CLAC Meetings with Interested Denison Colleagues (Faculty and Staff)
May 13 and 14, 2015 in the Foresman Lounge, Fellows Hall
We had two very productive and engaged meetings discussing first impressions of the CLAC conference and further materials and what CLAC at Denison might look like. Gabriele then gave an overview of the various existing CLAC models and its hybrid models, what it takes to get buy- in from faculty, staff, and the administration, the potential for increased professional development, how to tab into funding sources, and where to learn more about pedagogies and approaches to internationalizing one’s courses and the campus curriculum as a whole.
We also discussed how to more effectively integrate international students at Denison and make their study-abroad experience richer and more culturally relevant and likewise how to enhance and give more depth to the study-abroad experience of our Denison students.
Representatives from various departments and offices across campus were present and collaboratively discussed ideas and made suggestions from their specific point of view. Colleagues from International Student Services, the Registrar, the Library, from the Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts, and Sciences were present.
One distinct feature of CLAC made itself apparent immediately in both meetings: participants in the CLAC enterprise feel welcome and appreciated for the fact that they are multicultural and multilingual. CLAC provides a structure for collaboration and a sense of belonging, where one’s skills and background adds something specifically positive to the campus culture and student learning.
Professional development is another important aspect of CLAC. By collaborating with faculty members from another field, if not another discipline, faculty engage with new ideas, gain new perspectives, see their own area of research and inquiry from a different perspective. There is much pedagogical exchange as well and in that sense faculty mentoring is organically integrated.
CLAC has a subversive element to it: it does break up the professor = authority model for the sake of engaging with students in a productive learning environment where everybody benefits from the knowledge of each other. Students may know a language and bring in knowledge and experiences from a culture that the instructor is not familiar with or knows little, if nothing, about. It empowers students and integrates them more holistically in a learning community that produces life-long learning.
In order for CLAC to happen on our campus, we need a structure. We discussed the various models existing in the many different types of institutions that have successfully built and maintained a CLAC (FLAC, C-LAC, GAC, LAC, LxC) program. It seems that a Denison a hybrid model of some of these is a good solution. From CLAC-light to CLAC-integrated to CLAC-full-immersion, all are possible in some way. However there needs to be an incentive and reward system. It cannot be that faculty are asked to take on an extra, additional workload – such as for example the many directed studies units some of us teach on a regular basis to compensate for special student interest that cannot be accommodated otherwise or chronically under-enrolled upper level courses. In the long run, if it were to take off at all, such a model is not sustainable. Different models exist on different campuses from extra pay for additional units of instruction, to stipends for course development, to banking a certain amount of units to cash them in later for a course release, or a combination thereof.
CLAC fits in beautifully with the goals of GLCA’s Global Liberal Arts Alliance, specifically with the global course connections. At Denison, we already have a couple of courses connected with our partner universities, such as for example with the American University in Bulgaria, where two intermediate level German courses have been team-taught in four consecutive semesters. CLAC can support these efforts in a most meaningful and productive way.
We now have a Center for Learning and Teaching directed by a very invested and supportive colleague, Frank Hassebrock, who has already offered to support CLAC initiatives in any way he can, such a brown bag get-togethers to further explore and discuss ideas and even some funds to make some of these innovative ideas happen in our classrooms. (The new L&T Center will have a physical home in Doane library.)
There are funds available on the federal level for such initiatives as CLAC. There are also a number of private sponsors and foundations that support the internationalization of one’s campus. This requires research, time and much investment for a colleague to pursue. Just like a successful CLAC program needs careful planning, organizing, administering, and bridge-building between the various stakeholders on campus carried out by a designated colleague.
Denison already is a member of the CLAC consortium and has at least 2 active members in that organization at this point. The fact that we hosted a conference for CLAC so early on in the membership period, has opened doors to provide us with advice and support from the very experienced and seasoned members of the consortium in this planning process. Chances are very good that we will pursue CLAC in a well-informed and fruitful way. Most importantly, however, we have enthusiastic colleagues who embrace the potential of these opportunities in their teaching, learning and scholarship. In fact, many have been practicing some form of CLAC already with their students over the years and only need acknowledgement to take their ideas and practices to the next level.
- Introductions and Comments on why CLAC is of interest
Gabriele Dillmann, Modern Languages – German, CLAC @ DU
- started bringing CLAC to Denison with GLCA’s New Directions Exploration Grant and GLCA’s New Directions Initiative Grant (2011/2012) (Thank you, GLCA!!)
- combined CLAC with COIL via Globally Connected Courses Initiative
- joined CLAC Consortium in 2010
- Denison became member of CLAC consortium in 2012
- hosted 9th annual CLAC conference at Denison in April 2015
- member of the CLAC 2016 planning group and CLAC Consortium Repository group
Katy Crossley-Frolick, Political Science and International Studies
- regrets that students don’t make use of their language skills in courses, wishes to more intentionally make that happen
Sue Davis, Political Science and Interim Off-Campus-Studies Director
- speaks Russian but cannot integrate Russian into her classroom
- wishes to internationalize curriculum
- finds that there are pockets of internationalization efforts but no consolidated structure
Micaela Vivero, Art Studio, Sculpture
- speaks German, Spanish, English
- team-taught course with Spanish faculty member “Introduction to Sculpture” in the Spanish language as a parallel course; same students took Spanish language course with Spanish faculty member
- “One of my most rewarding experience at Denison.”
- mainly Spanish majors enrolled, understood art from a cultural perspective
- Issues to address in a follow-up iteration would be: what requirement/s would this course fulfill? How do we avoid depleting courses offered by Spanish faculty? Where would such a course reside?
Fran Lopez, Spanish
- students learning how their field of study is important in another archive; e.g. complexity theory founded by 2 Chilean scholars; students know work in translation only, but “translation is a traitor,” and not being aware of an ideas origins promotes ethno-centric or US-centric thinking;
- in a CLAC model, students and professors can learn from each other
Taku Suzuki, International Studies, East Asian Studies
- attended CLAC conference and saw a lot of potential but also has concerns
- most interesting: engage more international students more intentionally
- students as resources in courses
- Returning students could/should meet intern. students more intentionally
- OCS transformative, needs reflection and discussion, best moment is upon return
- Member of Global Studies Refinement Group at DU
Marilyn Andrew, International Student Services
- International students are eager to make friends with US students, but find it difficult
- Sending countries are not necessarily receiving countries
- Diversity lens AND global lens
- Problem: international students could not take financial aid with them, now international students can take their need-based funds abroad
- International students as resources, they are living the off-campus study experience, resource to departing students
- Domestic minorities also a cultural entity for diversity and internationalization
- Host families play significant role
- Expand study-abroad experience to a full year rather than a semester, i.e. often only 3 months of abroad experience
- Costs would not be significant enough to NOT offer that option financially in comparison to benefit
- Concern about OCS experience being too “American,” not enough immersion in host country
- Concerns from other colleagues: how to have enough students in upper level modern languages courses if language students are gone for a whole year? Revise major? Many science majors already find it almost impossible to go abroad as is. Changes in curriculum? Often incoming/new chairs don’t allow for the same credit transfers into the major and minor as previous chair. Revisit transfer policy?
- Importance and benefits of faculty site-visits
Emily Henson, Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement
- Buddy system supports mixing of US students and intern. students
- Online matching
- Integrate intern. students in courses across campus
- DU has many students who are sons and daughters of recent immigrants, rather than embracing their background, they hide it in order to fit in – Denison a culture of fitting in?
- Host families to bring intern. and US students together as a way to connect them to each other further
Eva Revesz, German and Writing Across Curriculum
- very impressed by ideas that came from CLAC conference, in particular Binghamton’s three-tiered course sequence: pre-departure, projects during study-abroad, returning students
- could see offer such a course for returning students and current international students with a writing overlay to explore and articulate their experiences
- such a course promotes intercultural learning and proficiency
- in conjunction with potentially new Global Commerce Major or IS Major
Quentin Duroy, Economics Department
- member of Global Studies Refinement Group at Denison University
- looking for ways to increase global awareness on campus
- sees great importance of bi- or multilingualism as a norm to become effective global citizens
- language and culture inseparable
Sohrab Behdad, Economics Department
- has had a keen interest in internationalizing our curriculum for years
- began current Global Studies meetings over 17 years ago
- discussed with then president Michelle Myers the need to increase course offerings with international character
Hanada Al-Masri, Arabic
- sees much merit in CLAC approach for a more international curriculum
- sees many connections between CLAC and global initiatives
- ideas expanding everywhere
- challenge for Arabic: length of language studies required before proficiency increases sufficiently
- primary base for content courses are heritage and returning OCS Arabic speakers that might be cross-listed with Political Science, Gender Studies, Economics
Cheryl McFarren, Theatre
- language: French, taught French in middle school and high school for some years
- teaching theatre is always about teaching culture on some level
- attended CLAC conference and walked away full of ideas, but will there be enough time and energy to make these ideas happen?
- Comment: we need to not work more but more effectively and economically with the time and energy we have
Frank Hassebrock, Psychology, Faculty Fellow for Learning and Teaching, Teaching and Learning Center (part-time)
- his job in his new role of leading the L&T Center is to listen and help with faculty programming and collaborate on projects
- there will be brown bag meetings to exchange ideas
- some funds will be available through he center
- the Center now has an actual physical location on the Atrium level of Doane Library with offices, potentially an AAA (shared) and a resources room
- Frank’s current office is in Knapp 410-H
Diana Mafe, English
- field_post-colonial literature
- multi-lingual (Dutch, English, French) and culturally diverse: lived in Nigeria, Canada, US
- is interested in diversity, inter- and transculturalism, internationalization of the curriculum and exploring CLAC as one of these means towards those interests
Moriana Garcia, Library
- is interested in CLAC for personal and professional reasons
- always searching for opportunities to support DU faculty as a librarian with resources
- likes to be in dialogue with faculty to know and understand what it is that they need
- sees great importance of living in and with different cultures and the role language plays in that context
- languages Spanish, Portuguese, English
Arnie Joseph, French, emeritus
- finds CLAC compelling for its potential “to put the human back into the humanities”
- humanities have been sucked out of the curriculum over the years
- interest in human contact expressed in languages and culture seems to be coming back
- cheering on from side-lines!
- attended CLAC conference and felt that too many administrators were speaking about structures and systems, when he wanted to hear more about what actually happens in the classroom
- New course idea: From Adolescence to Alzheimer’s :)
Louis Villanuevo, Economics
- invited to this meeting by a colleague in Econ who thought that this group may be very much in line with his interests (Sohrab Behdad)
- teaches Latin-American economic development
- is multi-lingual: Spanish, English, French
- sees potential in CLAC to enrich his courses with an even deeper layer of intercultural engagement
Isabelle Choquet, French
- research interest in the Caribbean
- is always looking for creative ideas for her courses and to keep her teaching fresh and up-to-date
- wants to offer students meaningful venues to explore and learn
- is collaborative by nature and seeks collaborations
- loved brainstorming atmosphere of CLAC conference
- wants to engage further
Yadi Collins, Registrar
- is multilingual and multicultural herself (Turkish, German, English)
- as administrator has professional interest in new and innovative ideas that might benefit the campus
- sees herself in the role to make creative ideas by faculty happen from the mechanical side of things
- there are more than one format effectively addressing programs and ideas
- sees much benefit in internationalizing the campus across the disciplines
- CLAC promotes collaboration
- Can-do personality type! J
Wendy Wilson, Theatre
- speaks French besides her native tongue
- is interested in what makes man tick – finds this in studying and exploring multi-ethnic films and art, informs her work in theatre
- in acting international students, POSSE students, otherwise diverse students, have to overcome different challenges than some other students, everybody has to learn how to work together and is only possible by understanding differences
- introduced Spanish language in one of the theatre pieces with remarkable results, wishes to do more such projects
- On the potential subversive aspects of CLAC “The in-between space, the liminal space, is where you can learn – giving up authority takes you there.”
Follow-up from colleagues:
Emily Henson, Program Coordinator, Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement (CCCE)
Thanks again for inviting us and getting everyone together, it was very informative! As a staff member I am always trying to find a way to connect programs/events with faculty and working for the Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement as a program coordinator it makes sense to work together sometimes.
During the meeting you mentioned working more effectively with what we have instead of creating more work for us as we begin this process of becoming a more internationalized as an institution. One suggestion I have is working with the Cross-Cultural Communities (C3), they are our multi-cultural student organizations on campus. They have brought many great speakers, performers, artists, etc to campus, but often faculty do not know about their great event until last minute and and they may not know of great events faculty may organize that connects to their organizations. I work pretty closely with may of these organizations and during my time here I’ve seen many missed opportunities to collaborate. As I’ve talked to students, many of them would like to work with faculty but may not know how or who to reach out to, they also do not plan ahead which makes it difficult. In my experience if faculty or staff reach out to student organizations they are more than willing to collaborate and work together.
One example this year was the Human Right’s Film Festival, I worked with Isis to connect student organizations with film showing that may relate to them. We gave the student orgs an opportunity to facilitate a discussion after each film in conjunction with faculty. Not only was there a higher turnout but the students were able to make connections with faculty that they might not have otherwise.
Another example was an event Hanada, the Middle Eastern Cultural Organization and I planned–we took students to a middle eastern restaurant and a concert called HeartBeat.
I believe that by being more strategic this is a great way to learn about the world without even stepping off-campus. This is also something that can be implemented quicker than bigger projects (such as helping students study off-campus for a year). It’s a little difficult to explain this over email, so if you’d like to talk about this more please let me know. I’m here through May and am really passionate about this.
Quentin Duroy, Economics
Thank you for organizing the meeting. I am very excited about the ‘more global’ dimension of the current curricular discourse on campus. CLAC is very intriguing. I have been teaching a course on social and economic policies in the EU off and on over the past 7 years. Next year I will submit a proposal to AAC to make it part of the Econ curriculum. Once it is established as a regular econ class, I will look into ways to make it CLAC friendly and maybe eventually add French and German units… Vielen Dank for sharing your knowledge and experience!
Laura Russell, Communication
Thank you so much for keeping me in the loop with CLAC. While I am sorry that I will not be able to attend the sessions next week, I really appreciate your involvement in organizing these conversations among colleagues. I hope that in the future I will be able to be involved in further developments. This program probes such valuable intersections for our liberal arts goals.
Advice from seasoned CLAC practitioners on implementing CLAC at Denison:
“What wonderful news! Denison is poised to become a national CLAC leader.
Three suggestions for CLAC at Denison:
1. Denison should adopt CLAC involvement as a “welcome ingredient” in all faculty hiring, all tenure and promotion cases, and all salary-increase justifications. Not required, but welcome; and therefore always to be looked for and never to be denigrated. This change should come not from the president, though his support would of course be essential, but rather from whatever faculty governance body or bodies deal with these things, including the faculty senate, P&T committee, and even individual departments.
2. CLAC should infuse itself throughout Denison’s curriculum. Non-language faculty should be equal or even greater in number in designing and implementing CLAC. Every academic program should be involved. Links to study abroad and internationalization-at-home should be included in every possible way. The ubiquitous meaningful use of languages other than English and inclusion of perspectives from all cultures should become a standard expectation for all faculty and students.
3. Denison’s GLCA network should be employed to maximize and expand your CLAC options. Faculty and students at your partner colleges abroad possess a degree of bilinguality to which Denison might well aspire to equal.”
Expand Student International Experiences Without Leaving Your Campus
H. Stephen Straight, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and of Linguistics, and Founding Director of the Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC) Program, Binghamton University
“1). There’s no 1 right way to establish CLAC.
2). Look to your institution’s champion areas for roots (ours turned out to be the Career Development Center, specific faculty, administrators, staff across campus, and the Linguistics Program and the Anthropology Department, and the Libraries)”
Webinar “What Does an Internationalized Curriculum Look Like? The Promise of Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum” (available at Denison shortly through the L&T Center)
Dr. Suronda Gonzalez, Director, Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC), Global Studies Minor (GSM), Chair, CLAC Consortium
“As Suronda said, one of the great things about CLAC is its flexibility. I assume Denison is much like Juniata in the need to engage as many stakeholders as possible in the process. Through our international education advisory groups, we looked at what we were already doing that was CLAC-like (we had many students who were double-majoring in foreign languages and other fields, and then studying abroad in the second field, but in the target language) and focused on those areas first (for example, chemistry students who studied in Marburg). Then we began applying for grants to connect faculty in the targeted fields with international partners in the targeted languages to integrate CLAC more intentionally into the programs.”
Dr. Jenifer Cushman, Campus Dean / Associate Professor of German, Ohio University Zanesville, President of the Association of International Education Administrators/http://www.aieaworld.org/
“I am working on the administrators’ and faculty members’ buy-in on my campus. I worked closely with each faculty members and designed their own CLAC projects specific to their courses. I also found that preparing students for the coming CLAC projects is very important. So I usually have a mini-workshop for the students at the beginning of the projects.”
JY Zhou, Ed.D., Internationalization Specialist, School of Education, Stockton University, Globalization Lecture Series: http://goo.gl/zDMFM9, Approaches to Globalize the Curriculum: http://goo.gl/Somvs8