||Centre receives Mellon grant to expand its global citizenship curriculum
RELEASED: October 22, 2009
By Leigh Ivey
DANVILLE, KY— In Centre College's strategic plan, the development of global citizens is a key goal. Though much has been accomplished in this area, the College's position as a leader in producing global citizens is about to be greatly strengthened.
Centre has recently received a grant of $452,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which will be used to establish a Mellon Global Fellows program.
"Receiving this grant is enormously exciting for Centre," says Dr. Stephanie Fabritius, vice president for academic affairs, dean of the College, and professor of biology. "It will enable the College to move ahead in educating for global citizenship, one of the major initiatives in Centre Forward, our strategic plan. This grant comes at a time when the economic situation might otherwise suggest that we need to slow down on implementation of the wonderful ideas proposed in our planning document."
Fabritius adds that "the resources from the Mellon Foundation will have a broad impact on our campus—both in terms of the curricular development and in providing more opportunities for our faculty members to engage in interdisciplinary study and dialogue."
The program is a three-year initiative that will establish five faculty "learning circles," whose goal will be to create successful academic minors in areas related to global citizenship.
These minors may include any five from among the options of African studies, Asian studies, global commerce, global development and sustainability, global public health, Latin American studies and Middle Eastern studies.
The five minors selected for study through the Mellon Grant will be determined on the basis of faculty interest and available resources.
"The idea is for faculty to form interdisciplinary working groups that will research, study, bring speakers, attend conferences and participate in other activities that will support the creation of these new minors," says Dr. Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, associate professor of international studies and chair of Centre's global citizenship committee.
Although Centre has already earned a stellar reputation for its success in preparing students for lives of global citizenship, the College believes that offering a broader array of courses with a worldwide perspective will allow Centre to achieve even more ambitious goals in its global citizenship initiative.
During the first year of the program, the global citizenship committee will collaborate with the faculty development committee to select 20 Mellon Global Fellows from among those faculty members applying.
These faculty members will then be assigned to cross-disciplinary, four-member learning circles. Members will meet twice a month throughout the year to delve more deeply into their particular area, to devise the sequence of courses that will comprise the minor, and to develop a gateway course or course key to the disciplinary area.
For assistance in designing the new minors, the Mellon Global Fellows will invite experts in the new disciplines to lead daylong mini-institutes, which will enlighten the learning circles as well as other interested faculty members who may teach courses in the new minors.
In addition, the experts will present general lectures to the campus community and may participate in co-curricular offerings, such as the One World Music series or the International Film Festival.
During the second year of the program, a subset of each learning circle will team-teach the courses that the groups have designed. The interdisciplinary collaboration is necessary in order to firmly establish the nature of the course. These classes will then become part of Centre's regular curriculum and may or may not continue as team-taught.
In the third year, the Mellon Global Fellows will work collectively to develop and implement a two-day workshop for the creation of interdisciplinary courses and minors in global citizenship areas. Participants will be invited from schools within the region and from the Associated Colleges of the South.
The program will directly and indirectly impact most of Centre’s faculty and students. It will not only make available new classes and minors and bring experts in these various fields to campus to present their ideas, but it will also serve as an example of how interdisciplinary courses and minors can be cultivated, developed and implemented. Overall, the grant will allow Centre to strengthen its global citizenship initiative and better equip its students for lives in the global society.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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