Café International names new coordinator for 2013-14

November 12, 2013
Charla Tripoli

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Café International, a program hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Writing Center, has named a new student coordinator for the 2013-14 year: Charla Tripoli, a senior industrial engineering major from Plymouth, Wis.

The previous student coordinator, AJ Johnson, who graduated in May with a degree in international business and is now living in Madison, Wis., highly recommended Tripoli to Morgan Spitzer, the Writing Center interim director, as his replacement. “We felt Charla’s personality and enthusiasm for developing international relationships was a great fit for the position,” Spitzer said.

The goal of Café International is to bring American and international students together and help bridge the gap between them. Each week, students, staff, faculty and community members give short presentations about their national heritage and cultural experiences, followed by a discussion period. The program is designed to help international students enjoy English conversation in a relaxed, inclusive environment, and to help students from the United States broaden their global understanding by meeting students from countries around the world.

Charla sees Café International as a truly inclusive event. “I want the UW-Platteville community to know that Café International is open to all who are interested and is a really fun environment,” she said. “The group is very relaxed and there is no commitment to attend weekly. Participants are able to attend according to their schedules.”

Tripoli has a passion for both culture and international travel. “My international exposure, both through Café International and my education abroad trip to the Netherlands, has really allowed me to come out of my shell and meet some amazing people along the way,” she said.

Café International kicked off the 2013-14 academic year with a presentation about Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa, by Mohamed Haidara on Oct.14, followed by staff and student presentations about Romania, Greece, China and Iceland.

On Nov. 11, presenter Liz Kruse, International Student and Scholar Services advisor at UW-Platteville, discussed her experiences in Spain. The group has a full lineup planned for the fall semester, with weekly meetings on Mondays in 320 Brigham Hall from 6-7 p.m.

The next Café International presenter will be Karissa Kieler, a senior international business major from Potosi, Wis., who will talk about Buenos Aires on Monday, Nov. 18, in 320 Brigham Hall from 6-7 p.m.

Contact: Evelyn Martens, Writing and Tutoring Resource Center, (608) 342-1615,

Written by: Joe Kluever, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191,


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