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.