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FIE Hits All the Right Notes

August 30, 2013


violinistAn inspired musical milestone occurred on August 29 when, for the first time ever, FIE kicked off the fall 2013 semester with a special concert presented in collaboration with London’s acclaimed Orchestra Vitae. The inaugural event, which was attended by FIE’s students, staff and faculty, was designed to not only welcome students, but to celebrate their new temporary home city with a unique blend of music and words. By all accounts, the event, which took place in historic St. Stephen’s Church where T.S. Eliot once worshipped, achieved its ambitious goals and then some!

FIE faculty Christopher Cook and Brian Ridgers read selections from Samuel Johnson, William Wordsworth and William Shakespeare, among others, while the orchestra provided the musical backdrop for the festivities, playing everything from Gustav Holst and Joseph Haydn to a medley of James Bond tunes. John M. Pearson, FIE’s Vice President of Operations described the evening as “outstanding.”

“London has been an inspirational setting throughout the centuries and home to an incalculable variety of diverse creative artists,” said Pearson in an address to the new students. “London will be your home for the next few months and we know [the concert] will inspire you to learn as students and to develop as global citizens,” he told them. “Welcome to London and FIE!”

The concert was such a smashing success; another, even larger performance, is set for Tuesday, October 29th. During the upcoming concert, the orchestra will perform a piece by famed living British composer Stephen McNeff. The forthcoming event will also move from St. Stephen’s Church to the brand new 800-seat St. John’s Smith Square in order to accommodate the larger audience. A free outreach event sponsored by the Family Arts Festival will precede the October show. 

FIE is a proud education partner with Orchestra Vitae and conducter Michael Cobb. The relationship means that visiting students have the opportunity to integrate with London culturally in a way that is unique in the international education community. Or, to quote William Wordsworth in his poem “Westminster Bridge,”


Dull would he be of soul who could pass byconductor

A sight so touching in its majesty:

This City now doth like a garment wear

The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,

Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie

Open unto the fields, and to the sky,

bright and glittering in the smokeless air.


John Makey Wins

September 12, 2013


John MakeyJohn Makey, Senior Faculty in Cultural Studies and Academic Consultant, has been selected as the 2013 recipient of FIE’s Dr. Rajini Pani Outstanding Faculty Award. Chief Academic Officer Julie Andreshak-Behrman presented the award during the student welcome reception on September 11th. Dr. Grahaeme A. Hesp, Director of Academics and Senior Faculty gave the speech honoring John.

John has been with FIE since our inception in 1998 and has held several positions with the company, including Associate Program Director, Academic Consultant, and Course Leader of the British Life Key Courses. His passion for teaching and dedication to research has put him at the forefront of student-centered learning for more than two decades. As one of his many nominators explained, “John is an innate teacher - he engages with students sensitively, eloquently, and passionately - these teaching tools or gifts are phenomena that come naturally to him.”

Prior to joining FIE, John received a BA and PGCE Modern and Medieval History at King’s College, London and was a prestigious Blue Badge Tourist Guide for London. John’s extensive knowledge of London has been an invaluable resource for both students and visiting faculty alike. His primary responsibilities, which include the planning and delivery of FIE’s British Life and Culture courses are essential to helping visiting students adapt to their new environment.

In addition to receiving a plaque that will be perpetually displayed in the main hallway of Foundation House, he also received a personalized gift that was specifically chosen for him. He asked that a donation to be made in his name to the St. Giles Trust, a charity that helps prevent prisoners from re-offending, “in typical John Makey fashion,” according to Dr. Hesp.

The Dr. Rajini Pani Outstanding Faculty Award honors one FIE faculty member per academic year who has achieved a sustained and varied record of teaching excellence. The award is named for Dr. Rajini Pani, who was FIE’s Academic Director and Senior Lecturer from April 2008 until her untimely death in November 2010. Dr. Pani, an educator and researcher of unparalleled skill and vision, often proudly proclaimed that teaching was her life.

FIE Academic Advisory Board member to be presented with prestigious book award

October 23, 2013


We are pleased to announce that Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox, co-authored by FIE Academic Advisory Board member Michael A. Genovese, PhD has won the 2013 Outstanding Leadership Book Award from the International Leadership Association. The award will be presented on October 31st at the organization’s annual conference in Montreal.

Genovese says that he and co-author Thomas E. Cronin, Professor of American Institutions and Leadership at Colorado College, wanted to give readers “a little more complex view of what leadership is” rather than many less-nuanced tomes that often focus on “pillars” or “principles” of leadership. Instead, Leadership Matters sets its sights on the “paradoxes, contradictions and unexpected events” leadership teams face in today’s world. 

The book challenges conventional wisdom such as “leaders are born and not made,” as well as the idea that leaders are necessarily smarter or more creative than other people. The authors say they wanted to make the book both comprehensive and accessible to readers of all ages.

The ILA selection committee praised Leadership Matters’ “exceptional scholarship, innovative thinking, and significant contribution to the field of leadership.” The book is already being hailed as a classic in its field. Noted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin calls Leadership Matters a “tour de force” and “one of the most wide-ranging, fascinating, and intricate studies of leadership” she has ever read.

Michael A. Genovese is a professor of political science, as well as the current Loyola Chair of Leadership Studies and Director of the Institute for Leadership Studies at FIE partner, Loyola Marymount University. He is also a frequent contributor to CBS News in Los Angeles. The International Leadership Association was established in 1999 as a global network for the study and practice of leadership skills. According to its mission statement, the organization “promotes a deeper understanding of leadership knowledge and practices for the greater good of individuals and communities worldwide.”