GGC collaborating with Lilburn’s Sister City efforts
Georgia Gwinnett College recently hosted a meeting between representatives of the college, the City of Lilburn and the City of Suhareka, Kosovo, in which discussions centered on GGC’s involvement with a new Sister Cities relationship between Lilburn and Suhareka.
According to its Web site, Sister Cities International creates relationships based on cultural, educational, information and trade exchanges, creating lifelong friendships that provide prosperity and peace through person-to-person “citizen diplomacy.” Several communities in Georgia have Sister Cities, and some have programs with communities in multiple nations.
“Georgia Gwinnett is committed to providing our students with opportunities to engage in the global community,” said Dr. Anthony Pinder, director of the Office of Internationalization. “For almost 60 years, the Sister Cities program has provided entire communities with such opportunities. We are pleased to partner with Mayor Johnny Crist and the City of Lilburn on their program with Suhareka, and particularly excited to participate in one of the first Sister City programs for a Gwinnett County community.”
This fall, the college will welcome its first two degree-seeking students from Kosovo. Last year, the Kosovo government sponsored 30 high school students for a U.S. cultural exchange experience in Gwinnett, during which they visited GGC and other local colleges. The two students enrolling this fall were a part of that original Kosovo high school delegation. A similar program for this fall is currently being planned, during which a new group of 30 students may spend time at GGC.
Individuals attending the GGC meeting included Pinder, Dr. Lois C. Richardson, acting senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and provost; Johnny Crist, mayor of the City of Lilburn; Cheryl Park, assistant director of International Student Services; Suzy Blough, program coordinator-Internationalization; Erin Burchik, outreach director – Grace Church in Lilburn; Blerim Kuci, mayor of the City of Suhareka, Kosovo; Berat Gegaj, director of Kosovo Partners; Bedri Berisha, English teacher and Pal Baftiaj, medical professional.