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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
University Newswire
 
University Newswire
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Date: June 26, 2007
Contact: Scott Bigelow
Email: scott.bigelow@uncp.edu
Phone: 910.521.6351
Fax: 910.521.6694
 

Reggie Oxendine: UNCP's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates

Reggie Oxendine (left) with His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan

Reggie Oxendine (left) with His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan
Mabarak Al Nahayan

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View additional photos from trip

Very few higher education conferences have been described as a life-changing events. But that's how UNCP computing consultant Reggie Oxendine described his latest academic adventure.

The February conference was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It was sponsored by the U.A.E.'s Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).

With war seeming to be imminent in the Middle East, Oxendine was faced with one of the toughest decisions of his life.

"At first I had mixed feelings about traveling abroad, especially to the Middle East," Oxendine said. "After doing some research on the conference and the United Arab Emirates, I realized that this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity."

"So, I packed my bags, and, after an 18-hour flight, I arrived in Abu Dhabi," he said.

Oxendine, who works for the Office of Outreach and Distance Learning at UNCP, said he never imagined reaching out this far. The greater the risk, the greater the reward, Oxendine maintained today.

"My experience was both eye opening and life changing," he said. "I realized that people are people no matter where they live, the color of their skin, or their religious beliefs. We all have similar needs, views and ideas."

While working on his Master's of Education in Instructional Technology at East Carolina University, Oxendine heard of the conference through the graduate office. They were soliciting papers for the "E-ducation Without Borders" 2003 Conference.

Oxendine's submission entitled, "E-learning Delivers Global Perspectives," was one of more than 300 papers submitted. Only 30 were chosen to be presented at the conference.

"After arriving in Abu Dhabi, I realized that I was among an elite group of students studying at many prestigious universities from around the world," Oxendine said. "The students presenting papers represented about 20 countries from around the world and the students attending the conference represented over 50 countries."

As an American in the Middle East, Oxendine admitted that he felt a little lonely at times. He made the most of it.

"While there were nine other Americans in attendance at the conference, I was the only one from the southeastern United States," he said. "That gave me the chance to tell others about how wonderful North Carolina, UNC Pembroke, and East Carolina University are to live, work, and receive an education."

One of the keynote speakers was His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The conference objectives were to create an environment conducive to the transfer of information, ideas and concepts and expose delegates to a variety of cultures and philosophies drawn from a global pool.

Also, the conference provided a nucleus of high profile speakers that increased delegate's perspectives on a variety of issues and topics. In addition, it provided the latest technologies and their interrelationship with the learning process. The conference also provided a catalyst for e-ducation and profiles the UAE and the HCT as purveyors of high quality education with concern to their role in the global community.

"The conference was an opportunity to discuss these ideas and views with one another and apply it to the e-learning and e-ducation environment," Oxendine said. "I intend to spread the word to other potential students that may want to attend the E-ducation Without Borders Conference in 2005.

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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Updated: < Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Copyright © 2001-2003 The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
University Newswire
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Phone: 910.521.6351
Fax: 910.521.6694
Email: scott.bigelow@uncp.edu