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Message from the Director

SUNY Global Engagement Program Director

Associate Professor Ilgu Ozler

 In an increasingly interconnected world, students need to understand the complex issues we now face.  challenges in peace and security, human rights, climate change and sustainable economic development need urgent attention from individuals with a deep grasp of these issues and a cosmopolitan vision of the world.

The SUNY Global Engagement Program is designed to foster that kind of global citizenship. It provides students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the extensive global affairs conducted in New York City. New York is truly a global city, arguably more so than any other in the world. 

The GEP provides a fully integrated learning experience

  • internship in which students work 20-25 hours per week at a relevant international organization (6-9 credits)
  • weekly seminar on international affairs that integrates the students' internship work experience (3 credits)
  • research colloquium through which students conduct an original study related to their internship field (3 credits)

Our goal at the GEP is to have students work in an environment where they will be truly challenged, but also one for which they have the talent and ability to contribute to the real needs of the organization for which they are working. 

There are opportunities to reflect upon and analyze internship experiences and the role of the organizations. The Global Engagement Seminar component gives students a critical social-scientific understanding of the role of these organizations in the world, and in turn their role within these organizations. 

Students write a substantive research paper related to an issue that their organization addresses, and they present their work in the colloquium as they developed it throughout the semester. This yields high quality original research papers suitable for presentation at other venues or for use by the organizations working on the related issues.

The experience that comes from participating in the Global Engagement Program has been described as personally, professionally and intellectually transformative. I look forward to a new cohort of GEP participants, and I invite all interested students to with an interest in global affairs to apply for next fall’s program.


Ş. İlgü Özler, Associate Professor
Political Science and International Relations
Director, SUNY Global Engagement Program in NYC




Ş. İlgü Özler is the Director of the SUNY Global Engagement Program in NYC in NYC and an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at SUNY New Paltz. Her research is on the relationship between comparative political institutions and civil society. She focuses on political parties, non-governmental organizations and social movements. She has done research on the urban slums and squatter areas in Turkey, Mexico and Chile. Her recent work has been on Turkish civil society organizations and the Justice and Development Party in Turkey. Her teaching covers the fields of comparative politics and international relations. For the past decade, she has been taking students to the United Nations for briefings every Friday for 10 weeks during the Spring semester. She teaches courses on intergovernmental organizations, global civil society, Middle Eastern politics and Latin American politics. Her recent work has been on environmental issues. She is a special consultant to the Earth Child Child institute a United Nations Economic and Social Council accredited non-governmental organization. She is the founder and coordinator to the Mid Hudson Valley Amnesty International Chapter, the President of the United Nations Association of the Hudson Valley, and serves on the Board of the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley. Özler received her Ph.D. in Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles (2003).


Visit her webpage here.



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