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

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.

Enrollment in Scottish Experience up 37%

Student enrollment peaked during the fourth annual study abroad Scottish Experience, a collaborative of the University of the Highlands Islands Inverness College, Stetson University, Utah Valley University, and Jacksonville University. A total of 33 students participated in courses taughted by faculty from UVU, Jacksonville, and Stetson.

A centerpiece of the study abroad program is an embedded case study component where groups of students act as consultants to Scottish businesses and organizations to address an issue of pressing need.

Students and faculty take a quick break after presenting the outcomes of their case studies to business and organizational leaders.

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.

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

 International Student Receives Global Citizenship Scholarship, Stetson Access Grant

Congratulations to Henry Semaganda, international student from Kampala, Uganda, who received one of Stetson’s prestigious Global Citizenship Scholarships. Semaganda has long demonstrated interest in Stetson University, applying twice before receiving the scholarship.

“As a recipient of the prestigious Global Citizen Full Tuition Scholarship, I have an immense opportunity to live my dream at Stetson University, Florida. A dream that has come to pass despite the fact that the competition was indeed stiff, with only one slot available for a student from sub-Saharan Africa.“

Henry Semaganda, ‘20 (biology), proudly displays his Global Citizenship Scholarship certificate of award. Semaganda is the second recipient of the Global Citizenship Scholarship, a new scholarship program at Stetson University aimed at attracting outstanding international students.

The full tuition scholarship is awarded to incoming international students with top academic potential who exhibit Stetson’s value of global citizenship. Three students are chosen annually, each from different regions of the world. The scholarship enables recipients opportunity to deepen their practice of global citizenship as Semeganda describes in his application essay.

“For a substantial part of my life, I have always held a firm belief in the promise of humanity. This belief has persisted despite the wrongs and misfortunes that have befallen our societies. I have never given up hope in believing that there is potential to do good in all of us and that deep within us lies the solution to the problems that torment the world today ranging from war, terrorism, disease among others. I believe everyone has a place on the team in this journey to make the world a better place for posterity”.

Semaganda has also received the Stetson Access Grant Scholarship (now discontinued) to cover the remaining costs of attending university. He believes that the small class sizes and student-to-teacher ratio at Stetson  will afford him the “rare opportunity of an up-close learning experience and mentorship between the professors and me…”

Today, I rejoice in an improbable success. That as a student who began his academic journey at Masajja Bridge nursery and primary school, a school that is on the verge of demolition currently, I will be obtaining my undergraduate education at Stetson University, one of the top institutions in U.S. Both my parents dropped out of school during the 1979 Iddi-Amin civil war but held a firm belief that education would be the ultimate gift they would ever give me. It is their unwavering hope that even pushed me to limits they had never envisioned.

The biology major has participated in the EducationUSA program at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala and has volunteered to work with them to spread the benefits of an American education.

I want to share in the diversity, to bask in the depth, richness and flexibility of an American education. My story is one of hard work, tenacity and unflagging faith that I can be among the best. If one wants to achieve greatness, the door to opportunity is always open. My story has just begun. I urge students from Uganda, and from around the world to never give up on their dreams because they seem too big. Let us strive to push ourselves to limits we have never imagined before.

Semaganda’s future plans include a career as a medical doctor to help improve Uganda’s health system.

“I envision that after my time at Stetson, I will be an ambassador of hope, well equipped with knowledge, exposure and skills to contribute to sensitization and improvement of basic health care in Uganda but more especially in eradicating preventable diseases like HIV/AIDS, cholera and ebola that plague millions of Africans.

”Today, as a global citizen, I long to see African societies that are not held hostage to negative traditional beliefs and senseless stereotypes. This will boost our education, health, infrastructure, relationships, politics and leadership.”