Georgian leaders examine empowerment of women in academia at UMSL

Georgian delegates Ivdit Diasamidze (left) and Nino Kakhashvili (center) meet with Peggy Cohen, associate provost and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at UMSL

Georgian delegates Natia Kaladze (left) and Nino Kakhashvili (center) meet with Peggy Cohen, associate provost and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at UMSL. Diasamidze and Kakhashvili were among six university leaders from the nation of Georgia to visit UMSL during a trip to St. Louis to examine empowerment of women in academia. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Six university leaders from the nation of Georgia in Central Asia learned how U.S. women leaders shape education and public policy during a recent visit to the University of Missouri–St. Louis. The visiting delegates were in St. Louis for nine days this month to examine “Empowerment of Women in Academia” through their participation in the Open World program.

At UMSL, they heard from Chancellor Thomas George, on “The 21st Century University,” attended a panel discussion with women elected officials and higher education leaders and took in a presentation on “Developing Women Leaders” by Vivian Eveloff and Dayna Stock, director and manager of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, respectively. Carole Basile, dean of the College of Education at UMSL, moderated the panel discussion, which included Peggy Cohen, associate provost and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at UMSL, Rep. Margo McNeil, Rep. Sharon Pace and Betty Sims, a member of the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

The visiting delegates from Georgia included:

  • Ivdit Diasamidze, Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University in Batumi
  • Ana Imnadze, NPLE Gori State Teaching University
  • Nino Kakhashvili, Gogebashvili Telavi State University
  • Teona Odzelashvili, Free University of Tbilisi
  • Mary Sakhamberidze, Akhaltsikhe State Teaching University
  • Natia Kaladze, University of Georgia in Tbilisi, who accompanied the delegates as a facilitator

The Friendship Force of Missouri-St. Louis Club hosted the delegation. Managed by the Open World Leadership Center, a support agency of the United States Congress, the Open World program is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eurasia by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and free-market system.

While in St. Louis, the delegates visited UMSL, Webster University in Webster Groves, Mo., St. Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and the St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. They also stayed in local homes, allowing the delegates to experience American family life and visited the Gateway Arch, the St. Louis Basilica, Missouri Historical Society and St. Louis Art Museum, as well as viewing Christmas lights and attending holiday concerts and activities around the area.


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