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Matthew Cossolotto’s Keynote Address – Globalize Your Locality – Published in Vital Speeches of the Day
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Yorktown Heights, NY
Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Matthew Cossolotto
 
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Matthew Cossolotto's Keynote Address – Globalize Your Locality – Published in Vital Speeches of the Day

Founder of Study Abroad Alumni International urges study abroad alumni attending the Wisconsin Study Abroad Re-Entry Conference to help reduce our Global Awareness Deficit

Cossolotto is a former aide to House Speaker Jim Wright and Congressman Leon Panetta



Yorktown Heights, NY – January 27, 2010 – Matthew Cossolotto's keynote address to the Wisconsin Study Abroad Re-Entry Conference was published in the December 2009 issue of Vital Speeches of the Day (VSOTD). Cossolotto is the founder of Study Abroad Alumni International and a former aide to House Speaker Jim Wright and Congressman Leon Panetta.

Other prominent speakers published in this issue of VSOTD include President Barack Obama, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Senator John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

In his speech, Cossolotto urged study abroad alumni to "Globalize Your Locality." He also called on returning study abroad students to help reduce our global awareness deficit and to "think global, act global, and be global."

"We hear a lot of talk these days about deficits," Cossolotto said in his speech to a conference for returning study abroad students. "Especially about the federal budget deficit and the trade deficit. But we don't hear anything about what I call the 'Global Awareness Deficit.' I hope you'll use your international experience to help us reduce the Global Awareness Deficit here in the United States."

In his remarks, Cossolotto retraced his experience as a study abroad student at the University of Lund, Sweden, and linked that experience to events in his career as a congressional aide and as the author of two books on European politics. He also linked his study abroad experience to his interest in alternative voting systems and his role as founding president of the Center for Voting and Democracy (www.FairVote.org).

Cossolotto also recounted his service on the 2003 NAFSA task force on education abroad. "At some point during the work of this task force," Cossolotto told the audience, "I had one of those "aha" moments. An idea literally hit me out of the blue. What about forming an international association of study abroad alumni? That idea eventually crystallized into the formation of Study Abroad Alumni International."

"Only about one percent of American undergraduates study abroad," Cossolotto said in his speech. "That's a paltry number. And only about 27 percent of the American people owns a passport. A 2006 survey revealed that only 14 percent of 18 to 24-year olds thought speaking another language is a necessary skill. Only 14 percent! We need to do more to globalize our localities in the U.S. and around the world. And study abroad alumni like you have a special role to play in the effort."

In describing the goals of Study Abroad Alumni International, Cossolotto told the students:

"We want to build a community of global citizens. Our main goals include providing financial assistance to students who want to study abroad but don't have the money to do so. By pooling our resources, with our membership dues and other contributions to SAAI, we will be able to help others study abroad. We also want to showcase the study abroad experiences of well-known, influential, even famous study abroad alumni. These alumni could serve as role models for others to study abroad."

Visit www.VSOTD.com for more information about the December 2009 issue of Vital Speeches of the Day.

More About Matthew Cossolotto

A former Congressional aide and the author of The Almanac of European Politics and All The World's A Podium, Matthew Cossolotto's private-sector career includes stints as a CEO-level speechwriter and communications executive at MCI, Pepsi-Cola International, and GTE. Matthew spent his junior year abroad in Sweden. For more information, please visit www.Ovations.com and www.PEPTalksUSA.com.  

About Study Abroad Alumni International, Inc. (SAAI)

SAAI is an international membership organization dedicated to fostering international friendship and understanding, creating a more peaceful world, and building a community of global citizens by serving the worldwide study abroad alumni community, highlighting study abroad alumni success stories, promoting study abroad opportunities, and providing financial support for study abroad participants. SAAI is incorporated as nonprofit organization in New York. For more information, visit www.studyabroadalumniinternational.org.  

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