April 30th, 2020.
Summary of the Meeting
The annual meeting of the STAR Scholars Network Leadership Team was held virtually via zoom on April 30, 2020, from 7.00 pm to 8.40 pm Eastern time of the United States. Members from different corners of the world joined the meeting. The meeting started with a welcome note from Dr. Uttam Gaulee, the President of this Network. The President then went on to elaborate the mission of the STAR Scholars Network and shared the vision of a more humane and just world. He also announced the opening of the Global Connections Award. Then the meeting went through with the pre-planned agenda and procedures.
After the welcome note of the President, Mr. Thakur Gywali, the Technology Consultant of this organization shared the new inclusion and updated version on the organization’s website. He spoke about the technical support that he provided and will provide in the future. He also requested the participants to share any ideas regarding the improvement of the website and even any technological issue. He offered his willingness to help the organization and the members with all kinds of technical support to help this organization to grow up.
The next speaker was Dr. Krishna Bista, the Vice-President of Education Services. He shared the opportunity this Network is providing for growing up as scholars and researchers. Dr. Bista showed that this Network currently had ten peer-reviewed journals and ten book projects. He also explained the connections that this organization has with big publishers like Routledge, and CRC Press. He then requested the participants to contribute to book projects and told that the information of the contact persons for each book project available on the STAR Scholars Website. The upcoming books are as follows;
- Student Mobility from the Global South.
- Social Mobility in Higher Education.
- International Faculty Experiences.
- International Student Support and Engagement.
- Inequalities in Study Abroad and Student Mobility.
- Construction of International Students in the Middle East.
- International Student Employability from the Global South.
- International students in Community Colleges.
- Coronavirus (COVID 19) and Global Higher Education.
- International Education Initiatives at HBCUs.
Dr. Chris Glass, the Vice-President of Research and Public Policy, was the next speaker. He shared the journals under the Open Journals in Education (OJED.ORG) platform, and how this platform was expanded quickly around the world. He showed a statistic that Web traffic increased from 2,855 active users per month in January 2019 when launched to 7,010 active users per month on April 30, 2020. An increase of 250% in less than 18 months! He then shared the following journals that are under the OJED and the STAR Scholars platform.
- Journal of International Students.
- The Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education.
- Higher Education Economics & Politics.
- Journal of Underrepresented & Minority Progress.
- Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education.
- International Journal of Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Higher Education.
- Journal of School Administration Research & Development.
- International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Economic Issues.
- Journal of Global Literacies, Technologies, & Emerging Pedagogies.
Dr. Glass then shared the 10th anniversary of the Journal of International Students and its special issue in Chinese and Bahasa language. He spoke in brief how this journal founded by Dr. Krishna Bista 10 years ago, and it is now a Tier 1 peer-reviewed academic journal in the world.
The next speaker was Dr. Marohang Limbo. He spoke about his journal that he founded titled “Journal of Global Literacies, Technologies, and Emerging Pedagogies. He shared that he was glad to get a platform like STAR Scholars Network for his journal because this Network has a wide range of scholarly activities for researchers around the world.
Then it was the turn for the country directors to share their upcoming projects, conferences, and webinars. Dr. Liem Gain Sin, the Country Director of Indonesia, shared about STAR’s activities after the STAR Conference last year. He shared that they are planning for another conference in 2020 because the last conference gave them enthusiasm and colossal learning. They also received very positive feedback regarding their previous conference from the local scholars. He then shared in brief about the upcoming STAR conference in Manada, Indonesia. For that conference, an advisory board is working. There are six keynote speakers for that conference. The review board has been working on bringing qualities of all of the presentations for the last three months. They have 120 volunteers from different backgrounds who are relentlessly working to make the conference successful.
The next turn was for Dr. Mousumi Mukherjee, the country director of India. Dr. Gaulee, the STAR President, informed the meeting that it was too early in India, and she was busy with another conference. Thus, she was unable to join the meeting.
Then Dr. Jeevan Khanal, the Country Director of Nepal, shared about the upcoming STAR International Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, in November 2020. Dr. Knanal shared the progress and preparation of the conference. The title of the conference is “Innovation and Trends in Educational Technology Accessibility, Universal Design and Open Education Resources Data, Analytic and Cyber Security Administration, Leadership, and Policy Instructor, and Student Support.” The organizational committee of that conference included faculty from the different universities of Nepal and the personnel of the Nepal Ministry of Education. Dr. Khanal then invited everyone to join the conference and requested to be a keynote speaker or presenter.
Dr. Fred Boateng, the Country Director of Ghana, then shared his plan for the STAR conference. They are planning to host an international conference in Ghana in the fall of 2022. He shared that the committee is still working for the conference theme and will share all STAR members after finalizing it.
After the Country Directors, Dr. Marguerite Dennis, Director of STAR Mentoring Initiatives, shared about her initiatives to promote the young scholars, graduate students, and new faculty members. She shared that she holds webinars frequently for these young people to grow up as scholars. She also shared that she is updating the information on the STAR website every week regarding the COVID 19 situation to help the university administrators to cope with this pandemic to help students to be on track.
Dr. Marvin Perry, the Vice-President of Business Development, shared his vision and mission on finding a location to house this Network in the Baltimore area in Maryland. He shared that he is working for it and also, he is working to increase the number of STAR members. Then it was the turn for Mr. Harry Bhandari, the Vice-President of Political Affairs of the STAR Network. He is a state delegate for the Maryland General Assembly. He told the audiences that he was glad to be a part of this Network and committed to working with everyone to expand the quality of education.
Then Dr. Sanoya Amienyi, the Vice-President of Finance, talked about how to raise funds for this organization to sustain. As there is no membership fee, so it is challenging to collect find. However, she showed enthusiasm to continue the support of financing for any publications or conferences if anyone needs. She is committed to working to manage the fund for this organization with everyone’s help.
The next speaker was Dr. Edward Valeau, the Vice-President of Executive Innovation & Workforce Development. He talked that he is motivated by this meeting and planning to reach out to everyone personally to gather more information to promote innovation and to create a robust workforce.
Dr. Shuning Liu, Director of International Education, Research, and Development, shared her vision on how to expand researches. She shared that she is currently hosting webinars regarding the impact of COVID 19 in global higher education. She was glad to share that she is getting very positive feedback regarding her webinar. Her upcoming webinar will be held on May 28, and the information is available on the STAR website. She will share her next webinar with the website soon.
The next speaker was Ms. Shahinaz Alkhaldi, the Project Associate of the STAR Network. She shared her dissertation topic with the audience and told the meeting that she was working on collecting STAR members from the different fields.
Then Mr. Muhammad Sharif Uddin, the Director of Outreach Programs, shared his works and commitment to keep contacting the personnel of this Network to hold conferences and all other scholarly activities.
After that, Coordinator of African Region Dr. Boateng shared the forthcoming Homecoming of HBCUs in July this year in Ghana. He emphasized the “resonance of mission” of the STAR Scholars network with the work he is doing currently, mainly to connect scholars in the United States with their roots in Africa.
Finally, it was the turn for the STAR Advisory Board members. Three of the distinguished members were present in that meeting. The first member was Dr. Gene Hammond. He shared his pleasure to see this Network growing up so quickly and globally. He is excited to see all the activities the STAR members are doing around the world. “For me, it’s very inspiring to see what this organization has become. To see all these people on the ground working around the globe on the variety of projects that are helpful both locally and internationally … I feel my advice has been valuable.”
Then Dr. Rosalind Raby also spoke about the raising of this Network. She shared that she is delighted to see how this Network is shining with all members’ commitment and contributions. “STAR is the celebration of community, celebration of energy, and imagination. In the time of hopelessness, Today is the hope!” she remarked. She then highlighted the scope of her journal to and invited scholars for the continued academic dialogue.
The last advisor was Dr. Glenda Prime. Dr. Gaulee thanked her for giving the opportunity to house this Network in her building. Dr. Prime shared her joy to see the expansion of this Network and committed to continue her support for it. She was also optimistic that this Network would bring out more researchers and researchers. She commended Dr. Gaulee and Dr. Bista for the vision and insight with which they brought the organization into existence and said that the work this organization does is incredibly important. She lauded the opportunities created for young scholars by connecting them with the more experienced ones as “enormously impactful.” The current crisis in which we find ourselves is an opportunity to make our research meaningful, she observed. Highlighting the chaos created by the COVID-19 pandemic, she observed, this pandemic has shown up the inequities in our world as nothing else has in recent times. “As researchers, we need to blend our work with activism to bring about change that will make the world a better place. One of the things we have taken for granted as we turned to online education, we need to study more deeply the impact of that one the products, and how online learning is changing our scholars. We just cannot glass over that. And, most importantly, about how our work as educators can change the world and equip our scholars to impact the inequities that this pandemic has laid bare.”
At last, Dr. Gaulee, the President of the STAR Scholars Network, expressed his gratitude to all of the attendees for joining. He reminded everyone that the statistics presented are not just numbers, but they are real scholars around the globe advancing the mission of STAR Scholars Network. Dr. Gaulee then requested Dr. Bista for the closing remarks.
Dr. Bista inspired everyone to contribute to the upcoming book projects, and concluded the meeting, thanking the participants for their excellent contribution and commitment to this Network.