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FSU Professor Organizes International Conference

Frostburg State University's Dr. MacGregor O'Brien, in his last official function as president of the Association of Academic Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean, organized AAPLAC's international conference in Mérida, Mexico. The event took place from February 22 through 26.

This year's conference was attended by representatives from more than 45 universities. AAPLAC exists to facilitate and support cross cultural programming between Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. institutions of higher learning and organizations dedicated to the promotion of cross-cultural, academic-based experiences.

O'Brien, a professor of Spanish and chair of the Foreign Languages and Literature Department at FSU, arranged for workshops, lectures and discussions on diverse topics dealing with study abroad and international exchanges of faculty and students. Topics ranged from safety for teachers and students while abroad to financial aid opportunities, service learning opportunities, family stays, crisis management, legal issues and intercultural communications, among others.

A highlight of the conference was a presentation on the Gilman Scholarship, recently established by the U.S. Department of State and the Congress to help middle class and underprivileged undergraduate students participate in study abroad programs. Katie Warnick, an FSU student, was among the winners of this scholarship in its first year, which allowed her to participate in FSU's Intersession program in Ecuador this past January.

Another key topic was the issue of safety in a post-September 11 world, especially that of American teachers, students and program directors as they travel, live and study in foreign countries.

Study abroad and international experience opportunities for teachers, administrators and students continue to grow and make an increasingly strong impact on campuses and communities around the world. The U.S. government recognizes that such programs are important to national security, international business and international peace and understanding.

For more information about study abroad opportunities at FSU, contact the Center for International Education at (301) 687-3091 or visit the Web site at

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589