Two Members of GCC Awarded Grant

Downtown Bloomington, Indiana as the sun set.  (Photo by DMG)

Downtown Bloomington, Indiana as the sun set.
(Photo by DMG)

Renee Paquier, Chair of WVC’s Administration of Justice Department, and Dr. Dulce María Gray, Professor of English and Women and Gender Studies, both members of the WVC Global Citizenship Committee, were awarded a WVMCCD Land Corp Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund Grant to attend the four-day-long Institute for Curriculum and Campus Internationalization (ICCI), organized by the Center for the Study of Global Change in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University–Bloomington.

The Teaching and Learning Innovation Grant “is intended to foster and support innovation both inside and outside the classroom in an effort to impact student success and learning… Often, innovation is a new way of looking at an old process, particularly as a means of improvement. Innovation in teaching and learning will thereby impact student success and retention.”

Getting ready to start! (Photo by DMG)

Getting ready to start!
(Photo by DMG)

Renee and Dulce María also attended the Pre-Institute Workshop, “The Increasingly Comprehensive World of Academic Internationalization: The Essential Context,” which provided new participants with a large framework, rationale, and introduction to key scholarship on internationalization. Their objective in attending both parts of the Institute was to hone their knowledge about internationalization and how it applies to the specifics of the classroom and entire campus at WVC. They aimed to boost their pedagogical practices and, during academic year 2015-2016, to deliver a series of presentations for their colleagues at WVC. Those presentations will focus on the concepts, scholarship and implementation of global learning and teaching in the classroom and across the institution.

Global learning is a necessary and relevant component for students’ success in the 21st century, and attending ICCI is helpful in that its activities and talks are geared toward facilitating the internationalization of the campus, or division, department, curriculum, and/or individual courses in order to better prepare students, faculty and staff to be effective scholars, practitioners and citizens of the 21st century. Participants can follow one of two distinctive tracks: Course Focus (Teaching and Learning) and Campus Focus (Institutional Strategies). Whole group activities and presentations in the packed schedule included finding common ground among disparate campus audiences, innovative internationalization best practices, a multi-regional cultural evening for networking, and a summative taking action session. Renee and Dulce María focused on different tracks, so they could capture as much information as possible.

IMG_1556

The Honorable Gareth Evans, Renee Paquier, Dulce María Gray, Dean Lee A. Feinstein.

One of the most memorable talks, “Purposes Beyond Ourselves: Educating for Global Citizenship,” was delivered by Professor the Honorable Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia (1988-1996) and President of the International Crisis Group (2000-2009), currently Chancellor of the Australian National University. He co-chairs the New York-based Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect and the Canberra-based Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. He is the author of The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All and co-author of Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015. Professor Evans talked about his first experience traveling; it was in the mid-1960s and he was in Hiroshima, Japan. He said: “On a granite block, part of the front of an office building, was the shadow of a human being, indelibly etched there by the crystallization of the surrounding rock as he or she was, in an instant, incinerated.” (A related talk, “The Power of Student Travel,” is equally insightful.) That moment created purpose for the rest of his life.

Professor Evans was introduced by Lee A. Feinstein, the founding Dean of the School of Global and International Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University–Bloomington. Prior to becoming Dean, Mr. Feinstein served in high-level positions in diplomacy and foreign affairs. He served two secretaries of state and a secretary of defense, and as President Barack Obama’s first U.S. Ambassador to Poland. He was national security director to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign and senior foreign policy advisor to President Barack Obama during the general election. He was also the principal deputy director of policy planning to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and was previously senior advisor on peacekeeping policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

IMG_1582The learning outcomes of the Pre-Institute Workshop and ICCI Institute include:

  • Learning about internationalizing teaching, pedagogy, curricula and the campus
  • Understanding comprehensive internationalization and the importance of collaboration and dialogue
  • Identifying innovative pedagogies, technologies and best practices
  • Exploring the teaching and assessment of global learning objectives
  • Examining strategic planning and measurements of institutional success
  • Becoming a member of a network of international educators and administrator

Renee and Dulce María’s participation in ICCI is timely, given the changing student demographics at WVC, and the investment the college has made in Global Citizenship. The college’s mission statement asserts: “The West Valley College Community supports students along their pathways to reach transfer and career goals in an environment of academic excellence.” “Academic excellence” at WVC is intricately woven with the Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs): critical thinking and information literacy, quantitative and qualitative reasoning, effective communication, technological communication, personal and social responsibility, global awareness and diversity, and creative problem solving. ICCI focuses on developing–in faculty, administrators, staff, and thereby in students–all of these ILOs. Those outcomes are the substance of internationalizing a course and an entire campus.

Caryn McTighe Musil, Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives in the Office of the President at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, leads a talk on

Caryn McTighe Musil, Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives in the Office of the President at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, leads a talk on “The Civic Dimensions of Global Engagement.”
(Photo by DMG)

WVC’s current Goals and Objectives, as adopted by College Council on 24 April 2014, and as described in the college’s Institutional Self-Study for Accreditation, is to “improve student success and retention by refining our Student Success Act implementation efforts.” Attending this conference, and sharing the lessons learned, will contribute to the WVC Student Success Team’s mission to “cultivate best practices and encourage innovation in teaching and learning, and establish clear and effective student pathways.”

Certainly, scholarship on internationalizing curricula and pedagogy–which depends on the inclusion of High Impact Practices (such as creating clear pathways for students, like Global Studies, First Year Experience, and the Puente and Success Programs)–affirms that training faculty and all those involved in student support services is at the core of diversifying and increasing student engagement. A sample of that scholarship follows:

Rene Paquier & Dulce María Gray at the ICCI International Dinner.

Rene Paquier & Dulce María Gray at the ICCI multi-regional cultural dinner.

Renee and Dulce María’s participation in ICCI also helps to strengthen and broaden the endeavors of the WVC Global Citizenship Committee in that their work actively supports students’ pathways to equity and success, and fosters deep awareness of the connections between local and global communities. To date, the WVC Global Citizenship Committee has focused heavily on designing and delivering co-curricular activities and events for students, faculty, administrators, staff and the community at large. The committee has also worked diligently to create pathways with the local feeder high schools, and with San Jose State University’s Global Studies program. The committee hopes to make a more concerted effort to address the needs of curriculum across the disciplines, and to build on the college’s existing AA degree with emphasis in Cultural and Global Studies. Renee and Dulce María’s forthcoming presentations will be part of the catalyst for that effort.

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