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Five NSU faculty selected to study abroad

(Tahlequah, Okla.)--To conduct research and establish overseas contacts, the International Faculty Development Fellowship Program at Northeastern State University has named five faculty to travel abroad this summer.

“The International Faculty Development Fellowship Program at NSU is unique for the State of Oklahoma,” said Dr. Richard Carhart, executive director of international studies. “It is innovative in its design in that it uses resources of the NSU Foundation and puts them to excellent use. Studying abroad is a life-changing experience for our faculty. It enhances faculty research and, through the contacts established, creates future study abroad opportunities for our students.”

Participating in the 2012 program are Dr. Sandra Edwards, associate professor of business administration at NSU-Muskogee; Dr. O. Susan Frusher, professor of educational foundations and leadership; Dr. JoAnn Starkweather, professor of information systems; Dr. Erik Terdal, associate professor of biology at NSU-Broken Arrow; and Dr. Andrew Vassar, associate professor of humanities.

Edwards travels to Pollenzo and Naples, Italy; Frusher visits Havana; Starkweather goes to Shanghai and Sozhou, China; and Terdal visits Monteverde, Costa Rica. Vassar travels to Dakar, Goree Island, Toubab Dialaw and Poponguine in Senegal.

“I am really excited and looking forward to visiting Cuba,” Frusher said. “I am honored to be chosen for this unique opportunity and to represent NSU and the College of Education.”

The International Faculty Development Fellowship Program is designed to help NSU create a global and diverse campus. It enlarges the cohort of faculty involved in international dialogue, further internationalizes the NSU curricula and enhances the university’s profile regionally and internationally.

The trips are arranged by the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) in cooperation with NSU and offer comprehensive study opportunities. Faculty choose from a list of international development seminars and apply for acceptance.

Vassar selected “Contemporary Senegal through Literature and Arts” and will be overseas June 6-16.

“I applied for the course because many courses I teach cover sub-Saharan African culture, but I have never visited that part of the world,” he said. “Courses I teach include humanities, comparative religions and occasionally Islamic cultures and a global non-western humanities class. Their wide-ranging nature requires enormous knowledge of other cultures. This visit to Senegal will enhance my knowledge.”

Having conducted wildlife research in the Maya Mountains of Belize for many years, Terdal chose the “Lessons in Sustainability” seminar which runs May 27 – June 2.

“I will visit my Belizean field site en route to Costa Rica,” he said. “So I will have the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development in Central America fresh in my mind when I arrive in Monteverde. I will use social media to share daily what I learn with my students and the NSU community. I encourage everyone to follow me.”

Starkweather’s seminar is “Economic Development and Urban Transformation” and runs June 4-13. She said it is “a great privilege” to pursue collaboration with economic development professionals in Shanghai.

“When one considers the city’s pivotal role historically and realizes that Shanghai is once again positioned among the leading cities in current economic development, it’s quite remarkable,” she said. "I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to pursue collaborative research endeavors with my Chinese academic counterparts as a result of this CIEE seminar."

Frusher selected “Cuba in a Changing Global Community” from June 17-26 and Edwards will attend “Food from a ‘Glocal’ Perspective: Italy, the Mediterranean and the Globe” from June 6-14.

Visit the NSU website for more information about the NSU International Faculty Development Fellowship Program.

For more information visit the CIEE website.

Published: 3/28/2012 4:12:17 PM

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