Despite the challenges of this past year, the contributions and achievements of our colleagues, program participants, and alumni give us hope for a brighter future. As we look forward to 2021, they inspire us to continue striving to make our vision of a better world a reality.
In the new year, we are eager to resume in-country programming, but only once we can do so safely. This fall, SIT’s undergraduate and graduate students were able to take part in immersive programs in Iceland, Rwanda, and Uganda, utilizing appropriate COVID-19 safety measures, and we anticipate sending SIT students out into the world on additional programs in spring and summer 2021. Next year we also look forward to welcoming the inaugural cohorts for five SIT Graduate Institute programs: our ground-breaking EdD in Global Education, SIT’s first doctorate and the first degree of its kind in the U.S.; part-time, hybrid master’s degrees in Global Leadership & Social Innovation and Humanitarian Assistance & Crisis Management; and global master’s degrees in Diplomacy & International Relations and International Education.
In the interim, we will continue to offer opportunities for intercultural education and exchange through innovative virtual programming, such as SIT Study Abroad’s popular virtual internships and online language courses and The Experiment Digital: STEAM Discovery Lab, which will launch this winter. This fall, SIT also hosted a semester-long Critical Conversations webinar series, which brought together nearly 700 speakers and attendees, including faculty, staff, alumni, and prospective students in community-wide dialogue on the most Critical Global Issues—challenges that transcend borders and touch every human on the planet.
Since our organization’s beginning, we have imagined a world bound by our common humanity and shared sense of responsibility toward one another. This resonates especially true in the face of tragedy, like the devastating explosion in Beirut in August, which has seriously impacted hundreds of thousands of people, including our own staff there. Since then, we have been supporting our colleagues in Lebanon as they recover from this terrible tragedy and carry on their vital work improving public primary school education across the country.
Through all of this we are guided by our Board of Trustees, which now encompasses four new trustees, Jack Benson, Elizabeth Clay Roy, Aicha Cooper, and Roopali Phadke, as well as returning trustee Rye Barcott. They bring diverse perspectives and rich experience in their respective fields, which range from nonprofit leadership to marketing, international development, social justice, and climate resilience. We are so proud they have decided to join us and contribute their time and expertise to our organization.
We hope that you are inspired to continue on this journey with us as well. Together we can overcome whatever obstacles the next year may bring and work in partnership, as members of a global community, to fulfill our shared mission of creating a more sustainable, peaceful, and just world.