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2015 Grants: Internationalizing the Cornell Curriculum

Internationalizing the Cornell Curriculum grants encourage the creativity and innovation of Cornell faculty in a way that benefits students.

The 2015 grants support development of these course programs:

Student Exchange Project in Spanish with the Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia

Recipients: Silvia Amigo-Silvestre, Romance Studies
Students in Intermediate Spanish I: Composition and Conversation (SPAN 2090) are currently participating in a linguistic and cultural exchange communicating via E-mail and Skype with students of English at the Universidad de Caldas (Colombia). This course-integrated exchange is designed to improve students' linguistic and intercultural skills with peer-to-peer correction and reflective assignments. This project´s goal is to offer these and future students in the course the option of a meaningful international experience by going to Colombia for a week to visit their exchange partners and engage in activities designed to further their linguistic and intercultural skills.

Experiencing Health Care in the Dominican Republic

Recipients: Monica Bevia, Romance Studies
During the Fall 2015 semester, students in Intermediate Spanish for the Medical and Health Professions (SPAN 2070) will build relationships via email exchanges with Spanish-speaking medical students in the Dominican Republic that culminates in an optional week-long international experience, visiting these peers and learning about the health care context of the country. While in Santo Domingo, students will stay with host families, allowing them the invaluable opportunity to work on their language skills, while they attend lectures or workshops on alternative medicine, a workshop on medicinal plants, shadow at local hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices, and attend medical students’ classes. When the students return, they will present their experiences to the class, lead discussions that emerge, and write reflections about their experiences.

Case Study Experiences in Renewable Energy: A joint Cornell-India initiative

Recipients: Paulette Clancy, Chemical Engineering; Julie Nucci, Materials Science and Engineering
This program will develop one educational case study per year related to renewable energy systems to illustrate the connection between thermodynamics and the practical design of real-life energy systems. These case studies will be deployed in required Engineering courses in thermodynamics. A small group of undergraduate students from these classes, typically six students, will be sponsored to enrich their classroom experience through a visit to Somaiya Vidyavihar educational institutions in India. The 7-10 day trip to India will involve visiting two sites, one in an urban and one in a rural setting, and getting involved in hands-on projects related to low-cost energy generation projects. Collaboration with the Indian sites will allow students to appreciate cultural differences in the context of similar goals relevant to energy technologies. The students will produce a report on their experiences at the end of the trip.

Identifying Healing Plants Used in Maya Culture in Southern Belize

Recipients: Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Horticulture, School of Integrative Plant Science
The centuries-old knowledge and practice of using medicinal plants for healing is being lost as older practitioners pass away. We will take a group of students and faculty to the Toledo District in southern Belize to work with six healers to identify medicinal plants and describe how they are used. This knowledge can then be preserved for future generations.

Bringing the Classroom into African Classrooms: A Virtual Voyage into African Classrooms

Recipients: Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Development Sociology
This project will provide Cornell undergraduates with a virtual but intimate exposure to issues of inequality, social mobility, education and development as they unfold across a large swathe of African countries. The idea is to organize and facilitate electronic interaction between Cornell students enrolled in DSoc3050 (Education, Inequality and Development) and—among others—peer students at schools in Africa. Over the course of these interactions, students will get to exchange views about differences in how schools function across a diverse set of settings and social classes. The experience will meet the central goal of the course, which is to critically analyze the extent to which schools live up to their promise of “leveling the playing field” and being the “best investment in development.” Specific project activities will include short documentaries jointly directed by Cornell and local students on selected schools; “Skyped” key-informant interviews (with students, teachers, parents, administrators, policymakers; and further fieldwork opportunities for Cornell undergraduate students.

So That Any Student Might Interview Any Practitioner in Any Country:
Developing Teaching Materials as Students Co-Generate Practice Stories with Exemplary Internationally Situated Urban Practitioners

Recipients: John Forester, City and Regional Planning
We seek to enable any student in any field of city planning and public policy to interview an exemplary practitioner in any country of their choice—to borrow shamelessly from Cornell's founding motto. We propose to build upon years of work at Cornell gathering, analyzing, and studying practice-focused, first person voice oral histories. These have appeared as engaging, compelling, and instructive teaching materials in planning coursework, and they have provided the basis of six scholarly and applied books. We will now focus upon developing international networks of collaborating academics and practitioners to broaden the range of international experience and place making planning practices that our students can explore.

Computer-Mediated Communication in International Context

Recipients: Susan Fussell, Communication, and Department of Information Science (CIS)
This project will add an international component to an existing course, Comm/IS 4450/6450, Computer Mediated Communication. The goals of the course are to provide students with a basic understanding of the processes of interpersonal communication, an understanding of how features of current computer-mediated communications technologies affect interpersonal communication, and the knowledge they need to help design new communications technologies. The new international component will consist of four elements: materials and readings to increase intercultural understanding; a new short paper assignment to introduce students to the challenges of conducting intercultural research; an international
collaborative project to provide students with the experience of interacting in culturally diverse teams; and an essay assignment on the experience of working in an international team to help students synthesize their experiences and think about how to apply them to their future courses and careers. The internationalization component will be developed in collaboration with Dr. Hao-Chuan Wang of National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan.

Landscape frameworks for resilient city policies: reshaping coastal urban environments

Recipients: Maria Goula, Landscape Architecture
The studio will offer to exemplary undergraduate students the opportunity to collaborate to the innovative United Nations’ habitat resilience policies (City Resilience Profiling program) specifically for urban coastal environments that face natural and anthropogenic threats. Students will engage with a particular city within the network of cities that the United Nations’ Settlements program offers, and they will contribute to the improvement of its resilience protocol through applicable and efficient actions. The two-year program will start in spring 2015 with preliminary sessions during April and May in Ithaca, continue for a two-week intensive workshop in Barcelona during June, and conclude with another three-day intensive workshop in Ithaca.

New Interdisciplinary Courses in Business, Government, and International Political Economy

Recipients: Peter Katzenstein, Government
This project involves the development of two new courses: Govt 3547 (American Primacy Challenged: International Political Economy) in Fall 2015 and Govt 3557 (American Exceptionalism Questioned: Comparative Political Economy) in Fall 2016. These courses will be crosslisted with Johnson, ILR, and the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Recipients: Steven Kyle, Applied Economics and Management
Project Title: New 2000-Level Course in Economics of Development
Project Abstract: This project will support the creation of a new sophomore-level course (AEM 2350) called The Economics of Development. This course will focus on the characteristics of low-income countries and the policy options used to enable them to grow and develop. Emphasis will be placed on data-based analysis of the economic situations of different countries, and students will be required to collect and analyze social and economic data for a country of their choice.

Worldly Explorations: The Gateway to Engaged International Experiences for Cornell Undergraduate Students

Recipients: James P. Lassoie, Natural Resources; Ruth E. Sherman, Natural Resources
A disconnect exists between first-year students entering undergraduate majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the potential for pursuing international engagement experiences as juniors and seniors. As a result, students are often well into their second or maybe even third years before they fully grasp the various international opportunities
available to them, which leaves limited time to adequately prepare for the experience. To address this problem, we are developing a new spring semester course that will serve as the nexus between introductory courses specifically for new majors in Agriculture Science, International Agriculture and Rural Development, and Environmental Science and Sustainability (and possibly others), and the variety of international opportunities available to them as third- and fourth-year students. Students who have participated in established international engagement courses, research projects, and internships will discuss the range of opportunities available by personalizing specific activities and the resulting learning outcomes. Registered students then will be assisted in developing a curricular program plan that prepares them for an identified international experience.

Zen Buddhism in Practice: Arts, Gardens, Literature, and Film in The Kamakura Context

Recipients: Jane-Marie Law, Asian Studies
This grant funds the integrated language and international experience components of the course Zen Buddhism (ASIAN/RSt 3305). Students in this course will be able to take an optional onecredit course in Japanese alongside this course to expand their relevant subject vocabulary. In the summer, after the course is offered in the spring of 2016, students will travel to Japan for a 10-day stay in a Zen center and extended research in temples in Kamakura.

Engagement with the Lakes Region of Africa

Recipients: Christine Leuenberger, Science and Technology Studies; David Robertshaw, Physiology
With the recent appointment of Special Envoy Russell Feingold, the U.S. Department of State has signaled its commitment to promoting political stability, economic prosperity, and the promotion of reconciliation and peace efforts in the long-troubled region of the Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). With America's increasing engagement in the region, this project aims to create and institutionalize academic links between Eben-Ezer University of Minembwe in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cornell University, so as to foster educational exchange, collaboration, and institution building. In doing so, this project advances Cornell University's commitment to internationalizing education on campus by enhancing opportunities for transnational learning, research, and public service. The aims of this project entail co-developing two transnational courses to be taught in a virtual classroom, bringing together students from both institutions on Sustainable Land Management, Reconciliation and Peace-Building in Conflict Regions: The Case of Eastern Africa’s Great Lakes Region (to be taught by Dr. Lazare Sebitereko, Eben-Ezer University, DRC, and Dr. Christine Leuenberger, Cornell University) and on Clinical Disease Patterns in Sub-Saharan Africa and their Social Epidemiology (to be taught by Dr. David Robertshaw, Cornell University, Dr. Christine Leuenberger, and Dr. Freddy Kaniki, Eben-Ezer University). This project will also provide the basis for collaborative research and publication projects and the possibility for student, staff, and faculty exchange between Cornell University and Eben-Ezer University in the future.

Development of an Undergraduate Field Course in Argentina: Ecology and Conservation of Wildlife in the Neotropics

Recipients: Irby Lovette, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Leonardo Campagna, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
This new seminar and field course will give participating undergraduates a broad and integrated understanding of Neotropical ecology, behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology, along with the practical skillsets relevant to framing and answering questions using modern scientific methods and for addressing conservation issues in varied social, economic, and cultural settings. These outcomes will be achieved by first guiding students through the primary literature in a traditional classroom/discussion setting, and subsequently mentoring them as they conduct independent field-based research in southern Argentina (Patagonia). This powerful combination of experiences will allow participating students to become familiar with the entire scientific process—from designing questions and posing hypotheses to collecting and analyzing data—and its intersection with applied conservation actions and outcomes. Students will integrate their conceptual understanding of these fields with their own international experiences. The international field components of the course will take place in costal Patagonia, a biologically rich setting that provides unprecedented access to both marine and terrestrial wildlife as well as exposure to a range of real-world conservation challenges.

Abroad to Germany (GERST 2002)

Recipients: Grit Matthias, German Studies
To improve a new course for students to learn German, including a trip to Germany over spring break, when and where the students will be hosted by German students.

Internationalization of the Education Minor

Recipients: Kaja McGowan, History of Art and Visual Studies; Bryan Duff, Integrative Plant Science
The Southeast Asia and South Asia programs are partnering with the Education Minor at Cornell University to increase undergraduates’ awareness of education policy, practice, and challenges in that region of the world. A new course will pair Cornell students with undergraduates in Burma (Myanmar) for regular online exchange on topics in education. These conversations will develop some of the groundwork for future student travel to the region for work in educational capacity-building.

Strengthening International Learning in the Global Health Program

Recipients: Jeanne Moseley, Nutritional Sciences; David Pelletier, Nutritional Sciences; Rebecca Stoltzfus, Nutritional Sciences
Strengthening International Learning in the Global Health Program aims to enhance the Global Health Program's existing minor and four summer experiential learning opportunities, and to introduce innovative approaches to global learning through a case competition. Across our courses, we will bring our international partners into the classroom to engage with our students in rich intercultural learning. Our project will also strengthen our students’ language skills, which are essential for our Summer Program in the Dominican Republic. Lastly, we will further develop our Global Health Case Competition, which presents a
unique opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students from across campus to engage in multidisciplinary and global learning.

Internationalizing the Curriculum in Demography and Social Policy: Lessons from Europe

Recipients: Kelly Musick, Policy Analysis and Management; Kim Kopko, Policy Analysis and Management
We propose a two-year project to strengthen the integration of European population and policy experiences into Cornell’s curriculum in demography and social policy. We are planning on-and off-campus components, with three specific aims. On campus, we will develop population and policy modules drawing on experiences across European welfare regimes to strengthen Musick’s existing courses in population, families, and inequality. Off campus, we will leverage connections that Musick is building to firmly institutionalize semester-long student exchanges in demography and social policy between Cornell and Stockholm University. We also will explore additional models for integrating meaningful, shorter-term international experiences in demography and social policy into the Cornell curriculum, including summer programs and field activities. These efforts will serve the Cornell Population Center’s campus-wide minors in demography, as well as more broadly serve programs in policy and the social sciences, providing a critical perspective on the role that population and public policy play in shaping developments at the local, national, and global levels.

History, Politics, and Social Engagement in Southern Africa

Recipients: Muna Ndulo, Law School
Creation of a three-credit, four-week summer course designed to give students an opportunity to study, learn, and exchange ideas about historical, cultural, and political life of South Africa and changes taking place in society itself—and to work on selected projects with Zambian students from the host country.

A Service Learning and Language Immersion Course for Hindi

Recipients: Sujata Singh, Asian Studies
A six-week community-based, service-learning Hindi immersion course will be offered in winter of 2015. The students enrolled in this course will acquire all four skills—speaking, reading, writing and listening in Hindi—from volunteering in the local community and from daily language instruction. Three weeks of language instruction on the Cornell campus will bookend three weeks of community-engaged intensive Hindi immersion in India. The course will be open to students from diverse disciplines across Cornell University, and will be designed to accommodate students from all levels.

China/Cornell Media Arts Exchange

Recipients: J.P. Sniadeck, Performing and Media Arts; Jumay Chu, Performing and Media Arts; Amy Villarejo, Performing and Media Arts
The China/Cornell Media Arts Exchange (CCMAE), in partnership with Xian Academy of Fine Arts, Xian, China, is an innovative program drawing on media art, movement, performance, ethnography, and cultural studies to expand Cornell’s international profile as it
creates meaningful opportunities for hands-on experiential learning within a cross-cultural context of intellectual and aesthetic exchange with Chinese colleagues and peers. Bringing together theory and practice, Cornell students will not only collaborate with visiting Chinese artists, dancers, performance artists, and students on the Ithaca campus, but will also pursue a summer session overseas in China wherein they produce original works of media art and/or performance that are culturally inflected and demonstrate significant knowledge of media art and performance across the globe. The pilot for this program is the Caochangdi Workstation Memory Project’s three-week residency at Cornell in September 2015, directed by Cornell's PMA faculty members J.P. Sniadecki and Jumay Chu, and Beijing filmmaker and curator Wu Wenguang. The continuation of this new and exciting collaborative relationship with Wu Wenguang and Wu Xiaochuan of Xian Academy of Fine Arts will be a period of exchange and creativity at the school’s campus in Xian, and will also include exploratory visits to media art communities in Beijing and Shanghai. With the riches of this groundbreaking program, students will produce original works of media and movement that reflect the cultural, ecological, social, and sensorial dimensions of both their home and their host countries.

Internship Program in Small Holder Agricultural Production and Rural Development

Recipients: Janice Thies, Soil and Crop Sciences; Peter Hobbs, Soil and Crop Sciences; Antonio DiTommaso, Soil and Crop Sciences
Few experiences are as eye opening or as life changing as living and working outside your own country, well outside of your own comfort zone, and alongside people struggling at the edge of survival. We are currently working with small-holder farmers in Western Kenya on a program aimed at helping farmers improve bean productivity through better plant, soil, and disease management. This program will initiate and help to sustain longer-term (6- to 8-week) internships in which Cornell University students will be paired with Kenyan University students to work hand-in-hand with small-holder farmers on crop, soil, and disease management issues. Master-farmer trainings, farmer focus groups, on-farm demonstration trials, and farmer field days will form the basis for community interactions and information dissemination. Students will work with farmers to support these activities, while becoming embedded in the culture of the Kenyan farming community and beginning to understand critical issues facing East African communities more generally. Once established, the program will be expanded to include other countries, farming issues, and project foci.

Proposal for On-Campus and Off-Campus Project: Modify Current Course Elementary Russian through Film (RUSSA 1122)

Recipients: Viktoria Tsimberov, Russian Language Program
After completing the second semester of Cornell's Beginning Russian Through Film (RUSSA 1122), our students will spend two weeks in Moscow practicing communication skills on stage at a Russian school of theater arts for teenagers. The acting classes will be taught by Russian educators, entirely in Russian and in the style the educators use when instructing their native Russian students. Conducting this training in a purely Russian environment is a dimension that cannot be effectively created on Cornell campus. Living in a Russian city for two weeks will provide an additional learning experience, with various cultural events that can be organized as appropriate.

Performing and Media Arts Global Stages

Recipients: Sara Warner, Performing and Media Arts; Nick Salvato, Performing and Media Arts; J. Ellen Gainor, Performing and Media Arts; Karen Jaime, Performing and Media Arts
The Department of Performing and Media Arts will devise international components for our new two-semester Global Stages core course sequence. This course is designed to introduce students to a range of historical, cross-cultural, and transnational performance texts, theories, and practices; to motivate students to examine the broad social, political, cultural, and economic contexts in which performances take place; and to familiarize students with the major methodologies and paradigms for the creation, spectatorship, and interpretation of embodied performances. Our aim is to enhance opportunities for students to explore different languages and aesthetic traditions in two geographic areas: Asia and the Americas. Our process will involve: training faculty and students in theatrical traditions and techniques through a series of workshops, seminars, and master classes; forging enduring international partnerships that enhance the curriculum through new study abroad opportunities, internships, and exchange programs; expanding on-campus opportunities for students through collaborations with artistsin-residence on devised projects; integrating theory and practice, linking course content to live performances on our stages.

Leveraging the Nilgiris Field Learning Center (NFLC) to Internationalize Cornell Education

Recipients: Steven Wolf, Natural Resources; Neema Kudva, City and Regional Planning; Rebecca Stoltzfus, Global Health; Andrew Willford, Anthropology
This award builds on our existing semester-long study abroad program, the Nilgiris Field Learning Center (NFLC), in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Southern India. We will work with partners in the Cornell Departments of Anthropology and Performing and Media Arts to produce a series of videos for use in campus-based courses in City and Regional Planning, Anthropology, Global Health, and Environmental Sciences and Sustainability. These videos will allow us to share our approach to community-engaged education and research on themes of sustainable development—health, development, culture, environment—with large numbers of Cornell students. Additionally, these videos will serve as an outreach and recruiting resource for the NFLC. Strengthening our program evaluation and assessment tools represents a secondary objective under this award. The NFLC constitutes a large set of evolving initiatives and partnerships. Achieving our goals and ensuring accountability demands that we develop robust tools in support of reflection, improvement and accountability.

Improving Sustainable and Just Food Systems in Mozambique: Development of an online multimedia case study to be used in three Cornell Courses starting in 2015–2016

Recipients: Wendy Wolford, Development Sociology;James Lassoie, Natural Resources
A multimedia case study featuring a program spearheaded by two international nongovernmental organizations, CARE and WWF, and their work on Farmer Field Schools in rural Mozambique. To prepare students for careers in international development whether in the academia, government, or nonprofit fields--and to bring issues of sustainable food systems, social justice and women’s rights into the classroom--this new case study will focus on the CARE-WWF Alliance’s work on Improving Sustainable and Just Food Systems in Mozambique.
The resulting case study will be freely available online for educational use by educators around the world at -- a website home to numerous video case studies that engage students in critical thinking on real-world problems through short, high-quality videos and subsequent discussions. The new case study will enhance student cross-cultural competence on food and nutrition security issues critical to Mozambique by integrating a real-life Mozambique case study into the curriculum of three Cornell courses for use over many future semesters starting in the academic year 2015–2016. In one introductory Cornell course, students will use the new case study to develop critical thinking skills through discussion sections and debates, and in two advanced capstone courses, students will directly work with practitioners through consulting assignments; in both cases, the experience will provide virtual hands-on understanding of nonprofit organizations and communities working to address Mozambique food security issues.