Due to information technology and web-based communication tools, people and the information and messages they produce are not confined by the geographical borders of their country. However, Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) Dean Elizabeth Liddy said people need to connect with each other more than just through digital means.

“We need to be more than just virtual citizens of the world,” Liddy said during her keynote address at the 2010 Phi Beta Delta International Society Induction Ceremony on March 5 in Hendricks Chapel. “We need to step up, step out, and actually be there. Otherwise, we won’t really know deeply and personally what it means to live in China, or Brazil, or Croatia, or Malaysia, or New Zealand.”

Liddy was one of 67 students, faculty, and staff members at Syracuse University who were inducted this year into Phi Beta Delta, an honor society dedicated to international scholarship.

During her keynote, Liddy challenged new members travel to foreign countries when possible and to make friends with people on SU’s very diverse campus.

“Once we have done this—once we have awakened our consciousness to the realities of all that is happening in the world—we will see ourselves as being part of a solution to problems that arise, no matter where they are,” Liddy said.

Latino-Latin American Studies Professor Silvio Torres-Saillant, a 2010 honorary inductee, spoke about recognizing the international in our homes, and the marks in our local communities of “people from far away places.”

Internationalization enables people to see their own humanity reflected back at them in the faces of those who look, think, and act differently from themselves, he said.

Inductees and their friends and family members also heard from current leaders of Phi Beta Delta: Elane Granger, president; Wesley Kong, vice president for communication; Chien Nguyen, vice president for membership, as well as staff members from SU Abroad: Jon Booth, executive director; Suzanne Shane, director of programs; and Susan Loevenguth, associate director.

Patricia Burak, director of the Slutzker Center for International Services and Phi Beta Delta SU Chapter coordinator, led the induction ceremony and announced the names as the individuals received a medal and a certificate.

Among the recipients were Susan Corieri, iSchool’s director of enrollment management, and iSchool students Boldizsar Kiss, Jasy Liew Suet Yan, Mohan Lin, Jianzhao Liu, Claudia Louis, Jaicks Ninan, Benson Mathews Poikayil, Suryaa Ramaswamy, Romisa Rohani Ghahari, and Jun Zhang.

Phi Beta Delta is the International Honorary Society for students, scholars, and administrators in the United States who are engaged in the support of international educational exchange. Phi Beta Delta aims to increase the recognition, credibility, and importance of the international study experience; develop a network of individuals (students, faculty, and staff) involved in the international study experience; create a catalyst for international academic-based programming on campuses; and connect individuals on university campuses and throughout the world involved in the international educational experience.