Faculty-Led Program: Lunch and Learn

WORLD is now accepting proposals for the upcoming AY 2020/2021 Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs.  Each year, WORLD invites faculty from all disciplines at Stetson University to step outside of the DeLand campus and explore the possibilities of teaching abroad. 

Last month, Wendy Viggiano, Program Coordinator for International Learning, hosted a Lunch and Learn webinar on leading faculty-led programs abroad. She covered topics such as program types, student considerations, working collaboratively with WORLD, benefits of working with a study abroad provider, and walked through the proposal process.  You can check out each topic in the short videos provided here as well as on our YouTube channel.  We hope these informative videos will clarify the proposal process and encourage faculty to submit proposals. 

Stetson University has seen an increase in faculty-led programs abroad and we hope to continue that trend next year.  Students are eager to study abroad and we look forward to offering students more programs in a variety of disciplines to meet the demands of our students.  No matter the subject or discipline, WORLD can find the right location abroad for your course.  How can a new place enhance your teaching and the student’s understanding of the topic? Feel you don’t have the time to make all the arrangements and organize all the logistics of the program? Not sure even where to begin?  No worries!  WORLD is here to help you every step of the way.

Start your Faculty-Led Study Abroad Proposal and we will help you take care of the rest!

General Study Abroad Information and Benefits of Faculty Led Programs
Types of Faculty Led Program and Things to Consider
Student Concerns: Cost and Curriculum
Working in Collaboration with WORLD and the Benefits of Providers
Faculty Led Proposal Process and Timeline

International Day of Peace –Join us today

Join WORLD and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace.

Join us today, Sept. 18 from 11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m., in the Conrad Hall Lounge for conversations over lunch on the following topics:

  • Personal peace with Sensei Morris Sullivan, University Chaplain
  • Interpersonal peace with Dr. Leila Roach, Department of Counselor Education
  • Environmental peace with Nate Bodger ’19

Moe’s and Cultural Credit will be provided.

PEACE DAY 2019 THEME: CLIMATE ACTION FOR PEACE

The theme draws attention to the importance of combatting climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

WORLD Students Participate in Global Leadership Summit

by Gabby Cassidy

Over Spring Break 2019, WORLD ambassadors Zoe Weaver and Caylyn Gunby attended the Global Student Leadership Summit in Boston, MA.

This conference, for students who had participated in study abroad and other international programs, had a goal to help them develop skills as successful global leaders. It also focused on students from diverse and underrepresented populations, such as first-generation, racial/ethnic minority, students with disabilities, high financial need, LGBTQ+, etc. Many face obstacles acquiring educational and leadership opportunities.

Throughout the conference, Weaver found herself learning more than she expected from the sessions. She was pushed to see the bigger picture of education abroad.

“I was pushed to see my study abroad as a time that I developed personally and was finally able to articulate the challenges of my trip to those who would understand. Then, after listening to others tell their own stories, I realized that we each had a unique experience that created the larger picture of diversity abroad.”

The connections she made with other students helped her to understand her own experiences and the education she received while studying in South Korea and Taiwan. Weaver also learned about the importance of diversity in study abroad and was inspired to do more here at Stetson. She expressed her desire to connect with the Black Student Association, the Asia Pacific American Coalition, the Caribbean Student Association, and other multicultural organizations to develop more initiatives to get their members involved in study abroad programs.

“Although being a woman brings its own challenges to international travel, I further developed an understanding of my privilege during this conference as an able-bodied, white, American student. Through this understanding, I began to build a standard for myself when it comes to becoming an ally both abroad and domestically to students who lack the opportunity to do the same as I.”

Gunby felt that the conference was a great professional opportunity for her. The panels and speakers had a profound impact and helped her feel confident in her plans post-graduation. The chance to connect with graduate schools and professionals, as well as other students in her same positions, helped her to reflect on her identity and improve her confidence in speaking about her experiences.

“Being able to speak with professionals who are now in International Education, who taught English abroad through JET, Fulbright, and TAPIF made me feel like I was taking the right steps towards a career in International Education or International Affairs.”

Gunby would like to bring more networking opportunities to Stetson’s campus for international careers. Events such as the Global Citizenship Fair and Acerima could benefit from having a keynote speaker or speakers from minority groups.

“The keynote speakers at the conference were inspiring and helped all of the students get involved and excited about the activities.”

Overall, her experiences at the Global Leadership Summit helped her to grow professionally as well as to have more confidence in her abilities and plans for the future.

Stetson’s Inaugural International Faculty Development Seminar Draws Diverse Disciplines to the Dominican Republic

A total of 10 Stetson University faculty and the WORLD Team descended on Santo Domingo during May 13-18, 2019 to learn how to better prepare students to learn abroad. Faculty hailed from business, education, humanities, social and natural sciences.

The seminar comprised classroom sessions on topics ranging from risk management and internationalization to curriculum integration and course assessment. Field trips to heritage locations and natural landscapes, such as the old colonial sugar mills and Three Eyes National Park, helped faculty consider the role of “place” in course design as well as how to balance high and low intensity learning experiences for students.

Los Tres Ojos (Three Eyes National Park) is a 50-yard open-air limestone cave located in eastern Santo Domingo.

Response to the seminar has been quite positive.

I feel so fortunate to be part of the journey we were on together. I feel that our relationship went to the next level…The moment we started together and ended pleasantly, it was a lesson in every moment and I am confident that this training will be helpful for all in launching our faculty led programs in future.”

Yes, echoing my colleagues for a wonderful opportunity and collegiality. Thank you WORLD and thank you everyone who participated 😍”

Thank you all for such a unique and valuable experience in DR. I would be happy to meet for regular lunches sharing ideas about the next steps in organizing faculty-led study abroad trips. Special thanks to the WORLD. You are a great team of professionals!🤗”

I’m continually amazed at and proud to be a part of Stetson’s wonderful community.”

More images

About the Stetson International Faculty Development Seminar

The IFDS program at Stetson University honors the longstanding commitment and dedication of Drs. David and Leighan Rinker to international learning. The centerpiece of the faculty development program is an immersive five-day experience where Stetson faculty participate in study abroad. The overarching goals are to equip Stetson teacher-scholars with best practice strategies for how to use location to deepen content, elevate student engagement and intercultural learning, develop safe, compliant and academically-rich study abroad programs, and promote Stetson’s value of global citizenship.

WORLD partnered with CIEE to co-offer the seminar. CIEE is a premier provider with significant expertise developing and implementing international faculty development seminars and study abroad experiences for students,. Contact world@stetson.edu for more information.

Stetson’s Portuguese Instructor at Yale University: the Building and Sharing of a Legacy

By Fernanda Ribeiro, Fulbright Brazilian Language Scholar

I have never taught my mother tongue to non-native speakers of Portuguese before. When I arrived at Stetson University as a Fulbright scholar last year, on the 8th of August, I was given the mission of continuing the wonderful work left by Raquel Santos (2015-2016), Ana Paula Spalenza Pereira (2016-2017) and Greici Buzzi (2017-2018) each in turn,  a Teacher Scholar in Stetson’s Portuguese program. Then I thought: What can I do to leave my legacy on campus in nine months and contribute to the recognition and importance of one having a Portuguese language program at Stetson after my going back to Brazil?

Fernanda Rebeiro, Stetson FLTA 2018-2019

“Will I be able to meet Fulbright’s goals and truly represent my country as a cultural ambassador? It was quite a challenge, I must confess.”

On my first day as a Portuguese instructor, I had 8 students from the most diverse linguistic backgrounds: Spanish speakers, heritage speakers of Portuguese, polyglots, monolinguals. In spite of the differences, all of them had chosen to learn Portuguese, among the myriad of languages that the Department of World Languages and Cultures offer every semester, and, as a native speaker of Portuguese and a graduated teacher with years of experience, I had to give them my best, and the best of my country and my language.

Fernanda Rebiero presenting her work at stetson to other Fulbright Scholars at Yale University, Connecticut in spring 2019

With a lot of guaraná, brigadeiros, cheese breads (of course!), memes and music, the classes have been fun, dynamic and full of learning. My students have become my friends and I have learned a lot from and with them too – and that is one of the priceless opportunities we have as teachers. Outside the classroom hours, I have organized tablings, Brazilian clubs, cultural credit events and tertulias, everything under the fantastic supervision of the wonderful Dr. Pamela Cappas-Toro, who has always given me a free hand to do my best here, allowing me to be truly and entirely myself.

And the days have passed, so has the semester. I have been in DeLand for 7 months now and it is already my second and last semester as a Portuguese instructor here at Stetson. During a talk with Dr. Cappas-Toro, she told me that I am the last Fulbright scholar of Portuguese and that, in the Fall semester of 2019, there will be a full-time professor, whose commitment with the Department of World Languages and Cultures includes making the Portuguese program even stronger through the offer of higher level Portuguese courses – currently Stetson offers 101 and 102 levels only. What does it mean? It means that all the work of the four Brazilian Fulbrighers had not been in vain. It is quite the contrary: the four of us have planted seeds which have been constantly watered and which have now bloomed into beautiful flowers.

Fernanda Ribiero visits Yale University to present on her work as a Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant at Stetson during the 2018-2019 academic year.

With such accomplishments in mind, and full of joy, I traveled to Connecticut last month and talked about the teaching of Portuguese at Stetson University at a conference at Yale University. There, I encountered the other Brazilian Portuguese instructors that came to the US with me and it was such a great experience. When I was presenting my speech, I was really moved because I could share my experience not only as a language instructor but also as a representative of Brazil, and as a cultural ambassador, I could say, and reinforce without any doubt the impact the Fulbright scholars have in a community and in the world. Raquel’s, Ana Paula’s and Greci’s work was also mentioned at Yale, after all we are a team!

These months here have been a daily learning. I am sure that I am not the same Fernanda anymore. With expanded horizons, a renewed cultural and linguistic baggage of knowledge and the most important thing – my legacy left at Stetson – , I will go back to my home country with the feeling of having fulfilled my duty. My future and my perspectives will be forever changed because my home will always have a little of this country and the wonderful family I have built here. After all, we are the result of the books we read, the places we visit, the languages we speak and teach and the people we get to meet – a  change for the better.

Fernanda Ribeiro joins Stetson University from Brazil to teach Portuguese as a Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant. She is a first-generation college student who graduated from Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro in 2015, earning a licentiate degree in Portuguese, English and their respective literatures. Ms. Ribeiro earned a Master’s degree in linguistics from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro this past February. For more on Ms. Ribero, click here.

Sprouting Growth


Through the Alliance for International Reforestation Inc. and Stetson, students are planting seeds for learning in Central America.

Since the year 2000, the Alliance for International Reforestation Inc. (AIR) has enjoyed a strong partnership with David and Leighan Rinker, longtime ardent Stetson benefactors, in offering transformational service experiences for Stetson students in Central America.

The partnership actually began when in 1999 David Rinker offered to support student trips with Anne Hallum, Ph.D., a Stetson political science professor and founder of AIR, through the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Foundation. David Rinker had learned of Hallum’s early experiences working in Guatemala — training farmers in sustainable agriculture and other services — and he wanted students to benefit as well.

Through the years, both literally and figuratively, it’s been quite a journey.

Today, selected students — based on grades, a reflective essay and an interview — participate in three primary programs, along with academic assignments, over a period of four to six weeks. The word participate is used loosely.

Students build stoves with Mayan families and the AIR staff; they are actively engage at rural schools; they plant fast-growing trees on deforested slopes; and they maintain a journal of reflections on friendships made and lessons learned.


Camaraderie with locals is part of the AIR experience for students.

Over the years, for example, more than 100 stoves have been constructed — involving cement mixing and brick laying — to help prevent lung disease and conserve precious trees. Meanwhile, more than 45,000 fast-growing trees have been planted —up to 4,000 trees each month by hand on mountains — to improve crops and prevent mudslides.

The trips, clearly, aren’t vacations, except for the Saturday “tourist days.”

Last summer, in addition to building and planting, a student with a special interest in marketing shadowed Hallum to learn the nuances of fundraising and donor relations.

The travel expenses for each of those students, as well as for Hallum, are covered by the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. grant (with some funds from Latin American Studies when more students traveled). Those annual grants total approximately $9,000 each June, which cover hotels, food, ground transportation, small stipends and continual supervision by the AIR staff members.

For the students, the payoffs have been significant.

A first-year student was taught the “sheer joy” of an exhausting day of service (especially outdoors). An impressionable 19-year-old who spent six weeks with AIR in Guatemala now is an accomplished alumnus. More generally, AIR has impacted how student view the world.


Thanks to charitable funding and Anne Hallum, Ph.D., a former political science professor at Stetson, students continue to participate in uncommon immersion abroad.

Until June 2012, Hallum taught full-time at Stetson and managed AIR’s early growth in Nicaragua and Guatemala. She was able to combine the service work in rural Guatemala and Nicaragua with her own academic research, and to find ways for students to earn academic credits in independent studies such as immersion Spanish, environmental activism, Latin American studies: Mayan Culture, and religion and the environment.

Hallum left Stetson in 2012, moving to Atlanta to work full-time (non-salaried) as president of AIR-Guatemala. Yet, even today, by virtue of her personal ties to the university and the Rinker support, she continues to exclusively host Stetson students for lengthy immersion experiences.
Not coincidentally, in 2017 AIR Guatemala received its second recognition from the United Nations, as a winner of the 2017 Equator Prize, presented by the United Nations Development Programme.

As a result, a reforestation organization founded on the third floor of Elizabeth Hall at Stetson more than 25 years ago now is globally acclaimed. Even greater, it continues to provide uncommon experiences of growth for Stetson students.

-Michael Candelaria

Originally posted at Stetson Today on February 25, 2019

Board of Trustees Presentation: International Learning

by Camilla Morales, ‘20

Part of Stetson’s University mission is to promote Global Citizenship by students in order to prepare informed, active, and engaged citizens. On February 14, 2019, I was given the opportunity along with my colleagues, Zoe Weaver, ‘19 and Genicelle Barrington, ‘21, to present our efforts as WORLD Ambassadors to the Academic Affairs Committee of Stetson’s Board of Trustees and along with other faculty and staff members.


The session was opened by Dr. Rosalie A. Richards, associate provost for Faculty Development and professor of chemistry and education, who provided an overview of international learning at Stetson. Board members were then invited to participate in an interactive session, where they visited stations to learn about different aspects of international learning.

There were five different stations: WORLD: The David and Leighan Rinker Center of International Learning at the Deland campus, the Office of International and Graduate Programs at the College of Law in Gulfport, the International Learning Committee, the Latin American & Latino Studies Program, and Student Engagement.

Dejan Magoc, Ph.D. , associate professor of health sciences and chair of the International Learning Committee, describes how Stetson University uses the ACE Comprehensive  Internationalization model to advance global competencies.

Paula Hentz, M.Ed, director of international learning (right), showcases several new WORLD initiatives.

JR Swanegan, J.D., assistant dean of international and graduate studies (left), highlights different consortia developed by the College of Law to advance international learning to Board members including David Rinker, Ph.D., longstanding Trustee and benefactor of WORLD (back).

Robert Sitler, Ph.D., professor of world languages and cultures (Spanish) and program coordinator for the Latin American & Latino Studies Program, provides an overview of the program and highlights from the Mentored Field Experience. 

My colleagues and I presented at the Student Engagement station and spoke about our roles as WORLD Ambassadors and about our engagement in building global citizenship via international learning. We spoke about several events that we host to promote community engagement, diversity, inclusion and cultural awareness.

Morales (left) and Barrington (left, white shirt) listen as Weaver (center) discusses study abroad with Board members and senior academic leaders.

The interactive session was followed by a panel discussion where members of the Board were able to ask questions to the presenters.

I must say I was very honored to have been asked by my boss, Paula Hentz, director of international learning, to be part of this event along with my colleagues. To be able to talk about a subject I am so passionate about was a great and unique experience. I am eager to see what efforts will be done to keep promoting internationalization at Stetson University.

Adapted from the original story posted on LinkedIn on February 19, 2019

2 Stetson Faculty Receive International Recognition

Two Stetson University School of Business Administration professors have been recognized by two separate international organizations for outstanding achievements.


Isabel Botero

Isabel Botero, Ph.D., assistant professor of family enterprise and entrepreneurship, was awarded the Advanced Certificate in Family Wealth Advising (ACFWA) and honored as a Fellow of the Family Firm Institute (FFI) at the 2018 FFI Global Conference held in London, England.

To be named a fellow honoree, Botero had to achieve comprehensive professional knowledge and significant expertise over the past 10 years that may now be shared and used by family business owners and family wealth management clients. The Family Firm Institute, an international professional membership organization of more than 1,800 individuals and organizations across 88 countries, provides interdisciplinary education and networking opportunities for family business and family wealth advisors, consultants, educators and researchers.

“Becoming a Fellow for the Family Firm Institute is an honor for me because it highlights my collaborative work to help family enterprises around the world become better,” explained Botero. “It also acknowledges the importance of education and research in the field.”


Jennifer Foo

Jennifer Foo, Ph.D., professor of finance, also has been honored as a member of the Jewish National Fund’s Winter 2018-2019 Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel. This competitive academic fellowship gives full-time higher education faculty members the opportunity to participate in a 12-day all-expenses-paid academic trip to Israel. The program strives to link scholars from diverse disciplines with their Israeli counterparts at major universities to initiate collaboration and exchanges, and to give participants an opportunity to explore Israel’s history, politics, culture and economy. Foo is the first Stetson University faculty member to receive this fellowship.

“This fellowship is an invaluable and exciting opportunity for me to learn about Israel,” said Foo. “I look forward to learning how an entrepreneurial and innovative business spirit can be born out of a necessity to grow and survive, as it did in Israel.”


Neal Mero

“This recognition of Dr. Botero and Dr. Foo highlights the quality of faculty who serve in the Stetson School of Business Administration,” said Neal P. Mero, Ph.D., dean and professor of management. “In addition to bringing global recognition to Stetson for their work, my colleagues leverage that expertise through their service as incredible teachers and scholars delivering a world-class education to our students.”

Originally posted at Stetson Today on December 9, 2018 by Marie Dinklage

Zoe Weaver wins Stetson Student Employee of the Month

Zoe Weaver, ‘19, one of WORLD’s outstanding student employees, is winner of the October 2018 Student of the Month Competition at Stetson University.

Our Student Employment office hosts the monthly competition. The office seeks meritorious nominations from employers for student employees who exemplify Stetson’s Professional and Career Readiness Competency themes. This month’s theme is Professionalism and Productivity.

Stetson’s Professional and Career Readiness Competencies are the basis of each month’s theme and represent skills most sought by employers: critical thinking and problem solving, professionalism and productivity, teamwork and collaboration, communication, digital literacy, leadership, global and intercultural engagement, and career navigation. Our student workers practice and master these competencies in their campus work roles. Stetson employers are encouraged to help student employees recognize and build competencies to enable better articulation of transferable skills when students interview for internships, jobs, and post-baccalaureate educational opportunities.

Wendy Viggiano, who serves as Stetson’s international learning program coordinator and Weaver’s supervisor, offered praise as part of the nomination application.

“From the first day of work, Zoe has gone above and beyond, exceeding expectations. She has been instrumental in helping acclimate all of our international students during orientation. She led several orientation sessions, assisting in any small or large task asked of her, and always offered to do even more than asked.

Recently, Zoe organized with her WORLD Ambassador Team a panel on Immigration. She coordinated faculty, staff, and students from around campus to speak about their experience immigrating to the United States. Zoe was the main coordinator for the entire event and was the moderator for the panel. As a student employee, Zoe has anticipated the needs of our center, solving problems before we even ask for help. “

Zoe Weaver, a global development major, envisions her work experience at WORLD as critical to her future endeavors.

“Working at WORLD has not only connected me with students from all over the world and taught me how I can best support them, but has also introduced me to an environment in which all workers truly care about the job they do. The WORLD center and its staff have been an important part of my experience at Stetson, and although I am graduating soon, I am sure they will continue to serve the international community in ways unmatched by any other office on campus.”


Article written by Ally Topliff,’ 19 (political science) and Roxanne Lewis, international student and scholars coordinator at Stetson University

4th Annual Open House Welcomes Faculty and Staff

WORLD welcomed faculty and staff to its 4th annual Open House on October 18, 2018.