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Promoting Global Engagement in Chemistry

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11/15/2015 NYU>FacultyResourceNetwork>Publications>TheGlobalImperativeofHigherEducation>PromotingGlobalEngagementinChemistry
http://www.nyu.edu/frn/publications/global.imperative.higher.education/Jackson.Jeilani.Sanders.Thompson.Winfield.html 1/5
PromotingGlobalEngagementinChemistry
November2122,2014
UniversityofPuertoRico,RíoPiedras
SanJuan,PuertoRico
KimberlyJackson,SpelmanCollege
YassinJeilani,SpelmanCollege
ShaninaSanders,SpelmanCollege
AlbertThompson,SpelmanCollege
LeyteWinfield,SpelmanCollege
AGlobalPerspective
Itisrecognizedthattechnologicaladvancesandscientificinnovationsarenotconfinedtogeographic
borders.Instead,itisthetransgeographicexchangeofideasthatallowstheimpactofscienceand
technologytobebroadlymanifested.Therefore,moderncurriculumsandacademicresearchmust
embodyaglobalperspectivethatdoesnotconsiderdomesticandinternationalperspectivesseparately,
butasintegratedintheformationofawhole.Institutionsarecreatingcomprehensivelearning
environmentsbyengagingbothfacultyandstudentsininitiativesthatexpandtheboundariesofthe
classroom.Whileitisbelievedthatscience,technology,engineering,andmathematics(STEM)are
inherentlyglobal,internationaltravelopportunitiescanbeleveragedtoensurethatfacultyareableto
expandthecurriculumandstudentsunderstandtheuniversalrelevanceoftheirdiscipline.
SpelmanCollegeisoneofonlysixinstitutionsinthecountrydesignatedbytheNationalScience
Foundation(NSF)asaModelInstitutionforExcellenceinundergraduatescienceandmathematics
education.SpelmanhasalongstandingrecordforpreparingwomenofAfricandescenttoobtain
doctoraldegreesinSTEM.Buildingonthislegacy,theCollegecontinuestoexpanditsacademic
environmenttorespondtotoday'sstudentdemographicsandtosustainthecompetitivenessofitsSTEM
graduates.TothisendtheCollegehasimplementedastrategicplanthatcallsforan"internationalized"
curriculumandlearningenvironment,theSpelmanGoingGlobalInitiative(Spelman2014).The
initiativeholdsthatallstudentswillhaveaglobalexperiencebeforedegreecompletion,andthat
academicdepartmentswillbepositionedtobothbroadentheeducationalexperiencesofstudentsand
enhancefacultyscholarlyactivities.Toassistwiththeeffort,theGordonZetoCenterforGlobal
Educationhasbeenestablishedtoimplementmeaningfulwaysofincreasingfacultyandstudent
involvementininternationalresearchandlearningactivities.Throughthecenter,arequiredstudytravel
seminar(STS100)wasdevelopedtopreparestudentsforimpendinginternationalexperience.The
course,comprisingfour1hoursessions,providesstudentsanoverviewoftheculture,language,and
safetyconcernsrelatedtotheforeigndestination.TheDepartmentofChemistryandBiochemistryhas
capitalizedontheGoingGlobalcampaignbysupportingfacultyefforts(individualandcollaborative)to
bringaninternationalperspectivetotheirwork,particularlytheworkofnurturingthedevelopmentof
futurescientists.Asdescribedherein,theseeffortshighlightoutcomesthathaveledtoincreased
11/15/2015 NYU>FacultyResourceNetwork>Publications>TheGlobalImperativeofHigherEducation>PromotingGlobalEngagementinChemistry
http://www.nyu.edu/frn/publications/global.imperative.higher.education/Jackson.Jeilani.Sanders.Thompson.Winfield.html 2/5
futurescientists.Asdescribedherein,theseeffortshighlightoutcomesthathaveledtoincreased
globalizationinthedepartment.
GlobalizingSTEM
TheGlobalResearchandEducationinSTEM(GSTEM)programatSpelmanCollegeseekstoprepare
minoritywomeninSTEMtobegloballyengaged.Establishedin2009,theprogramishousedunderthe
GordonZetoCenterandfundedthroughtheNationalScienceFoundation(NSF)andtheDepartmentof
EducationTitleIII.Theprogramprovidesqualityinternationalresearchopportunitiesbyidentifying
suitablelocationsforstudentplacement.Studentsreceive$7,000towardprogramcostsandairfare.In
addition,theyreceivea$4,000stipendforthesixtoeightweekplacement.Eachscholarisassigned
tworesearchmentors,afacultymemberfromSpelmanandonefromtheinternationalinstitution.The
Spelmanmentorisprovidedastipendof$1,000andanadditional$2,000tosupplementthecostofa
sitevisit.ChemistryandbiochemistrymajorshavecompletedresearchprojectsinLondon,England;
StrasbourgandGrenoble,France;Madrid,Spain;Monteverde,CostaRica;Johannesburg,CapeTown,
Bloemfontein,andBellville,SouthAfrica.Theirprojectshavespannedthefieldsofbiochemistry,
polymers,nanotechnology,cheminformatics,organicchemistry,andanalyticalchemistry.
Studentsarescreenedpriortoapplyingfortheprogram.Thisinvolvesattendingapreapplicantmeeting
toreviewqualificationsanddiscusspotentialplacements.Onceclearanceisgrantedandthestudenthas
beenacceptedintotheprogram,theyattendamandatoryorientationmeetingandcompleteSTS100.In
addition,theymeetwiththeSpelmanadvisortoprepareforthevisitbyreviewingtechnicaland
scientificliterature,discussingtheproject,andcompletingacommunicationplan.Duringtheirtime
abroad,studentsarerequiredtocompleteweeklyreflectionsontheirresearchandculturalexperiences,
attendseminarsandgroupmeetings,andmakeaformalpresentationontheirwork.Atenpageresearch
reportissubmittedbythestudentsupontheirreturn.ThestudentsalsopresentattheCollege'sAnnual
ResearchDayandcompletemandatoryposttripevaluations.Todate,106GSTEMscholars,including
tenchemistryandbiochemistrymajors,havesuccessfullycompletedtheprogram.Thisreflectsa35%
increaseinthenumberofstudentscompletinganinternationalresearchexperience.Pastscholars
displayedincreasedawarenessoftheculturalnormsandresearchpracticesoftheirhostsite.Inaddition,
theyexpressedenthusiasmtowardsfurtherinternationalresearchandtravelafterthisexperience.Tenof
thetwelvefulltimechemistry/biochemistryfacultyhaveservedasmentorsintheprogram.The
departmenthasestablishedaGSTEMsiteinGrenoble,France,withLeyteWinfieldservingasthe
Spelmancollaborator.ThesiteisslatedtohosttwostudentsannuallyatGrenobleInnovationfor
AdvancedNewTechnology(GIANT)campusandJosephFourierUniversity.
StudyTravel
TheSTEMLearningandUnderstandingNewCareersHorizons(LAUNCH)GermanySummerStudy
Travelprogramwasestablishedin2013withAlbertThompsonandJamesBrownascodirectorsfor
SpelmanandMorehouseColleges,respectively.Thetripwasofferedagainin2014withTiffanyOliver
(Spelman)ascodirector.Theprogramwillcontinueinthesummerof2015.Theeffortwasfundedby
CulturalVistas(NewYork)andtheHalleFoundation(Atlanta).ThelatterwasfoundedbyClausM.
Halle,whooncesaid,"Ifeelverystrongly,takinghistoryintoaccountandeverythingIhave
experiencedinmylifeonbothsidesoftheAtlantic,thatthereisnothingmoreimportantforpeaceand
prosperityinourhemispherethanthefriendshipbetweenAmericaandGermany"(Halle2014).Itis
fittingthatSpelmanandMorehousereceivedfundingfromtheHallefoundationforthisstudytravel
opportunityinGermany.Thetwoweektripisofferedtostudentsintheirsophomoreorjunioryearof
collegeandoccursinmidMay,allowingthemtopursueothersummeropportunities(e.g.internships
andsummercoursework)uponreturn.Thegoalsofthetripareto:
Increasethereciprocalknowledgeandunderstandingofbothcountries'(theUnitedStatesand
Germany)geography,cultures,andpolitical,educational,andlegalsystems.
IntroducestudentstoGermany'sscientifichistory,culture,andoperationsincorporateand
academicenvironments.
ExposestudentstoGermany'songoingresearchandresearchopportunitiesforundergraduates.
Forthe2013trip,participantstraveledbyairplanetovariouscitiesinGermany.Theitineraryincluded
connectionsinFrankfurt,andstaysinBerlinandMunich.Whilethetravelwasenjoyable,participants
wereunabletoviewpointsbetweenthesesites.Thereforein2014,participantsflewtoAmsterdamfor
11/15/2015 NYU>FacultyResourceNetwork>Publications>TheGlobalImperativeofHigherEducation>PromotingGlobalEngagementinChemistry
http://www.nyu.edu/frn/publications/global.imperative.higher.education/Jackson.Jeilani.Sanders.Thompson.Winfield.html 3/5
wereunabletoviewpointsbetweenthesesites.Thereforein2014,participantsflewtoAmsterdamfor
connectiontoBerlin;thentraveledbytraintoMunichtocompletetheitinerary.Thisafforded
participantsanopportunitytoseemoreofthecountryside.Thegrouplivedinhostelsduringthevisit
andutilizedthepublictransportationavailableateachlocation.InstitutionsvisitedinGermanyincluded
popularindustries(i.e.BMW,Bayer,BauschandLomb,andSiemens)andacademicinstitutions(i.e.
theMaxPlanckInstitute,BerlinMathematicalSchool,andTechnicalUniversityofMunich).In
addition,thegroupvisitedajobplacementagency,aprivatestartupcompanyinvolvedin
environmentallyfriendlyresearch,andtheU.S.Embassy.
(Figure1:PosterofEttaFalconerseenattheBerlinMathematical
School)Thestudentscompletedapretripsurveydetailingtheir
expectationsforthetripandapostassessmentthatsummarizedwhether
theirexpectationswerefulfilled.Manystudentsexpectedtheretobea
languagebarrier.However,theyfoundthatmostofthepeoplethey
encounteredpreferredtospeakEnglish.Ahighlightofthetripwasa
posterofEttaFalconer,ProfessorEmeritaofMathematicsatSpelman
College(nowdeceased),whoreceivedinternationalrecognitionforher
contributionstoSTEMandSpelmanCollege.Theposterwasondisplay
attheBerlinMathematicalSchool(Figure1).Studentswerealsoableto
identifyGermanbasedcompaniesthatarecurrentlyonourcampussuch
asSiemens.
TheGermanexperiencedispelledmanymythsstudentshadregardingthe
challengesofglobaltravel,includingthedifficultiestheyexpectedto
encounterbecauseoflanguage,cultural,andsocietaldifferences.The
programgreatlyassistedstudentstomorebroadlydefineandrefine
careergoals.Germanparticipantsexpressedaninterestinhavingour
studentsreturnforlongervisitstocompleteinternships.Becausethetripisofferedtostudentsintheir
secondandthirdyearofstudy,studentshavetheopportunitytopursuetheseexperiences.Overall,the
tripaffordedSTEMmajorsabroaderunderstandingofhowtheycanmakeanimpactinvarious
scientificavenues.Studentsexpressedagreaterunderstandingoftheimportanceofbeinganactive
globalcitizenwellversedinmattersbeyondtheboundariesoftheirnativecountry.
SimilartotheGermanytrip,theCIEESpelmanCollegeInterculturalEngagementinPerustudytravel
course,codirectedbyYassinJeilani,allowedateamofstudentsandfacultytoexploretheculture,
politics,andgeographyofaforeigncity.Thiscoursespannedtwoweeksandinvolvedbothinclass
(occurringatthePontificalCatholicUniversityofPeru,PCUP)andoutofclassactivities(including
Spanishlanguageinstruction).Thecoursewasgradedaspass/failandrequiredstudentstocompletean
examandsubmitareflectiveessay.Studentscompletingthecoursereceivedthreecoursecredits.The
tripallowedstudentsthechancetoexperiencePUCPcampuslifeandtomeetwithPeruvianstudentsas
wellasAmericanstudentstakingregularclassesonPUCPcampus.Toengagewithlocalculture,
studentsvisitedcommunitiesinChinchaandanelementaryschoolandmuseuminLima.Witnessingthe
strugglesofthesecitizens,studentswereabletodrawsimilaritiesbetweentheCivilRightsmovementin
theUSandthatoftheAfroPeruviancommunity.Itwasfoundthatbecausethestudentswereableto
relatetothestrugglesofthecommunity,theywereabletoconnecttotheirsurroundingsdespitethe
languagebarrier.Likemoststudytravelopportunitiesofthisnature,participationbySTEMmajorswas
low.Effortsareunderwaytoincreaseparticipationofthesestudents.Forexample,coursesarebeing
scheduledsuchthatthetimeframedoesnotpreventstudentsfromengaginginsummerresearchand
otherenrichmentactivities.
FacultyEngagement
WithGoingGlobal'semphasisonstudentcenteredactivities,itisimportanttoensurethatfacultyhave
theexperiencesneededtoprovidemeaningfulcurricularandcocurricularactivities.Consequently,
facultyattheCollegebeganreexaminingitsliberalartsmission.Thisallowedfacultytoworktowards
transformingthecurriculumtoincludemoreinterdisciplinarityandglobalization.TheChemistryand
BiochemistryDepartmentheldseveralmeetingstocompilenewideasforcurriculumenhancement.Asa
result,KimberlyJacksoncreatedafoodchemistrycourseandcorrespondinglaboratorymanual.
Designedasafourhourstudiocourse(originallybasedonanMITOpenCourseWareclass),studentsare
abletodiscussthechemistryofcookinginonetwohourclassperiod,andthencookadishillustrating
theapplicationofchemistryinthefollowingclassperiod.Thecourse,offeredfornonSTEMmajors,
11/15/2015 NYU>FacultyResourceNetwork>Publications>TheGlobalImperativeofHigherEducation>PromotingGlobalEngagementinChemistry
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theapplicationofchemistryinthefollowingclassperiod.Thecourse,offeredfornonSTEMmajors,
canbedescribedasasurveyofbiochemistry(focusedonwater,fats,sugars,andproteins)thatallows
studentstocreateediblechemistry.Forinstance,icecreamispreparedandtheroleoffreezingpoint
depressionintheformationofthedessertisdiscussed.Foodchemistryhasbeenimmenselypopular
withstudentsinthesixyearsthatithasbeenoffered.Mostimpressively,itboastshugegainsin
students'comprehensionofchemicalconcepts.Completionofthecourseallowsstudentstofulfillthe
naturalsciencecourserequirement.
ThesuccessofthefoodchemistrycoursecreatedanopportunityforJacksontousefoodasamodelfor
interdisciplinarity.Asaresult,shecodeveloped(withPatriciaVentura,English,andMonaPhillips,
SociologyandAnthropology)atwodayworkshopfortwentyfacultymembersfromUNCFinstitutions
withfundingfromtheUNCFMellonprogram.AcrosstheDisciplinesandAroundtheTable:
RethinkingInterdisciplinaryResearchUsingFoodasaModelpromotedanopportunitytoform
alliancesamongfacultyfromacrossdisciplinaryboundariesthroughasharedexaminationofthemost
basicquestions,suchas"Whyinterdisciplinarity?"and"Howdoweusefoodstudiesasamodelfor
interdisciplinarypedagogyandresearch?"Facultyattendingtheworkshopwerealsoabletocreate
modulesforcourseimplementationattheirparticularcampusandengagewithfacilitatorswhospokeon
various"food"topics.Therefore,theworkshopallowedtheorganizerstoadvancetheCollege'sstrategic
plansbyutilizingfoodasaplatformforconversationsofuniversalsignificance.Thenextstepfor
Jacksonwastoengageinadialogonfoodinaglobalsetting.SheattendedatwoweekCIEE
InternationalFacultyDevelopmentseminaronfoodfromaglobalperspectiveinPollenzoandNaples,
Italy—anexperiencewhichshedescribesas"aonceinalifetimeopportunitythatprovidedamulti
experientialunderstandingoffoodthroughguidedtastings,seminars,inclasslessons/exercises,and
crosscountrytravelwithagroupofcolleagueslearningfromeachother'svarieddisciplines"(CIEE
2015).Duringthetrip,shewasabletolearnfromanexchangeofideas,becomeacclimatedtonew
initiativesinfoodstudies,andreceiveinsightonfoodfromaglobalperspectivethatcanbeintegrated
intotheSpelmancurriculum.Basedonthesethreeexperiences—thecreationofthefoodchemistry
course,thedevelopmentofthefoodworkshop,andtheCIEEinternationalseminar—the"ThinkFood"
initiative,anewinterdisciplinaryfoodstudiesminoratSpelmanCollege,isbeingestablishedwith
JacksonandDarylWhite(SociologyandAnthropology)servingasdirectors.
Conclusion
TheinternationalopportunitiessummarizedhereinhighlightnewpossibilitiesfortheSpelman
community.Theinitiativeshaveledtosignificantfaculty,student,andcollegewideimpacts.One
questionthathasarisenrelatestothestudents'propensitytopursuedegreesorpermanentlyrelocateto
aninternationalvenueasaresultoftheseexperiences.Whilethishasnotbeenformallyanalyzed,itis
worthmentioningthatmanyoftheforeigninstitutionshaveexpressedinterestinstudentsspending
longerperiodsintheirlabs(inapseudopostbaccalaureatemodel)andenrollingintheirgraduate
programs.Thepotentialforthistooccurisstillbeingexplored.Nevertheless,thesecollectiveefforts
demonstratethenecessityofleveragingtravelintheengagementofbothstudentsandfacultyasglobal
citizens.
References
CIEEInternationalFacultyDevelopmentSeminars.2015."Outcomes."AccessedJanuary4.
http://www.ciee.org/internationalfacultydevelopmentseminars/about/outcomes/
TheHalleFoundation.2014."TheHalleFoundation."AccessedDecember30.
www.thehallefoundation.org
SpellmanCollege.2014."StrategicPlanfor2017."AccessedApril6.www.spelman.edu/about
us/strategicplangoals
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Strategic Plan for 2017
  • Spellman College
Spellman College. 2014. "Strategic Plan for 2017." Accessed April 6. www.spelman.edu/about
The Halle Foundation
CIEE International Faculty Development Seminars. 2015. "Outcomes." Accessed January 4. http://www.ciee.org/international­faculty­development­seminars/about/outcomes/ The Halle Foundation. 2014. "The Halle Foundation." Accessed December 30. www.thehallefoundation.org