Faculty Reflections


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Year: Any 2015 2016 2017


Vandana Pednekar-Magal

Date of International Activity
5/28/2017 - 5/28/2017

Partnership University
Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

International Activities and Goals
I visited Babes_-Bolyai University (BBU) in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) in May 2017 on a PIC Faculty Exchange grant. I gave a presentation on the topic of Transnational Communities: Media and Culture at a conference organized by BBU. I met with several faculty members in the Faculty(College) of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences to discuss possible collaborative projects between faculty in the School of Communications and BBU. My discussions with faculty members at meetings as well as several social settings allowed me a rare opportunity to hear personal stories about the communist era, about transition of the press and the general mindset of people from ideologies under dictatorship to democratic polity. These conversations are very useful for research and teaching Media and Society relationship, in Global and Intercultural Communication. I am grateful to the faculty members and students at BBU who accompanied me as I explored Cluj-Napoca and surrounding areas, and for sharing the citys history and culture. Many thanks also to PIC for these opportunities.

Benjamin Swets

Date of International Activity
3/5/2017 - 3/5/2017

Partnership University
Kingston University

International Activities and Goals
The partnership that Grand Valley shares with Kingston University has allowed many of our Psychology students to experience study abroad, and will continue doing so in the future. Given that Kingston is one of our students most common study abroad program choices, it is important for our Psychology Department to have enough information about the program to fully advise our students about it as they assess their program choices and select their courses. Hence, my primary objective in making this visit to Kingston was to collect information about the overall experience our students would have thereboth in the classroom and outside of it.

Ariel Arnold

Date of International Activity
3/4/2017 - 3/4/2017

Partnership University
University of Kingston

International Activities and Goals
The Power of Education and being the first. I am the first to go abroad in my family. This is a big deal and an empowering experience! I was selected to participate in the U.K. Partnership Delegation with the University of Kingston. I got to walk where Kings and Queens have ruled, visit remarkable land marks, and learn a lot of great things in the U.K. such as the British culture and knowledge of historical, economic, political, academic, environmental and social development taking place there. I also developed bonds with more GVSU Faculty and Staff that I do not work with daily. This opportunity will enhance the work that I will continue to do with students of color, first generation, and limited income college students. One of our goals in the TRiO SSS program is to increase, educate, and empower students to access study abroad opportunities. Study abroad is a high impact practice that influence students lives and retention. I am thankful for GVSU and Padnos International Center for creating opportunities for Faculty and Staff to go abroad. My TRiO colleagues and Unit Head have been very supportive of me during this endeavor. I encourage all GVSU Faculty and Staff to participate in this program.

Hampton Palace Big Ben Clock Tower Stonehenge London Phone booth
Brandon Youker

Date of International Activity
3/4/2017 - 3/4/2017

Partnership University
Seoul Tech University-Public Administration Department

International Activities and Goals
During my week in South Korea I met with partners from the Public Administration) Department at GVs sister university, Seoul National University of Science and Technology. The goal was to initiate a relationship that may lead to faculty and student exchanges between Seoul Techs Public Administration Department and GVSUs Social Work and Public Administration departments. While at Seoul Tech, I met with several Seoul Tech professors, the PA department chair, the former university president, and the former director of the International Office. This project was successful as I return with support for pursuing collaborative research projects and developing faculty exchanges with Seoul Tech.

Lunch with Seoul Tech Public Administration professors
Jennifer Allard

Date of International Activity
3/4/2017 - 3/4/2017

Partnership University
Kingston University

International Activities and Goals
The reason I applied for the London Delegation was primarily because I work with admissions to recruit international students and with the Padnos International Center on the Study Abroad Catalog. I have never had the opportunity to discuss how other institutions recruit international students and promote study abroad to their students, so this offered me the opportunity to do so at Kingston University. In addition, I have never travelled out of the United States so I wanted to experience another culture. I had the opportunity to meet with several of the marketing staff that had similar roles to mine at Grand Valley and the exchange of ideas was very fruitful for both institutions. This trip changed my outlook and perspective in many ways! If you have the opportunity I would highly suggest you take advantage of this spectacular program!

Claire Rose

Date of International Activity
2/27/2017 - 2/27/2017

Partnership University
ESSCA, Paris & Angers, CUE, Poland

International Activities and Goals
In March 2017, I traveled to France and Poland to further develop GVSUs partnerships with universities located there (ESSCA, Paris and Angers, and Cracow University of Economics). Seidman International Business Programs is committed to increasing global learning in the Seidman College of business, hence I will forward our mission by advising students to study abroad. A Faculty/Staff Exchange Grant I received made this possible. Several takeaways I plan to consider further and share with the appropriate players at GVSU are; The impact of required study abroad, how to encourage/increase faculty research exchange with partners, international student support structure, increasing partner exchange through unique course offerings, the importance of preparing students for a global world.

Bridge in Jewish Quarter, Cracow (CUE) church in Angers (ESSCA) Main Building CUE, Poland Wawel Castle church, Cracow (CUE)