Tuesday February 28, 2017

Global Education Fellows

The University of Dayton continually strives to expand international learning opportunities to prepare students for success in our increasingly globalized world. Three College of Arts and Sciences faculty members are drawing on their own experiences abroad to create global experiential learning opportunities in China.

Chris Agnew, Shuang-Ye Wu and Suki Kwon are developing these opportunities through the University’s Global Education Fellows program. An extension of the Global Education Seminar, the program allows faculty members to be immersed in international locations to broaden their pedagogical and scholarly horizons.

Programs such as the Global Education Fellows allow the University to expand curriculum and opportunities for students to expand their perspectives and be equipped to engage in a diverse society. Preparing graduates to adapt to the needs of an increasingly globalized world is a key goal of the College.

Agnew, associate professor of history, and Wu, associate professor of geology, are working with School of Business Administration lecturer Barbara John to design and implement a study abroad program in China that encompasses environmental- and sustainability-themed courses. These courses are intended to benefit from the University of Dayton China Institute’s location in the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District. The courses are also designed to fit into the University’s Common Academic Program and Sustainability, Energy and the Environment minor.

Kwon, associate professor of art and design, is working to create a project-based study abroad program.

“My proposal is to create an education abroad program with art and design that can be open to students of all disciplines,” Kwon said. “The core of this proposal is to have UD students work with Chinese students in Nanjing University of Science and Technology, an institution we developed relationships with through Global Education Seminar in 2012. The main idea is to ensure that our students are working with students from another country on the same project to encourage an international and intercultural experience.”

The Fellows program is an extension of the Global Education Seminar. Both initiatives are funded through a joint collaboration that includes the Center for International Programs, the Office of the Provost and the Dean’s Office of the academic units in which the fellows work. Faculty members engage in intensive study of a strategically chosen area prior to a three-week exploratory visit to China.

The strategic planning of seminar sites is intended to familiarize University faculty with international locations that have opportunity for academic exploration and study.

“We want to support faculty engagement in internationalization initiatives and goals,” said Sangita Gosalia, Center for International Programs director of campus engagement. “The goal of the seminar is to provide faculty with the opportunity to explore opportunities that can support the advancement of curriculum development, research, education abroad initiatives, international partnerships and more.”

Agnew said his involvement with the seminar program has allowed him and his colleagues to further international education opportunities in a way that might not have previously been possible.

“The Global Education Seminar program was instrumental in creating a number of faculty who were interested in, and now felt more comfortable going to China,” Agnew said. “That outcome has really made possible the collaboration that I am a part of in creating these new courses to be implemented with study abroad.”

Both the Global Education Seminar and Fellow programs provide ways for faculty to integrate intercultural and international perspectives into their work, which advances a more global curriculum for students.

“In the past I have seen our students interact with students in China, and it was one of the best experiences that our students had during the summer Study Abroad Program in China,” Kwon said. “Faculty members can do something for our students by setting up opportunities for them to interact with their peers in a different culture. When students are fully immersed with their peers from other sides of the world, they can begin to work together and create a synergy that is necessary and beneficial to their education.”

- Alex Burchfield ’16, communication assistant, College of Arts and Sciences

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