Value of IFDS & Testimonials
Below are testimonials written by participants after their seminar experience. If you would like to speak with someone who has participated on one of our faculty seminars, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Climate Change: The Reefs and Waterways of Australia
Dr. David J. Rutherford
Department of Public Policy Leadership
University of Mississippi
The seminar in which I participated provided a tremendously rewarding experience that has already begun to benefit the educational experiences for students in my courses and will keep on enhancing those courses as I continue to incorporate additional information from the seminar. In addition, the seminar has provided excellent material to present at professional meetings and for preparation of manuscripts for publication in professional journals. Moreover, I intend to incorporate the material in lesson plans for K-12 educators.
Throughout the seminar and my independent travels, I wrote substantive notes, photographed illustrative images, and collected pertinent literature. I have already begun incorporating material from these sources into two classes that I teach at the University of Mississippi – Global Environmental Issues, and World Regions: Geography and Policy. These materials have improved teaching about the variable impacts that aquatic and coastal ecosystem changes exert on peoples, cultures, and economic livelihoods in diverse local places along with the effects that diffuse more broadly around the world. Moreover, the materials have provided concrete examples that illustrate the role that globalization itself plays in ecosystem change, particularly how human actions that occur around the world and are often considered benign or neutral can have powerful impacts on aquatic and coastal ecosystem change in faraway local places. I have also begun development of lesson plans on these same themes that can be distributed to K-12 educators throughout Mississippi through the Mississippi Geographic Alliance. Finally, I have developed outlines for manuscripts to submit for publication in two appropriate professional journals – the Geographical Review and Focus on Geography.
The seminar and associated travels provided many examples of the ways in which globalization in our contemporary world continues to increasingly and more closely link the peoples, places, and environments in distant locations together into one interconnected world. I look forward to further incorporation of this theme into my communications with students and others.
China’s Silk Road
Dr. William Wei
University of Colorado at Boulder
The IFDS on the Silk Road of China was a marvelous as well as informative experience. After returning to America, I immediately began revising some of my lectures for my Introduction to Chinese History course (History 1608). Specifically, I revised my lectures on the Han dynasty, devoting an entire lecture on the Silk Road and its development. Among other things, I incorporated what I learned from Professor Haiyang Zhang, Central University of Nationalities, about the cultural ecology along the Silk Road. In addition, I was able to talk about aspects of the Silk Road in a very personal way, adding anecdotes that enlivened an already interesting subject.
Besides revising my lectures, I was able to use what I had learned while serving as a Visiting Scholar to the Community College of Aurora where I assisted them in the internationalization of their curriculum. Among the several public lectures I gave was one on the Silk Road on November 10, 2008. It was a well-received lecture. Naturally, the audience enjoyed when I talked about my CIEE experience about the places I visited and the people I met. Not incidentally, Jessica Horak wrote an article about me, “A World of Experience at Community College” in the Aurora Sentinel. It included an announcement about the public lecture and a picture taken of me during the Silk Road IFDS when we visited the Jade Gate.
In the future, I will offer an upper-division history course on the Silk Road, one that will discuss its origins and development, focusing on the various regional civilizations and kingdoms along it. That will, of course, necessarily take me geographically from China across Central Asia and the Middle East to the Mediterranean. Historically, it will take me from the Han dynasty to the present, when I talk about the new Silk Road. Meanwhile, I would like to note that as a result of my attendance of a 2007 IFDS in Hyderabad, India, I will be offering a course called “Chindia: A Comparison Between the Developmental Experience of China and India.”
Muslims, Jews, and Protestants in France: Identity, Memory, and the Politics of Belonging
Dr. Thomas R. Tudor
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
I am the main faculty member at my university that has specialized in human resource management, has responsibility for the HR curriculum, and that teaches most of the advanced courses. My attendance of the IFDS in France impacted my work in the following ways:
Specifically, I was able to use this seminar to help update the human resource management curriculum to cover more religious diversity issues in the workplace and to add more depth to this subject. An emphasis was also placed on international human resource management issues using France as an example. These curriculum updates made significant additions to the MGMT 4391 Employment Law course and a revision to the MGMT 4385 Human Resource Special Topics course.
My better understanding of France and its major religious issues, differences, and history involving Muslims, Jews, and Christians (focus of CIEE seminar) improved my teaching when it comes to religious understanding, accommodation, and discrimination in the workforce. We now discuss the law in significant detail. There has been a dramatic rise in discrimination complaints, harassment complaints, and lawsuits from Muslims in the United States workplace. I am now better able to offer my students a more thorough education on religious issues and the impact these issues might have in the workplace and in the communities they may work.
RECRUITING AND RETAINING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
I have been involved at my university in trying to help recruit and retain international students. I think this CIEE seminar helped me better understand their needs and thus helped me give better advice on recruiting and retaining them.
In addition, this seminar helped me more closely relate to Middle Eastern and European students, which I think will also create a more positive experience for them at my university. I think it will help them to be more comfortable asking for educational help, recommendation letters, and help or advice with a possible cultural conflict issue. I am a leader on committees and with international outreach groups to recruit them and help them while they are here.
OUTREACH TO COMMUNITY
Our Provost has invited me to do a brown bag lunch forum on my research and development. Faculty and the public will be invited and it will be advertised. Because of this seminar, I will be able to discuss what I learned during it and will be able to share some interesting facts. For example, France will pay the teachers at private religious K-12 schools as long as these schools follow the same curriculum as public schools. This is one very interesting cultural issue that I’m sure will create a great discussion.
This seminar also enhanced my research. I have already presented a paper at a conference in which I have proposed research on Banking and the Muslim culture. This idea came from this seminar. I have just submitted the proposal for a grant.
The Celtic Tiger, Myth or Reality
Dr. Jason Koontz
Biology Department, Augustana College
This was the first time I traveled in Ireland and the IFDS was my means of starting the development of a course on Irish natural history I will be teaching in Ireland in 2010. I am part of the three-professor team (including English and Psychology) who will be teaching in Ireland during the Spring 2010 term with 30 undergraduate students. While we have been meeting regularly through the last academic year, the opportunity to travel in Ireland this last summer was invaluable for me to see Ireland first hand.
Besides the development of my natural history of Ireland course for 2010, one future activity I will be involved with is a presentation in an open forum for Augustana faculty during the current acl fademic year. The forum will be organized by our Office of International Programs and serves several functions:
Share with faculty what I did during the IFDS in Ireland and explain how I’ll use what I've learned in developing my course for the Ireland 2010 term as well as courses I would teach at Augustana
Promote CIEE and its programs
Help re-enforce the College’s commitment to international education.
I will be co-presenting this with my colleague in Psychology
This spring I will be teaching a conservation biology senior capstone course and I hope to include what I learned in Ireland during the IFDS. While the students in this capstone course have more control in setting the content, I plan to make them take an international perspective because conservation issues are global issues and vary country to country. One potential activity is for each student to research a conservation issue in a different country and develop a proposal if they were selected to head that country’s department of interior. Then they can present their proposals to the class and we can discuss each country, comparing and contrasting them.
I look forward to the opportunity to develop other courses with an international perspective, but my immediate focus will be on my Ireland 2010 term course. While my course will be focused on the biology of the country, the Celtic Tiger IFDS provided me with a broad experience in Irish identity so I can help my students appreciate the complexity of Ireland from more than just a biological perspective. During the CIEE IFDS I was immersed in Irish culture from multiple disciplines and I learned about Ireland through visiting sites, interacting with locals and other educators dedicated to international education. This opportunity gave me a great introduction to a country in which I will spend a great deal of time and gave me the confidence that I can enrich the lives of 30 students in 2010.
Balancing Tradition and Change in Senegal
Dr. Wyndham Whynot
History Department, Livingstone College
The various lectures conducted throughout the seminar have provided information that I will be able to incorporate in numerous history courses that I teach and in my geography course. The lectures on Senegalese history, politics, religion, the Senegambian slave trade, and the Mourid Brotherhood can and will be used in at least nine separate courses that I teach; either as full fledged lectures on specific topics or to enhance elements of other lectures. Information from the lecture on the Senegambian slave trade and the site visit to Goree Island will be incorporated into lectures on the slave trade in my courses on African-American History I, World History II, US History I, and Modern African History (1500-Present). The lectures on religion and Islam and the visit to Touba will be used in the African history course, as well as my World of Islam/Middle East Course and enable me to focus at least one complete lecture on Islamic Brotherhoods in Africa, as well as material for discussions of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Probably the most important impact of this seminar will be on my Modern African History (1500-Present) course, which I’ll be teaching for the first time this fall. I will now be able to offer specific lectures on Senegal and West Africa that will incorporate information from a number of the seminars such as migration issues, the role of non-governmental organizations, history, politics, youth, and cultural aspects in Senegal. As a result my lectures will be more meaningful with firsthand knowledge, rather than book knowledge
My world regional geography course will especially benefit from the seminar, since I can incorporate information from all of the lectures into my own lectures, whether on a broad sense in discussing subjects such as religion, language, politics, culture etc.; as well as on more direct levels during the course in regards to the Sub-Saharan region and West Africa, using Senegal as an example. The seminar will also allow me to use Senegal as a case study for discussing a particular topic to an illustrate element(s) of West African/Sub-Saharan geography which are mirrored elsewhere in the region. The pictures and video that I took during the seminar will be used to create audio-visual components for use in my classes to provide an alternative to strict lectures.
Furthermore, some students have already taken interest in my trip to Senegal and have shown an interest in doing a study tour abroad. I will attempt to use this interest to encourage the development of a study abroad opportunity for students at Livingstone College.