Stanley and students pose for a group photo in Pakistan

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Your home DVR wasn’t going to work for this TV appearance.

Seven Northeastern Illinois University students joined Department of Social Work Chair Jade Stanley on a study tour to Pakistan in late March and early April—and ended up on a morning talk show.

“We were asked to participate in the TV show to share our positive experiences while in Pakistan, shed light on the issues of women empowerment in Pakistan, and to increase opportunities for students coming to Pakistan to study in the universities,” said Stanley, who was joined on the “World This Morning” show by Omar Alba, Nicole Babbini and Kim Miller. “The students were prepared to share their insights and felt excited to be able to share their experiences in Pakistan as well as their interests from a student perspective.”

“World This Morning” focuses on music, film, fashion and social issues. During the appearance, hosts Maha Makhdum and Shahzad Khan asked the group questions about the nature of their visit and what the students are focusing on in their studies.

“As part of the University, we are cultural ambassadors and we are here to form and maintain a relationship with the University of Management and Technology,” Stanley explained. “And to work on social development projects, to look through the lens of women, children and communities and to try to bring about change that is better for those at the margins so that they can come to the center for opportunities and access.”

Miller, who will graduate in May, wants to work with impoverished communities.

“My target is women. Back in the U.S. my internship is with Girls in the Game, and we help girls become leaders,” she said on "World This Morning." “I’m going to grad school, and my concentration will be leadership. That looks at developing programs, developing models that can help the community, the family system and people in general.”

While the two-week trip also drew press coverage from Lahore News, the Associated Press of Pakistan and the Daily Times, it was primarily about learning. Students Frank Belizaire, Claudia Lopez, Wannea McDaniel and Julia Ramirez also were part of the March 18-April 3 experience that included visits to community-based schools, hospitals, orphanages, historical sites, and scholarly lectures and exchanges. They visited the School of Business  and the Office of Internationalizaton at the University of Management and Technology in Lahore.

The study tour experience was designed to expand students’ worldview through the interaction with students, professors, community activists and community members in both rural and urban communities in Pakistan.

“My research and teaching interests include community and international social work,” Stanley said. “I teach in both of those curriculum areas and use my experiences and expertise as a foundation for teaching and learning among and between students.”

After returning from Pakistan, Stanley’s students quickly prepared to share their newfound knowledge.

“Students were provided many opportunities to explore the issues of social justice, inequality and access,” Stanley said. “They engaged in primary research activities and shared their findings at the Annual Student Research and Creative Activities Symposium on April 14.”

Stanley, in cooperation with the Office of International Programs, offers an international study experience once a year. Past tours have visited South Africa, Mexico, Jamaica, Ghana and India, all with a focus on social development and women’s empowerment.