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Mariët Westermann, executive vice president for programs and research, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, spoke about “International Education in an Age of New Nationalisms” at the Cornell Global Grand Challenges Symposium in November 2018. Her talk was a history lesson, a report on the state of democracy and higher education, and a call to action.

During the 2-day symposium, panelists and keynote speakers laid out some of the most pressing issues of our times, as well as possible paths to solutions. One of the goals of the symposium was to identify themes to be considered for Cornell’s first Global Grand Challenge initiative, a dedication to a topic through new curricular, scholarly, and engaged work across campus. In October 2019, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs announced the theme of the first global grand challenge: Migrations.