All posts by Rosalie Richards

WORLD Class Lunch & Learn Recap – February 2017

Faculty Resources for International Learning was the theme of the first 2017 WORLD Class Lunch & Learn on February 15.

Roxanne Lewis, international student and scholar services coordinator at WORLD: The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning, welcomed 17 facuity and staff to the WORLD Class Lunch & Learn. After participants described their motivation for attending, four faculty presenters offered a brief biographical sketch and the important role of international learning in their professional and personal development. They each also described why they thought international learning  was critical to holistic student development.

  • Bob Sitler, professor of World Languages and Cultures and director of the Latin American Studies Program, kicked off the presentations with a brief reflection on the resources WORLD provided for a Stetson faculty team to undertake an exploratory trip to Valparaiso, Chile and Cuenca, Ecuador in spring 2014. The team developed new South American partnerships and assessed sites for future international learning experiences. Sitler, a recipient of a WORLD Class Travel Award in 2016, returned to Cuenca to develop an immersive Study Abroad course where students will live in homestays and explore Ecuadorian culture and Spanish language. The new course is slated for summer 2017 and is nimble, allowing for diverse disciplinary approaches for future offerings.
  • Rachel Core, assistant professor of sociology, focused her reflection on experiences as a Asian scholar. Core highlighted her upcoming fellowship through the AsiaNetwork, experiences with students during her spring break 2016 Study Abroad program in Singapore, and her recent participation as a seminar participant in Greece as part of the NYU Faculty Resource Network Winter as examples of how faculty could get involved in diverse aspects of international learning. Core was an inaugural recipient of the WORLD Class Travel Award to study in Tanzania in 2015.
  • Phillip Lucas, professor of religious studies, identified the role of international travel as key to boosting his academic interests. Lucas provided a riveting account of the El Camino pilgrimage he participated in as a WORLD Class Travel Awardee through the CIEE’s International Faculty Development Seminar Program in Spring 2016. Lucas described his work around designing educational videos,  his intention to develop a new video on the El Camino pilgrimage for teaching and broader dissemination, and interest in leading students on the pilgrimage.
  • Dejan Magoc, assistant professor of health sciences, discussed his exploration trip toward designing a new Study Abroad course in Serbia, slated for summer 2017.  Magoc’s WORLD Class Travel Award allowed him to return to the University of Novi Sad, his alma mater, to expand an inter-institutional relationship with Stetson. The course is open to students pursuing diverse interests. Similar to Sitler, Magoc described the challenges associated with  recuiting  students to new international courses.

A robust discussion followed.

  • Ideas, practical strategies, and systems-based marketing approaches for increasing awareness of international learning opportunities for students and faculty – using media (TV) monitors as a medium for distributed communication; cheat sheet of Study Abroad courses for faculty to use for advising, etc.
  • Reducing barriers to student engagement in Study Abroad by making learning abroad an essential element of the curriculum and cost-effective as a result
  • Possible roles of the International Learning Committee in advancing international learning courses as options within a cafeteria plan for satisfying academic requirements
  • Raising international learning as an institutional priority such that fundraising sustains and supports international travel, learning and intercultural competence.

Inclusive Excellence Resources on Global Citizenship and Global Learning 

Blackboard Ultra Experience to be implemented December 22, 2016


The Blackboard  Ultra Experience is an upgrade to Stetson’s  existing Blackboard learning management system. “Ultra” describes the transformation of the user interface and workflows in Blackboard Learn.

A general overview of the Blackboard Ultra Experience and training schedule is posted at Stetson’s online Faculty Resource Center (FRC). To access the FRC, log into Blackboard, click the Faculty Resource Center tab in the upper-right of screen. Navigate to the Ultra Upgrade Center from the left-side navigation menu and click the link.

PLEASE NOTE: Access to Blackboard will be unavailable starting December 21, 2016 at 7 a.m. with a planned completion time of  3 p.m. December 22, 2016. During this time, there will be no access to Blackboard.

Feel free to contact the Office of Online Learning & Educational Technology with any questions at

Flint-Hamilton hired by St. Lawrence University as first Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion


Stetson University bids farewell to Kimberly Flint-Hamilton, longstanding professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health.  After a lengthy, deliberate and thorough national search, St. Lawrence University will welcome Dr. Kimberly Flint-Hamilton as the first associate dean for diversity and inclusion.  More

2017 Brown Innovation Fellows Announced


Congratulations to the 2017 cohort of the Brown Innovation Fellows! Fellows meet monthly over the course of the academic to grapple with issues of inclusive teaching through the lens of Parker Palmer’s classic book, “The Courage To Teach: Exploring The Inner Landscape Of A Teacher’s Life“.

2017 Brown Innovation Fellows

Carol Azab, Assistant Professor of Marketing
Heather Edwards, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Madison Creech, Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow in Creative Arts
Rachel Core, Assistant Professor of Sociology (alumna)
Michael Eskenazi, Assistant Professor of Psychology
E. Lamerial Jacobson, Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow in Counselor Education
Sharmaine Jackson, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Shun Kiang , Visiting Assistant Professor of English
Joyce Mundy, Assistant Professor of Education
Michelle Randall, Visiting Assistant Professor of English  (alumna)
Rajni Shankar-Brown, Associate Professor of Education and Jesse Ball duPont Chair of Social Justice
Petros Xanthopoulos Assistant Professor of Decision and Information Sciences

Save-the-Date! Faculty Open House @ WORLD, Oct 20

The staff at WORLD: The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning cordially invites you to Faculty Open House @ WORLD.

October 20, 2016

4:00-6:00 pm  at  WORLD, 635 N. Bert Fish Rd


  • Grab a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres
  • Find out how WORLD can support your interests in international learning
  • Meet faculty and staff engaged in international learning
  • Meet faculty and staff interested in learning more about your work
  • Learn about WORLD Class Lunch & Learn Series, Travel Awards, and other opportunities abroad
Housed in a former residence, this office is home to the university’s rapidly expanding international programs and outreach. WORLD staff members serve domestic and international faculty and students, as they bridge cultures and help Stetson strengthen trans-border collaborations and increase global engagement.

Seeking Circle Members

2016-2017  Inquiry Circles: Seeking Members

Global Citizenship Collaboratory
Members of this circle will become part of a growing collaboratory designed to investigate the essence of Global Citizenship at Stetson University and identify pathways for deepening global learning by all members of our community.  Faculty, staff, and students are welcome!  Indicate your interest in joining this teaching and learning circle by contacting

Book Circle: The Courage to Teach
Members of this circle will meet to discuss Parker Palmer’s classic text, The Courage to Teach.  Each member of the circle will receive a copy of the book (or audiobook).  Indicate your interest in joining this teaching and learning circle by contacting

Got an idea for a circle?  Submit your proposal by October 1st.  Check out the call for proposals.

Stetson’s Online Faculty Resource Center announces Collaborate Ultra

blackboard-logoDear Faculty,
I am pleased to announce the availability of a new interface for Collaborate called the Ultra Experience. Let me first assure you that the current Blackboard Collaborate is still available and will function as always.

You now have the option to explore and use the new Collaborate Ultra Experience. This interface functions just like the old: it’s a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact.  However, Collaborate Ultra  opens right in your browser, so you don’t have to install any software to join a session.  For many users, this is a great new feature! The newly designed interface also provides a modern look and feel, while increasing usability.

The link below provides step-by-step directions on how to access the tool in your Blackboard course(s). Complete this review first.
Collaborate Ultra Course Tool.pdf

To get a head start on how to use the Collaborate Ultra,  check out these resources:

The Ultra experience is part of a larger Stetson initiative to enhance our entire Blackboard system, scheduled to occur during our winter break.  The office of Online Learning and EdTech (OOLET) is developing a large variety of training events and resources for the new Ultra interface, and we will keep you posted every step of the way! You can also request individual or group training by sending an email to the office of Online Learning and EdTech:

Best regards,
Lisa Sawtell,
Director, Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology


Stetson University Welcomes new International Language Instructors

Stetson University has partnered with the ALLEX Foundation to establish new Asian language courses with a goal of expanding to intermediate language courses.
Stephanie Chung 2016ALLEX Fellow, Stephanie Chung, joins Stetson University from Taiwan this year to offer Mandarin Chinese at Stetson University for the first time.

“I love reading, playing clarinet, and listening to stories about different cultures,” said Chung.

Stephanie Chung received a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in music in Clarinet Performance from Indiana University.

For the second time, Stetson has attracted two Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs).

Heba Khalifa 2016As an FLTA, Heba Abou-Khalifa, of Egypt, will teach Arabic at Stetson during academic year 2016-2017. Abou-Khalifa will work remotely with Dr. Emad Hamdeh of Embry-Riddle University to teach Arabic class in a bimodal classroom.

“I have always dreamed of making the world a better place,” said Abou-Khalifa. “I am into social community work, thus, I have been a volunteer for different NGOs in Egypt, and I was responsible for raising people awareness regarding drugs and smoking drawbacks.”

Heba Abou-Khalifa earned a bachelor’s degree in Art and Education in TEFL from Alexandria University, Egypt and a TEFL Advanced Certificate from Eton University and Notting Hill College. She has taught English to young learners and adults and worked as a TOEFL trainer after receiving a Teacher Training Certificate from the American University in Cairo.

Ana SpalenzaAna Paula Spalenza Pereira from Brazil has joined Stetson in August to teach Portuguese. Pereira was born and raised in Espirito Santo, a state in the southeast region of Brazil. Pereira is working with Dr. Pamela Cappas-Toro’s to offer Portuguese 101 for the first time. The course is open to all students.

“From a young age, I have always been passionate and enthusiastic about different languages and cultures throughout the world, with a particular interest in American life,” said Pereira.
A self-motivated learner, she achieved a high level of proficiency in English language without any substantial formal education.

Pereira brings formal teaching experience in EFL/ESL, where she has taught numerous English language classes to learners of various ages.

“I am enthusiastic and eager to engage with students and hopefully instill within them the openness and cultural exchange that the Fulbright program stands for,” Pereira said.

Ana Paula Spalenza Pereira earned a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the Federal University of Espirito Santo – UFES.

For more information on the ALLEX and FLTA programs at Stetson University, contact

Stetson introduces the Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology

As a result of a new joint venture between Information Technology and Academic Affairs, Stetson University is pleased to introduce the Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology (OOLET). The office supports the design, delivery and continuous improvement of high-quality online/hybrid courses, programs, pedagogies, instructional materials and initiatives. OOLET is tasked with the following priorities:

  • Promote and provide a positive online environment where both faculty and students seamlessly collaborate
  • Provide effective technical user support to faculty
  • Promote best practice in educational technology through faculty professional development
  • Ensure pedagogical soundness of instructional practice to ensure the highest quality virtual and hybrid learning experience by students
  • Implement appropriate higher education requirements and standards to facilitate effective course design
  • Ensure continuous quality improvement of online courses, programs and initiatives
  • Serve as liaison between faculty and IT
  • Maintain effective distance-learning infrastructure; and
  • Implement new and emerging technologies to advance the university’s mission.

Leading OOLET’s charge is Lisa Sawtell, who recently joined Stetson University as director of Online Learning and Educational Technology in March 2016. Sawtell brings over 15 years of experience in online learning and educational technology to the Stetson community (More). The OOLET team comprises DeLand instructional designer Benjamin Brown, academic technology specialist Dawn McCain, and College of Law electronic education specialist Julie Kitzmiller.

OOLET consults daily with faculty to achieve key student learning outcomes using diverse learning technologies. The office also provides Blackboard technical troubleshooting, user support and training. Since March 2016, OOLET has launched Stetson’s online Faculty Resource Training Center, a dynamic Blackboard-based facility designed to provide faculty with up-to-date resources, instructions and information. The office has also offered a course development clinic for summer online faculty in May and participated in New Faculty Orientation in August. In addition, the OOLET is managing the latest Blackboard upgrades and implementing a university-wide video management platform.

OOLET staff members are available to meet individually, in groups or virtually. The DeLand office is located in the Lynn Business Center Room 032 during normal business hours. At Gulfport, the College of Law office is located at Department of Media Services in the Dolly & Homer Hand Law Library. Contact the Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology by email at or call 386-822-7921.

Stetson introduces the Office of Online Learning and Educational Technology