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Web site hopes to encourage global interaction

February 19, 2001

MSU may seem like just a dot on the map geographically, but the university wants to extend its reach around the globe.

The Internet has provided a portal for MSU’s newest international initiative - the MSU Global Access Web site.

MSU President M. Peter McPherson announced the site’s launching at hisa eighth annual State of the University Address last week. He named globalization as one of the key challenges MSU must address.

“Our tradition of international research and outreach, combined with our recent successes in study abroad, provide fertile ground for making MSU a truly global university, a university where internationalism permeates our teaching, research and outreach,” he said during the half-hour address.

McPherson credited the new site as part of MSU’s extension into the global community.

The site, which became accessible Feb. 12, will connect Michigan citizens to a range of resources useful in exploring and communicating with the rest of the world.

Jay Rodman, special projects coordinator in the Office of International Studies and Programs, said the site can provide information to schools, communities, businesses and government.

“I think this is going to be a helpful tool for the Michigan State campus to learn more about the world, but they are only part of the audience,” he said. “MSU should play a larger role in providing international resources to people of Michigan.”

A special section of the site, MSU Global Michigan, features resources from Michigan’s universities, organizations and citizens who have international connections.

Geoff Wyatt, site designer and Web coordinator for the Office of International Studies and Programs, said although the site is tailored to Michigan, it still provides a broad range of resources from around the world.

“In terms of a place that centralizes this information with Michigan residents in mind, it’s something you probably aren’t going to find anywhere else,” he said.

The site links to Web sites for 229 countries, regions and territories. Users can find links to maps, articles, embassies and international news agencies in both English and foreign languages.

The ability to search for things by subject area rather than just keywords or geographic areas is another unique feature, Rodman said.

“We hope the searchability of these resources is organized so that the user can find what they are looking for easily,” he said. “We’re trying to draw together resources from the full spectrum of geographic locations and thematic issues.”

Rodman said faculty members from across the university made the project possible by contributing resources and expertise from their colleges or departments.

The project, which began in January 2000, can be used in its present stage, but project coordinators plan to expand its base of resources as time goes on.

“I think this is a unique project that will enhance our reputation as a global university,” Rodman said.

The site can be accessed at http://www.msuglobalaccess.net.

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