Spring Semester Monthly Dinners

Oh, how we enjoy our monthly dinners. From dressing up, and being served delicious meals, we get to interact with leaders from OSU and the Columbus community. It is a great to socialize with both our cohort members and inspiring leaders in our community.Our monthly dinner guests included Dr. Drobny, Kenny, Vern Granger, Jeremy Hollon, Dean Williams, Micky Sharma, and Carina Hansen.

We also had an etiquette dinner with Sharon Schweitzer, author of Access to Asia, who taught us fun and important lessons about dinner etiquette. Who knew there was so much to  learn about eating.

Remember to always follow the host’s lead. 

GLI Projects

The Spring semester was comprised of our weekly meetings, monthly dinners and the completion of the group projects. The cohort members were divided into five groups of four based on social issues of their interest. The themes for the project were Technology, Immigration, Education, Social Equality, Environment, and Human Trafficking. The idea was for the teams to carry out a project that incorporated the global aspect of GLI with the local OSU community.

The planning and execution of the projects was challenging at times as these had to balance the projects on top of all their commitments. Nevertheless, the results of everyone’s projects were nothing short of success. Here are some examples of what our teams accomplished.

The Education team partnered with a local elementary school to share global themed books and have a story time with a group of elementary school students. This was perfect timing as it was “Celebrate Multiculturalism” week at Daniel Wright Elementary School.

Immigration team held a fundraiser at two locations on the OSU campus. The goal was to collect everyday household items specifically hygienic items and donate them to CRIS, a local organization that helps refugees and immigrants in Columbus resettle. The team was happy in the number of items collected.

The Social Equality team presented a documentary on The Freedom to Marry. They invited two guest speakers to have a discussion at the end of the documentary. A lot of students and staff also showed up to the event.

The Technology group presented on the importance of cyber security to a local high school students. This was an important lesson for the students  because information shared online negligently could be used negatively.

And the Environment team held a presentation on Free Trade in collaboration with representatives from a non profit called “Global Gifts.” 

Reminiscing on the Spring Semester




The family bond between the cohort members continued to grow. Everyone felt comfortable and enjoyed spending Monday evenings together. We continued to have great guest speakers and also discussions led by the executive board and Megan. Some of our guest speakers for the Spring were Patrick Terrien from Columbus Council of World Affairs, Tom Katzenmeyer, CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Adan Hussain, and Eric McGraw. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and speak with leaders from different backgrounds who pushed us to think about a variety of topics. It is fair to say that our Monday meetings were a success. We gained invaluable knowledge and networks we would not have otherwise gained in a classroom.

GLI 2016-17: Recap of Autumn 2016

What a knockout group of insightful and talented individuals!

Autumn 2016 was a thrilling one – new cohort, new executive board, new guests – it was inevitable that the first semester of the GLI program would be a unique one in its own.

This cohort is lively.

They are spirited.

They are passionate.

And most importantly, they quickly embraced the utmost important quality that we seek in a selected GLI cohort member, which is the huge capacity for love. It was absolutely wonderful to watch as friendships were quickly formed within the first weeks of the new semester.

The Autumn semester was structured in a way that would provide the cohort members the skills and knowledge that would aid them in planning and preparing the projects that they will execute in the upcoming Spring semester. A total of six projects slowly started to take shape and are centered around the topics of social equality, environment, education, technology, human trafficking and immigration/refugees. These projects are incredibly challenge – not only were they provided with minimal starting points, but they also had to learn to take the initiative to reach out to their respective Columbus-based organisations that they would partner with.

Below is a summary of the past August 2016 itenary:


Weekly Meeting guests

Stephen Deadericks – Defining Leadership in Different Settings”

Jesus E. Melendez & Samantha Singer – “StrengthsQuest

Monthly Dinner guests

Caleb Craft – Learning & Development Specialist in Student Life Human Resources

JM Rayburn – Founding member of ForgeColumbus

Dr Gifty Ako-Adounvo – Assistant Vice-Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs

Tom Reeves – Director, Energy Management & Sustainability

Eric McGraw – President of Laonei Global Trade Consulting


Weekly Meeting guests:

Ainil Khalid & Rachel Beery – “How to Have Conversations” (10 October, 2016)

Jasmine Roberts – “Email Etiquette” (17 October, 2016)

Monthly Dinner guests:

Professor Janet Box-Steffensmeier – Divisional Dean, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Dean, Arts & Sciences Office of Graduate Studies; Professor in Political Science & Sociology

Sara Hall – Attorney at Gnoesis Group; Columbus International Program board member

Nancy Thompson – Director of Buckeye Careers


Weekly Meeting Guests:

Megan Lawther – “Culture & What Now After the Election” (14 November, 2016)

Dr. Larry Inks – “Talent Management, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership” (21 November, 2016)

Monthly Dinner Guests:

Ryan Lovell – Senior Director, Parent and Family Relations and Greek Life

Dr. Paul Carringer – Founder of Caring Marketing Solutions

Tim Sword – President of Greater Columbus Sister Cities International

Hannah Bonacci – Co-founder of the Akumanyi Foundation

A big thank you to our wonderful and inspirational guests for taking the time to share their experiences and perspective with the cohort! Not only was it incredibly motivational, but it was also very practical advice that could be applied to both our personal and professional lives.

We have exciting guests in the upcoming Spring semester too, as well as the traditional reveal of the 2017-18 incoming cohort in April!

Stay tuned for more!


GLI Monthly Dinner & Dining Etiquette


Date: March 28, 2016
Location: Faculty Club

For our LAST monthly dinner of the Global Leadership Initiative 2015-2016 program year, we had the privilege of welcoming a very special guest, Ms. Sharon Schweitzer! Sharon is a cross-cultural consultant, business etiquette expert, and the author of a best-selling and international award-winning book.

The night consisted of a professional dining etiquette dinner facilitated by Sharon. Her facilitation provided the GLI Cohort with modern tools and knowledge to improve our table manners and dining skills in a professional setting. These are lifelong and practical skills that all of us can put to action in the future. Sharon’s professionalism and passion for cross-cultural & international etiquette provided our group with a wonderful experience this evening. We hope to work with Sharon again in the future!

Below are additional photos from our monthly dinner:

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Read more here on the official Office of International Affairs website.



Weekly Meeting: Open Doors Program


Monday, March 21, 2016
Guest Speaker: 
Adan Hussain, Program Coordinator at the Multicultural Center, Open Doors

This past week, we had a very exciting opportunity to welcome Adan Hussain from the Multicultural Center to lead a facilitation on the Open Doors Program. The goal of the facilitation was for our cohort members to understand exactly what bias is, what it looks like, and how do we as leaders interrupt it. The students did a fishbowl conversation that involved active discussion and active listening to hear each other’s thoughts on certain topics. At GLI and as global leaders, we believe that we need to address this issue not only on our campus, but in the community as well. Ultimately, this experiential exercise allowed us to recognize bias and how to intervene to reduce and/or prevent it from happening.

Adan, thank you for your time in leading this facilitation for our group!

Global Leadership Initiative 2015-2016

A Waltz Through Herzliya!


Date: March 10, 2016
Location: OSU Hillel

This week, the Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) in partnership with the David Project, Greater Columbus Sister Cities International (GCSCI), Buckeyes for Israel, and OSU Hillel had an event to celebrate the sister city relationship between Columbus and Herzliya. The interactive cultural night consisted of traditional Israeli food, different panels, a trivia, and a chance to learn Israeli Folk Dance! A huge shoutout to the GLI Cohort members from the Herzliya team for putting this event together. It is safe to say that everyone had a great night meeting new people while educating themselves on this unique culture.

Follow us on Facebook for information on future events this semester!

Below are additional photos from the event:

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GLI and GCSCI: Flavors of Ghana

The talented event planners for Flavors of Ghana.

Date: February 27, 2016
Location: Drelyse African Restaurant

This past weekend, the Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) in collaboration with Greater Columbus Sister Cities International (GCSCI) featuring Drelyse African Restaurant hosted an event to celebrate the sister city relationship between Columbus, Ohio and Accra, Ghana. The afternoon consisted of authentic Ghanaian food, performances, and guest speakers – we even got to say hello to the mayor! The time, dedication, and effort that the GLI team put into this event was what made it such a success. We are looking forward to a few more events this coming semester!

Below are additional photos from the Flavors of Ghana event:

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February 2016: GLI Monthly Dinner


February 22, 2016
Location: Faculty Club
Guest Speaker:

For our second to last monthly dinner, GLI is very excited to welcome back Dr. Gretchen Metzelaars to come talk to the group. Dr. Metzelaars gave her remarks on the importance of having GLI on campus and shared her personal story on her journey to working in the higher education field. We wrapped up the evening with delicious food and great conversations at each table. Below are additional photos highlighting our monthly dinner:


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January 2016: GLI Monthly Dinner


January 25th, 2016
Location: Faculty Club
Guest Speakers:

  • Ms. Vickie “Yiqi” Chen, Founder of Global Leadership Initiative
  • Mr. Tim Sword, President of Greater Columbus Sister Cities International
  • Mr. Ryan Radebaugh, Program Coordinator for Global Engagement, Office of International Affairs
  • Ms. Renée Bishai, Program Coordinator for Global Engagement, Office of International Affairs

This past week, we were able to host our first monthly dinner of the semester. It was a very relaxed night, where each of our members had the opportunity to catch up with each other and share with the guest speakers. The night followed with great food hosted by the Faculty Club.

A very exciting topic for GLI this semester is our 5 groups planning 5 Sister City events. The GLI Cohort members have been working very diligently in planning these events to celebrate Columbus’ sister city relationships with Curitiba, Ahmedabad, Accra, Herzliya, and Seville. These events will highlight the unique cultures of each city and what they represent. Tonight, each group had the opportunity to speak in front of our cohort and guests, and talk about their progress in planning each individual event. Be on the lookout for more information regarding these events over the next few weeks!

Below are photos highlighting our monthly dinner: