the committee members are conducting and joining virtual meetings to reach students and faculty to inform them about the committee’s — and the IGU’s — mission.

“The most important task we have had as a committee in year one is to get connected to student leaders interested in the work and mission of IGU. Our series of spring semester virtual meet-and-greet sessions served as a great way for student leaders to get to know IGU and to brainstorm together on ways we can create student-centered synergies.” – Prof. Claude Taylor, lecturer in Communication Studies and the Director of Academic Transition and Inclusion