New ‘user-friendly’ database oversees Redbird international community


Throughout the Illinois State community, there are a variety of students, faculty and staff with the experience of living and working in different countries around the world. Now, a new database is being introduced that will help bring all of these connections to one place.

The International Experience Database was initiated a few years ago by the International Studies Advisory Committee (ISAC) to create a more efficient way for world travelers to navigate through the international connections and opportunities available to them. Rita Bailey, Assistant Provost of the Office of the Provost, is very excited about the launch of the new project.

“The information is at your fingertips; now you don’t have to call a hundred people, you can just go to one spot.” Bailey said.

The initial survey, created by Aslihan Spaulding, a member of ISAC, was sent out to collect the information from faculty and staff. ISAC took those incoming responses and organized them for the database. Then, with the help of Web and Interactive Communications, they were able to work collectively and create the new database and make it accessible to the campus.

One of the most useful features of the database is the variety of search options. Users can search by Language, Individuals, Region, Country and Department.

Office Support Specialist of the Office of Provost, Greta Schapmire, is excited about the search features. “It is so user-friendly and so searchable. Whether it’s for professionals, students, projects, presentations or studying abroad, the uses for it are just endless,” Schapmire said.

The survey for the database is available to anyone who requests it. Once your information is submitted, Schapmire reviews the survey results and is responsible for keeping the database updated. The database can be updated at any time, and new information is always welcome.

“We have a lot of people with a lot of good international experience. We didn’t have a way until now to access that information.” Schapmire said.

This database is not only for those who have international experience. Anyone in the ISU community can benefit from the information provided by the database.

It gives students a chance to take a further look into the studying abroad program, finding faculty members with similar cultural interests, and can be especially useful for students who are coming to ISU from different countries, so they can find faculty members and fellow students who they can communicate with more easily.

The new database can be found through the International Studies and Programs page. Faculty members can contact the Office of Provost to have their information added or updated to the database as needed. The International Experiences database is an exciting advancement for the university and is a great way of bringing the ISU community closer together.

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