Class to link SUNY Broome with Mexican university
SUNY Broome recently received a $25,000 grant from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund to strengthen its ties with the Universidad de Celaya in Celaya, Mexico.
Professor Kathleen McKenna traveled to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, to receive the award on June 26.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring study abroad to more students on campus,” Professor McKenna said. “This initiative targets students who typically wouldn’t be able to study abroad.”
The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative is a public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, corporations and foundations. https://2009-2017.state.gov/100k/ The goal of this new Innovation Fund is to stimulate new higher education partnerships between the United States and Latin America. This year’s grant, which is funded by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation, focuses on creating new student exchange and training opportunities between the US and Mexico in the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities, especially Archaeology, Anthropology, or Education.
Faculty and staff involved with the grant are Lynda Carroll, Kathleen McKenna, Tairi Mead and Maria Basualdo at SUNY Broome, and professors David Shrum and Roberto Orozco Bush in Celaya.
The grant builds upon SUNY Broome’s growing Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program. COIL is a SUNY-wide initiative that partners SUNY instructors with colleagues in another country. Using teleconferencing, social media and digital technology, students work together on class projects as international partners, learning about different cultures along the way. SUNY Broome students have worked with peers in Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Mexico, Morocco, and Turkey. There are no additional costs or fees associated with a COIL course, and classes are conducted in English.
In this particular initiative, Carroll’s Anthropology class will collaborate with Shrum’s English class in Celaya. Students will collaborate on projects focusing on storytelling and heritage. Celaya students will visit Broome, where all participants will create a public display and storytelling event at the Bundy Museum in Binghamton. SUNY Broome students will then visit their counterparts in Mexico to learn more about Mexican culture and heritage sites.
“While we live in an increasingly global world, not every student can afford to study abroad. COIL has played such an important role in giving all of our students the opportunity for a truly cross-cultural experience,” said SUNY Broome President Kevin E. Drumm. “This grant is truly exciting because it allows the students – ours and Celaya’s – to bridge that final gap and see each other’s cultures firsthand.”
“I would like to commend Professors Carroll, McKenna and Mead and our Global Experiences coordinator Maria Basualdo on the hard work that went into this grant,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Francis Battisi. “It’s so deeply rewarding to our students to gain a global perspective and recognize our shared commitment to education and understanding, even across national lines.”