Faculty Reflections

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Beth Evans

Date of International Activity
9/11/2013 - 9/11/2013

Partnership University
Universidad del Bío-Bío

International Activities and Goals
The delegation trip to Chile and the Universidad del Bío-Bío was such a wonderful experience. The delegation was well planned and provided us with so many opportunities to learn, experience, and grow. The members of our delegation group were a dynamic team of GVSU faculty and staff who worked together so well. We experienced so many aspects during our time in Chile: cultural, language, university operations, students, and the overall international experience. During the delegation trip I have meet so many wonderful and kind people. I had the opportunity to travel to a different country, encounter a different culture, meet new friends, talk with Chilean students about studying abroad, and to experience what it is like to be a foreigner. What I brought back to GVSU from this delegation trip is a broader perspective of the world, a stronger appreciation of everyones differences, and a pride of being able to represent Grand Valley in Chile.

Zulema Moret

Date of International Activity
8/4/2013 - 8/4/2013

Partnership University
University of Bio Bio

International Activities and Goals
As Coordinator of Latin American Studies Program, I was interested to know the site and the different programs, to be able to design a program abroad for our minors. I could meet and talk with colleagues from different departments and colleges during the four intensive days visiting both campuses, in Concepción and in Chillán. As courses must be offered in English to those students that do not talk Spanish or those who know little Spanish, we have reflected and discussed alternatives for designing a study abroad program that could let students to take courses for the minor but also to develop projects or internships connected with their Majors. It was important to share our intentions with faculty belonging to different programs as Social Work, Sociology, Engineering, Gender, Education, General Education, Equity and Citizenship, English. They have shared suggestions and alternatives that Ill be developing as soon as possible to be able to start the program abroad. By this way I am able to think broader on diverse alternatives for Latin American minors students.

Aaron Lowen

Date of International Activity
5/11/2013 - 5/11/2013

Partnership University
University of Bío Bío

International Activities and Goals
My trip to Chile was very productive. I learned about UBB's highly successful student service initiatives, connected with their Business faculty, and discussed potential research collaboration for faculty from both schools. There are also exciting opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students at both schools, and I hope to facilitate future exchanges for graduate students. I also learned about the significant changes happening in Chilean public policy, particularly social security and education. These changes have implications for the US and I look forward to sharing these with my students at GVSU.

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Laura Fox

Date of International Activity
5/11/2013 - 5/11/2013

Partnership University
Universidad del Bío Bío

International Activities and Goals
The goals of the Partnership Delegation to the Universidad del Bío Bío were to learn about UBB and Chile and to share information about GVSU. During our busy, productive week in Concepción, Chillán, Santiago, and Valparaíso, we did just that. We learned firsthand about Chilean culture and about UBB, including the universitys structure, campuses, programs of study, and challenges -- which, interestingly, mirror several of GVSUs challenges. We met UBB colleagues and found out about opportunities for cooperation, including GVSU faculty exchange. In addition, we shared information about GVSU with others in Chile. I also benefitted by learning more to help advise students who want to study in Chile and to supplement my teaching as well as by getting to know colleagues in Chile and from across the GVSU community.

delegation at mural EM

Tim Thimmesch

Date of International Activity
5/10/2013 - 5/10/2013

Partnership University
Universidad del Bio-Bio, Concepcion, Chile

International Activities and Goals
Being able to participate in the faculty/staff delegation trip to Bio-Bio University in Chile was a rewarding professional and personal experience. I was very interested in learning more about our international partnerships, meeting with University counterparts and students. The information exchange was excellent and we learned of many similarities between our two institutions. The most rewarding experience for me was the opportunity to meet students at the various sites. Our discussions highlighted the level of interest that these young people have in learning more about the 'states' and GVSU specifically. I was able to interact in a manner that is different from my typical duties at GVSU. A great experience and a wonderful travel delegation led by Becca Hambleton from PIC.

Michael Quashigah

Date of International Activity
5/9/2013 - 5/9/2013

Partnership University
The University of Debrecen

International Activities and Goals
My goal was to spend a week at the University of Debrecen and perform an audit of their undergraduate business curriculum with the view to identifying courses that are suitable for transfer back to GVSU. Also, I wanted to make presentations to the students and faculty/staff about the opportunities for study abroad at GVSU. I am happy to report that I was able to do all the above. I was pleasantly surprised by the availability of the courses thought in English at The University of Debrecen and cultural diversity of the institution, given its location.

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Brian Jbara

Date of International Activity
4/27/2013 - 4/27/2013

Partnership University
METU

International Activities and Goals
While visiting METU, my goal was to identify/review programs and courses that would be suitable for GVSU students, particularly those in Brooks College. In particular, I wanted to spend time looking into their Women and Gender studies program, as it was the first of its kind in Turkey and, as a graduate program, provides unique opportunities for our students. Finally, I was able to present on integrative learning and the types of experience and programs we have at GVSU. Their Student Development office is continually working to create unique, suitable programs to support student learning and engagement, so it turned out to be very engaging. METU is a beautiful university, providing unique experiences for international students studying there. I would be happy to discuss with anyone wanting to learn more!

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Todd Carlson

Date of International Activity
4/25/2013 - 4/25/2013

Partnership University
Middle East Technical University

International Activities and Goals
I visited our partner Middle East Technical University (METU) in the spring of 2013 on a PIC Partnership Development Grant. The METU exchange partnership is currently underutilized (in both directions) due to the fact that study abroad opportunities often don't fit well with science curricula. METU is the top University in Turkey, it is modeled after the U.S. university system, and all instruction is in English. Also, the cost of living is very affordable in Turkey. Thus, there should be no obstacles preventing exchange of students and faculty between our schools. During my visit, I also promoted our emphasis on integrating research into our undergraduate science curriculum. I also had time to tour the country. As Turkey is one of the most historically important countries in the world, a visit by GVSU students and faculty should be especially attractive. I would be glad to meet with anyone who wishes more information about this partnership. Attached are some pictures of the Chemistry Department, my host, and famous sites around the country.

StudentTour MahinurTodd Ehpesus Labs Chemistry Department