Third Annual Project Passport International Faculty Development Seminar Kicks Off in the Dominican Republic

Authored By:


This week, the third annual Project Passport International Faculty Development Seminar (IFDS) begins in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. IFDS is a week-long program that brings together exemplary faculty from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the country and provides them with tools they can use to expand the role of international exchange on their college campuses. It is one of several initiatives of Project Passport, a partnership between CIEE and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI), established to increase access to study abroad opportunities by facilitating dialogue about the value of international education at all levels of MSIs, including presidents, faculty, and students.

“IFDS provides faculty with the skills they need to develop programs centering on a global perspective, and it encourages collaboration among MSI faculty to better advocate for the significance of student study abroad opportunities at their institutions,” said Paola ‘Lola’ Esmieu, Associate Director of Programs at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

“Faculty are essential if institutions are to achieve their goal to increase study abroad opportunities,” said Keshia Abraham, Director of Strategic Initiatives at CIEE. “They are important advocates for increased intercultural programming for students, and they must take the initiative to lead innovative study abroad experiences.”

In Santo Domingo, faculty will partake in sessions that will explore productive methods to successfully develop a faculty-led study abroad program. With various hands-on sessions on addressing recruitment, funding, and crisis management, the seminar hopes to prepare faculty for all of the elements associated with establishing a study abroad program on their home campuses.

Each IFDS participant was nominated by the president of their institution based on their exemplary leadership, research, and teaching.

This year’s participants include:

  • Akilah Francique, Prairie View A&M University
  • April Stull, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
  • Crystal Hudson, Clark Atlanta University
  • Ejim Sule, Prairie View A&M University
  • George Norma, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
  • Glen Philbrick, Sitting Bull College
  • James Walters, Bluefield State College
  • Jennine Krueger, Huston-Tillotson University
  • Lombuso Khoza, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
  • Marlissa Phillips, Clark Atlanta University
  • Michael Merrill, Saint Edward’s University
  • Nishaun Battle, Virginia State University
  • Renee Froelich, Sitting Bull College
  • Sarina Phillips, Prairie View A&M University
  • Sean Connolly, Bluefield State College
  • Shameka Reed, Jackson State University
  • Sherry Harper, Prairie View A&M University
  •  Yen Dang, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
  •  Yun Lee, Virginia State University

Facilitators for IFDS include Melissa Sandoval and Ryan Bowen, CIEE Portland, ME; Julio González-Ruiz, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA; and Paola ‘Lola’ Esmieu, Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, Philadelphia, PA.

About the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions
The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) brings together researchers and practitioners from the nation's Minority Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. For further information about CMSI, please visit

About the Council on International Educational Exchange
CIEE, the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, transforms lives and builds bridges by promoting the exchange of ideas and experiences. To help people develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world, CIEE sponsors a wide variety of opportunities for cultural exchange, including work exchange programs, teach abroad programs, and a worldwide portfolio of study abroad and internship programs for college and high school students.