Stetson welcomes staff, faculty from the Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg

Stetson University has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg, or University of Education, Freiburg. For over 40 years, faculty have participated in teaching and research residencies and in some cases, international exchange programs have brought faculty and students from Freiburg to Stetson.

Stetson students study at the Paedagogische Hochschule, or the PH for short, where they may choose from a full curriculum of courses taught in German. Participants may also take courses at the Albert Ludwigs University, one of the oldest and most famous in Germany. Students can earn a minor in German in one semester. In addition, Dr. Elisabeth Poeter, professor of German at Stetson, leads the Summer Freiburg Program where students examine post-war social and cultural developments of  Germany.

Dr. J. Anthony (Tony) Abbott, professor of environmental science and studies at Stetson University (left), is participating in faculty exchange at the PH during spring semester 2018, where he teaches  courses in environmental science and conducts research. In exchange, Prof. Dr. Gregor Falk, professor at the PH Institut für Geographie und ihre Didaktik, is teaching courses at Stetson

The PH was founded in 1962 is the largest of six Universities of Education in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. The PH enrolls some 5,100 students in a broad range of bachelor and master degrees along with teacher training programs. The University offers excellent research-based first-degree level qualifications and further education complemented by a large share of professionally accompanied practical and application-based modules.

Picturesque Freiburg is located in the heart of the Black Forest. Known as German Tuscany, it is said that the sun shines more often here than in any other city in Germany. Freiburg’s Münster, whose construction began in 1200, is one of Europe’s great cathedrals, and the medieval gates to the city can still be viewed today. Freiburg is filled with music, street theatre, and festivals. Located just 30 kilometers from France and 70 kilometers from Switzerland, there is ample opportunity to travel outside of the country as well as to points of interest within Germany.

Learn more about students experiences in Frieburg or for information about study abroad and faculty exchange, contact

WORLD Ambassadors meet regularly to sharpen their peer-mentor skills

WORLD Ambassadors work with Wendy Viggiano, program coordinator for international learning, to sharpen skills for supporting and advising new international students.

Stetson’s WORLD Ambassadors serve as intercultural peer mentor-leaders to support diverse campus internationalization efforts, including new international student orientation, Study Abroad promotional activities, and events to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue.

WORLD Ambassadors comprise international students seeking a four-year degree at Stetson. As international students themselves, WORLD Ambassadors take the lead in significantly shaping the structure, presentation, and promotion of acculturation, education, and academic support at Stetson University.

Call for Presentations at Stetson’s Inaugural Global Citizenship Symposium: April 6-17, 2018

Stetson University invites proposal submissions to its inaugural  Global Citizenship Symposium. The Symposium kicks off on April 6, 2018  with events continuing through April 17, 2018.

Call for Proposals
Deadline: March 13, 2018

The Symposium is a forum for the Stetson and broader communities to celebrate, grapple with, and implement viable collaborative actions related to global issues of local and regional significance.  While this year’s core theme is Immigration, presentations are invited that address topics such as the internationalization of curriculum and campuses, the value of international education, experiential learning in local and global communities, the roles of immigration in business, law, health, and more.

Presentation types range from panels, workshops, and simulations to sharing of personal stories and creative expression.

Stetson Law’s JR Swanegan becomes Presidential Fellow of the Association of International Education Administrators

Congratulations to JR Swanegan, assistant dean for international programs at Stetson College of Law. JR was selected as  2017-2018 Presidential Fellow of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). Swanegan is one of only two Fellows selected for this prestigious international award. He accepted the award on February 19, 2018 at the AIEA Conference in Washington, D.C.

he AIEA Presidential Fellows Program is a mentorship program for new Senior International Officers (SIO). Each fellow will spend as much as up to a week visiting and shadowing a mentor’s campus to learn about the policies, politics, and procedures at the mntor ‘s institution. Ideally, the mentor would also plan a shorter visit to the Fellow’s campus to better understand the challenges facing the Fellow. Throughout the balance of that academic year, the Mentor will be available for consultation and advice as requested by the Fellow, to address topics of interest to the Fellow and areas of desired growth identified from the AIEA Standards of Professional Practice. The award also includes a $2,000 stipend provided to the Fellow’s home institution  to defray travel costs and other related expenses of the Fellow and if appropriate, the mentor.

As assistant dean of international programs at Stetson University College of Law, JR is responsible for study abroad programming, international student scholar services, and facilitating international institutional relationships.   Swanegan was a participant in the inaugural class of the AIEA Academy for New SIOs, and previously initiated international programming at the University of Missouri-College of Engineering.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science and JD from the University of Missouri.

Congratulations, JR!


AIEA Conference Offers International Education Administrators Strategies for Turbulent Times

Networking with colleagues from around the globe at the 2018 AIEA Conference in Washington, DC: Stetson’s WORLD director, Paula Hentz (left), and associate for faculty development and Rosalie Richards (middle) pose with Tsu Ming Chiang (right) of Georgia College.

Stetson’s JR Swanegan (right), assistant dean and director of the Center for Excellence in International Law, is selected as one of two AIEA Presidential Fellows. Pictured with Swanegan at the 2018 AIEA Conference is Kelichi Kalu, vice provost for international affairs at UC Riverside, and Stetson’s associate provost, Rosalie Richards (left).


Discover Campeche

Exchange student Janereth Vargas Cervera will perform folkloric dancing from her home country of Mexico as part of Discover Campeche, an event by Stetson’s Latin American Studies program, on Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rinker Welcome Center.

Janereth Vargas Cervera has traveled around her home country of Mexico, performing traditional folkloric dances and once even danced for the princess of Japan.

The visiting exchange student arrived at Stetson University earlier this month from her home city of Campeche, Mexico, where folk dancing is a deeply rooted tradition. Performed in elaborate colorful costumes, the dances have Spanish and Caribbean roots depicting elements of everyday life for the locals, as well as the upper class.

“The folkloric dance is very upbeat,” said Vargas, 22, who is living in a Stetson residence hall on the DeLand campus for six weeks while attending classes. “There are two basic styles: The Sarao Campechano is more elegant, and the Fiesta del Palmar is a little more playful.”

Vargas will perform some of the dances Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center, Lynn Presentation Room, as part of the Discover Campeche program.

Robert Sitler, Ph.D., director of the Latin American Studies Program, will provide an introduction to the city and state of Campeche on the western Yucatan Peninsula with photos from his trips there. Cultural Credit will be provided for the event.

In Mexico, Vargas attends the Instituto Campechano and majors in art education, with a dream of one day opening a dance academy back home. She is a member of the Ballet Folklorico de Campeche and has performed throughout Mexico, sponsored by the Campeche state Secretary of Culture.

Robert Sitler

Dancers from the art education program at the Instituto Campechano will perform on Stetson’s DeLand campus on April 16.

Campeche has been a Sister City of Volusia County since 1995, and Stetson’s Latin American Studies program has maintained a student exchange with the Instituto Campechano for more than 20 years, said Sitler, a professor of World Languages and Cultures. Applications are required for the 2018 Campeche internship by March 16.

“Our students go down there every summer,” Sitler said. “They are often teaching English. They’ve worked doing translations in the tourism office and helped out with a sea turtle conservation program.”

Campeche, Mexico, has been left off the tourism map, so visitors will see few tourists there, said Professor Bob Sitler. The state of Campeche includes the ruins of the largest ancient Mayan city, Calakmul. The city of Campeche, above, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its beautiful colonial architecture.

Stetson student Tyler Thomas stayed with Vargas’ family in Campeche last summer. And through that experience, Vargas learned of the opportunity to travel here – her first trip to America.

She is taking classes at Stetson — Principles of Acting, Dance Appreciation, French and Portuguese – and staying in Emily Hall, which is a novelty because Mexican colleges do not have residence halls. She keeps busy by going to the gym, and taking Zumba classes, cardio boxing, ballet and ballroom dancing, as well as visiting local parks with Sitler and his wife, June.

“For me, Stetson is marvelous. It’s very modern, very cutting edge,” she said. “My experience has been meeting a lot of really very nice people. … I like how there are so many cultures here because that’s not the case so much at home. It’s so important to maintain that cordiality and respect in a multicultural environment.”

Article adopted from Stetson Today, February 2, 2018

Paula Hentz and Jelena Petrovic co-author book chapter on cultural adaptation

A staff-faculty team presentation at the National Communication Association Conference in Las Vegas in 2015 has made its way into a new book, Communication in the Classroom:  A Collection of GIFTS.

The book chapter,  “Why are all the International Students Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? Teaching about Cultural Adaptation through Community Engagement” is co-authored by Paula Hentz, director of international learning at WORLD, and Dr. Jelena  Petrovic, assistant professor of communication and media studies.

Paula Hentz 

Dr. Jelena  Petrovic

Co-authored by Utah State University’s John Seiter, Jennifer Peeples, and Matthew Sanders, the book is a compilation of the best 100+ great ideas for teaching key concepts in a variety of communication courses and were submitted by instructors of communication, rhetoric and more. The book was published in January 2018 by McMillan Learning and is marketed as “an invaluable resource for anyone teaching a communication course who is looking for new ideas to spice up their course and engage students”.

Congratulations, Paula and Jelena!

Spring 2018 Global Citizenship Fair

The Stetson Green glows with umbrellas during the spring Global Citizenship Fair.

Study abroad providers pause from  recruiting students for Asia programs to endorse the Global Citizenship Fair.

Rachel Core, assistant professor of sociology, recruits students to her study abroad summer course in China.

Savannah-Jane Griffin, director of community engagement and inclusive excellence, chats with presenter from an epilepsy foundation.