Arcadia Launches Global Workshop Series with 20 Philadelphia Faculty in Cuba

By Purnell T. Cropper | April 24, 2012

Arcadia University launches its Global Faculty Development Workshop series in June at the University of Havana in Cuba. The global series aims to spur faculty leadership in campus internationalization across the nation. Twenty faculty from Philadelphia area universities will join Arcadia University for the inaugural Global Faculty Development Workshop June 24-30 to study this geopolitically important nation and to work on course development, intercultural exchanges and co-curricular activities. Faculty participants will work to develop joint research projects with the Center for U.S. and Hemispheric Studies in the wake of the recent opening of academic exchanges between the United States and Cuba. The workshop is an opportunity for faculty to deepen their knowledge of Cuba’s culture and geopolitics. Participants will meet in seminars and lectures for part of the day and then have opportunities to visit sites in Havana and the surrounding area, as part of their field experience. Faculty selected for the workshop are from the areas of international studies, sociology, political science, gender studies, and the arts. They will focus on teaching and course development through intercultural exchange within disciplines, cross-disciplinary collaboration and co-curricular activities at Arcadia and other area colleges and Universities during the 2012-13 academic year. “The Cuba faculty development workshop is a part of our comprehensive vision to leverage the niche and experience of Arcadia in the field of global education. Our intention is to become a catalyst in influencing faculty leadership regarding internationalization of curricula and pedagogy on their campuses,” said Dr. Steve O. Michael, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “While this trip is to Cuba at this time, Arcadia’s vision is to expand faculty development and curricular internationalization projects to different parts of the globe. In the future, we will expect to see a trip of this nature to Africa, to Eastern Europe and to non-traditional destinations. While study abroad continues to expand in colleges and universities across the nation, a strategic and systematic faculty experience abroad that impacts their curricular and pedagogy is scanty. Arcadia is poised to change that.” The workshop will be led jointly by faculty from the University of Havana’s Center for U.S. and Hemispheric Studies and Arcadia University. Leading the workshop from Arcadia are: Dr. Ana Maria Garcia, a native Cuban and Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice Department; Dr. Warren Haffar, Dean of International Affairs and Director of the International Peace and Conflict Resolution master’s program; and Dr. John Noakes, Associate Provost for Academic Improvement. “The conference in Havana will focus on integrative learning and global engagement, serving to build a bridge between the two universities, providing students and faculty from both institutions opportunities to examine and develop mutual social, cultural and academic exchanges,” said Haffar, noting that the conference expands Arcadia’s growing presence in Cuba. “This conference follows from a spring break field study course that took Arcadia first-year students along with members of the Board of Trustees to Havana for a week of coursework and site visits in Cuba.” “This the first example of a new form of faculty development being developed at Arcadia and another means of globalizing Arcadia’s campus and curriculum,” said Noakes. “Working closely with the Office of International Affairs, we expect this trip to have multiple impacts on Arcadia faculty, courses and students. Courses will be enriched by faculty immersion in Cuba and interdisciplinary collaborations between trip participants. Co-curricular events focusing on Cuban culture and history will extend the ripples from this trip to the campus as a whole. And we hope that the relationships we forge with faculty from other universities will lead to additional means of transforming teaching and learning. The response of faculty both at Arcadia and from other colleges and universities has encouraged use to expand the program next year and create faculty development travel opportunities to several sites around the globe.” “Establishing a relationship with Cuba and the University of Havana provides us with unique opportunities for collaborative research between faculty and with students and faculty,” says Garcia. “Cuba is at the cusp of a critical transformation, and we would be foolish to not participate as neighbors and educators. As a Cuban who has finally returned after 50 years, I am elated by this great fortune. Over spring break, I went to Cuba with 18 students as part of Arcadia’s Preview program. It was an excellent experience around integrated learning, global connections and community building.” In addition to the three Arcadia leaders, faculty participants include:

  • Christine Bomberowich, Director of Interior Design Program and Adjunct Professor of Interior Design at Arcadia University
  • Christopher Brown, Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Arcadia University
  • Dr. Kalenda Eaton, Assistant Profesor of English at Arcadia University
  • David Karen, Professor of Sociology at Bryn Mawr College
  • Melanie Kisthardt, Associate Professor of English at Immaculata College
  • Patrice Laurent, Instructor of History at Montgomery County Community College
  • Bonnie Levinthal, M.F.A., Associate Professor of Visual Art, Painting, Drawing and Printmaking
  • Dr. Doreen Loury, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Arcadia University
  • Yvonne Love, M.F.A., Senior Lecturer of Art at Penn State, Abington
  • Dr. Joanne Lucena, Associate Professor of Spanish at Arcadia University
  • Jean Marie Marchetto, Adjunct Professor of Business at Chestnut Hill College
  • Andrew Petonak, Assistant Professor of Mass Media and Communications at Luzerne County Community College
  • Scott Rawlins, Professor of Scientific Illustration, Arcadia University
  • Dr. Jennifer Riggan, Assistant Professor of International Studies at Arcadia University
  • Abbey Ryan ’03, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Arcadia University
  • David Sowell, Assistant Professor of History at Juniata College