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2012-2013 Common Experience Theme

A Global Odyssey: Exploring Our Connections to the Changing World

Imagine that José, a future freshman lives in Alpine, Texas. Although he lives in West Texas, he is also a citizen of a global society. When Jose buys a product at Wal-Mart, he might not know the item got there via a complicated supply chain that involved coordination between producers, distributors and others around the world. Or when he watches an animated film at the local cinema, Jose might not realize it was written in Miami, designed and directed in Los Angeles, animated in Bangalore, India, voiced-over in several cities around the globe, and edited in San Francisco.

The interconnectedness of today's global society can be seen even in places that only very recently seemed situated on the periphery of world events. Volcanic eruption in Iceland not only interrupted air travel around the world for weeks, but also impeded the movement of humans, food, and other commodities. Due to increases in the middle class population and the banking industry, the continent of Africa is now the second largest market for mobile phone use. And despite government attempts to restrict coverage of protests calling for change throughout the Middle East, technology has enabled individuals to air their grievances in real time in the "Twitterverse" and beyond.
 
These examples highlight the importance of developing an awareness of the ways individuals and localities are a part of a complex web of interconnected relationships. The events planned for the 2012-2013 Common Experience aim to provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to develop a deeper appreciation for how events on the other side of the world can impact day-to-day experiences in the U.S.
 
Texas State already has made some strides in preparing students for a future in the global marketplace. Selection of A Global Odyssey as the Common Experience theme will bring together internationalization efforts already occurring across campus to lead to the development of new and exciting initiatives.
 
Globalization brings with it change, and these changes are happening ever more rapidly. Students face an ever-changing job market and must prepare for jobs that do not even exist yet. It is critical, therefore, that Texas State prepare students for the complexities of life in a globalized world. 
 
Everyone is invited to join in A Global Odyssey: Exploring Our Connections with the Changing World, and in doing so become:
  • more aware of the complex geographic, political, and economic connectedness of today's world
  • more equipped with essential 21st century skills
  • more empowered to work toward improving the quality of life at the local and global levels
  • more socially responsible members of the global community
  • more appreciative of the vibrant and varied cultures across the globe.