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Glocal: A Student Magazine with a Worldwide Eye

An in-depth exploration of how a giant slum evolved in Mumbai, India — and what positive lessons its example may offer for the Western societies — is not the sort of article that usually appears in a student magazine at an American university.

But Glocal, at St. Lawrence University, is different. The brainchild of Davis UWC Scholar Lukasz Nipardo (Poland), Glocal is a student-written, student-run publication whose goal is to encourage people to “think globally and act locally,” and whose first issue appeared early this year.

A global-studies major, Lukasz said the notion first struck him after a classroom conversation on globalization and its impacts, not just in Asia and Africa but in this country, too. “I was thinking that a magazine can reach people, and can show people the changes that are going on in the world,” he said. As faculty and fellow students got involved, he said, “we decided to follow the idea of liberal-arts eduction, but also the idea of UWC — to have people from many majors and departments involved.”

The magazine now has editors, a faculty advisor, a board of advisors, and university funding, and is being circulated in print and via the Web. Its first articles included the profile of Mumbai’s Dharavi slum, written by Davis UWC Scholar Khadeeja Hamid (Maldives, Mahindra UWC of India), along with a comparison of how imported food is affecting farms in Senegal and the university’s region of upstate New York.

“The Glocal project is just getting off the ground, so it’s too early to tell exactly what impact it will have,” reflected John Collins, chair of global studies at St. Lawrence. “But given the dedication the students have shown so far, I am very optimistic that it will play a significant role in our collective process of teaching and learning.”

Noting that many students in global studies and related fields are doing “high-quality research,” Collins said the publication can inspire them to reach even higher. “We’re very excited about where this project is headed,” he added.