How We Got Started
Women Across Cultures began to meet the needs of International Students in the 1990s. Brand-new International Students were arriving
in Morgantown to begin their studies from countries all over the world, and
many brought spouses and small children with them. The Homestart Closet got its start when
Liz Finklea from Women Across Cultures met with Jennifer McIntosh, the former Executive
Officer of the President’s Office for Social Justice, to explore ways to enhance
this work. It was decided to start a new volunteer-led group to give specific focus
on welcoming new International Students to Morgantown. Lois Morris accepted the
invitation to lead the Closet, and recruited about ten initial volunteers. It began operations in 2008 and was officially opened in August 2009. The
program has continued to grow and since Lois's relocation to Ohio is now housed in the Office of Global Affairs.
Something We All Can Do
New students come to Morgantown with lots of energy and promise. However, they are coming to a new place with customs and opportunities to be explored. Everyone in Morgantown can help by sustaining a welcoming environment and saying hello when the opportunity presents itself. Together we can make this a great home for our International Students while they reside here. If you would like to help with the HomeStart Closet as part of this effort, please contact the Office of Global Affairs at 304-293-3519 or go to this application.