Tag Archive for Center for Global Studies

Wesleyan Receives Mellon Grant for Pedagogical Innovation

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The Center for Pedagogical Innovation and Lifelong Learning (CPI) helps faculty use new technologies to benefit their teaching. Antonio Gonzalez, professor of Spanish and director of the Center for Global Studies, uses videoconferencing technology in his class to connect with students in Madrid.

Antonio Gonzalez, professor of Spanish and director of the Center for Global Studies, is comfortably seated in front of a semicircle of 11 students. He holds an iPad Pro that controls two large screens on the wall behind him and enables him to move effortlessly, seamlessly from Google Maps, to video clips, to text he can annotate on the iPad. All the while he converses in Spanish with his students about a movie that tells the story of a Moroccan woman repatriating the body of her brother after he died crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in a small boat.

In another class, Gonzalez and a colleague in Madrid co-teach with the help of high-quality videoconferencing technology. (See article.)

“You can’t believe what a success my trans-Atlantic classroom arrangement has become. It was as if the students in Spain were here with us,” says Gonzalez. In one class, students in Spain conversed with peers in Middletown about why certain homicides in Ciudad Juarez had not been classified as terrorism. “Talk about interculturalism!”

Technology is helping Gonzalez to teach differently and more effectively. And that’s one goal of the Center for Pedagogical Innovation and Lifelong Learning (CPI), which has been working with faculty members on new techniques and pedagogical strategies.

Now the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given the CPI a major boost with a $750,000 grant to fund its activities for the next four and a half years.

Smith is New Associate Director of Fellowships, Internships, Exchanges

Kathleen “Kate” Smith is the associate director of fellowships, internships and exchanges for the Center for Global Studies. (Photo by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry '19)

Kathleen “Kate” Smith is the associate director of fellowships, internships and exchanges for the Center for Global Studies. (Photo by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

In this Q&A we speak with Kathleen Smith from the Center for Global Studies. Smith helps identify and cultivate a global perspective that is meaningful to students, alumni, and faculty across the university. 

Q: Welcome to Wesleyan! When did you start?

A: My first day was Aug. 3, so I am still learning my way around campus!

Q: As the associate director of fellowships, internships and exchanges for the Center for Global Studies (located in Fisk Hall), what is your mission when working with students?

A: The role is a little bit of everything – fellowships, internships and exchanges – so I see myself as a resource to students (and in some cases alumni) depending on what they would like to accomplish. My goal when working with students is to help them navigate the numerous opportunities that exist. I see part of my role as supporting students (and alumni) in exploring various fellowship opportunities.

I will also promote partnerships with peer institutions in the United States and with targeted institutions abroad. Overall, my role within the Center for Global Studies is to identify and help cultivate a global perspective that will address what would be most meaningful to students, alumni and faculty across Wesleyan University.

Q: What is a typical day like?

A: At the moment, 9 to 5 is an orientation of Wesleyan. I have been meeting faculty, staff and deans from across campus because my work intersects with a few different areas. With students back on campus, I expect it to be more student-centric. I have begun to advise students and alumni on fellowships because deadlines are coming up.

Q: Wesleyan offers about 15 fellowship opportunities that require nomination from Wesleyan faculty or staff (including the Fulbright, Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Watson, Goldwater and the Winston Churchill Foundation Scholarship, to name a few.) How do you assist students with this application process?

A: The process really varies from student to student. I provide a wide range of guidance: understanding what a fellowship is, offering feedback on a written statement, discussing how to ask for a letter of recommendation, providing insight about graduate school abroad,