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Edmonds CC to send seven students to the Global Leadership Summit Conference in South Africa


Marisa DuBois
Marisa DuBois

Marisa DuBois, Edmonds College Director of Student Services for Adult Basic Education/English as a Second Language, has made the world seem a bit smaller by bridging the gap between the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, South Africa and Edmonds CC.

Edmonds CC has been invited to send seven students to the Global Leadership Summit conference at UFS in Bloemfontein, South Africa from July 5-18.

The international conference will be an exchange of ideas and experiences regarding diversity, racism, racial integration, social justice, and reconciliation within the higher education system.

“I am hoping that on a student-to-student level, they can see themselves in each other and continue to support each other as students, working professionals, and community members,” said DuBois.

International delegates from institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia will have an opportunity to understand South African society, and how university students are being looked to as the country’s future leaders.

In 2012, DuBois took a two-quarter leave of absence and went to Bloemfontein as a visiting student affairs scholar, to support the Leadership For Change (LFC) initiative, which was instituted in 2010. LFC aims to get a select group of students into a short term educational two week experience, along with a year-long leadership development program.

As a result of DuBois’s visit, Edmonds CC brought students from UFS here to visit classes, departments and areas within the community in September 2013.

“I was proud of our campus for embracing the students,” said DuBois. “There was a mutual fascination on both sides.”

The UFS students also connected with our Center for Student Engagement and Leadership (CSEL) leaders. A pivotal point was when they visited the Race exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. There was a pre-workshop and a post- workshop for the students to discuss racial inequality.

DuBois earned her Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington in 2011.

When asked what inspired her to bring the Global Leadership Summit as an opportunity to Edmonds CC students, “My experience in South Africa was so profound there. I didn’t want it to be another thing on my checklist and I wanted to see how I could help facilitate change,” said DuBois. “This partnership has been a part of my growth — to see the experience that the students had here, I thought ‘it worked!’ and want it to continue to impact student’s lives.”