Citizen’s Voice: Luzerene County Professor Travels to Cuba with Arcadia Faculty

December 12, 2012

On Dec. 9, Citizen’s Voice reported that Andrew Petonak, a faculty member at Luzerne County Community College, participated in Arcadia University’s Global Faculty Development Workshop at the University of Havana, Cuba, in the summer of 2012.

Andrew Petonak, coordinator of Journalism and Media Writing, joined professors from several American colleges to meet with Cuban counterparts to discuss common academic interests including pedagogy, curriculum development and collaborative research. Petonak also met with Cuban writers, activists and media instructors to discuss how they do their work within a socialist economy.

"Our group met a lot of people who are dedicated to teaching and writing," Petonak said, "and who do both in what we Americans would see as very challenging conditions."

Sponsored by the University's Center for Hemispheric and U.S. Studies and Arcadia University, the project invited faculty whose participation in a cross-cultural dialogue would enhance their courses, curricula and teaching methods. Sharing the content of that dialogue with students is part of his academic department's mission, Petonak noted. "We encourage our communications majors to look beyond their personal and cultural boundaries, which is necessary in this new age of global multi-media," he said.

Cuba is not Petonak's first visit to a socialist state or to Latin America. As a young reporter, he visited Poland two years before the Berlin Wall fell. From 2006 to 2008, he served on interview teams with the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission.

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