To provide students with a world class education, University of South Carolina faculty must infuse global content into their curriculum. That’s why Global Carolina has awarded a total of $20,000 in grants to four faculty members to support their efforts to develop and implement internationally-themed content and skills assessments into their curriculum.
Global Carolina Director, Vice Provost Allen Miller says, “If we are to educate students ready to face the challenges of a global economy and culture, we must have a curriculum that is as international as the world we live in. South Carolina leads the nation in per capita foreign direct investment. We need a citizen body and a work force that understands the nuances and complexity of a multicultural, multlingual world.”
The four scholars awarded grants this year are: Jie Guo, Ph.D., Wolfgang Messner, Ph.D., Benjamin Roth, Ph.D., and David Snyder, Ph.D.
Guo is creating a course for the Fall 2019 semester, Modern East Asian Cultures in Global Perspective, to focus on Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese culture. Guo says the grant helped her in two ways. “First, it helps acquire materials and equipment for course preparation and further development. Second, it enables me to take research trips to collect first-hand course materials, to identify new themes and subtopics to enrich course content for future semesters, and to explore the possibility of designing a study-abroad course that would allow students to examine on site the impact of globalization on East Asia by visiting key cities in the region—for instance, former ‘treaty ports’ that were forcibly opened up in global encounters and subsequently played crucial roles in the regions’ modernization processes. In other words,
Messner will develop a competency assessment based on Q-methodology to prepare students to work on international teams or for international clients in management consulting careers. Messner’s assessment will help students identify their strongest competencies and relate them to the areas where there is room for improvement. “While the student can use the results to seek specific coaching from the course instructor, the course instructor can use the appraisal to put together more balanced teams in experiential learning projects. In such teams, students can learn more from each other, ultimately improving the learning experience at university,” says Messner.
Roth plans to globalize his course, International Social Work and Social Justice, as a 3-week trip to Guatemala in Summer 2020. Students will be immersed in a country that is itself experiencing large-scale international aid and development, as well as elevated levels of out-migration to Mexico, the U.S., and elsewhere. Students will gain first-hand exposure to complex social problems in major urban areas and rural contexts. They will also visit organizations that are engaged in development work to see how difficult—and important—this work can be. Students will see first hand the benefits of international aid and development, which is a challenge in a classroom. Roth says, “The ultimate goal is to create an experiential learning opportunity that will advance student understanding of international social work and their critical appreciation for what it means to be a global citizen.”
Snyder will offer a dual-listed course on the international history of the Nobel Peace Prize, what we can learn about war and peace, and how race, ethnicity and gender have conditioned people to think about peace. “I hope to be able to take the whole class on a trip to Oslo, to meet with Peace Prize officials, to visit the Nobel Institute that administers the prize and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the prize winner is chosen, and also the Nobel Peace Center, a dynamic and interactive museum which features in-depth stories of all the laureates. The second innovative part of the course is that as a class project, students will get the chance to research and write an actual nomination themselves, which will be delivered to the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize committee,” says Snyder.
A call for applications for the 2020 Curriculum grants will take place in the spring.