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May 11, 2016
Three Northwest Missouri State University faculty members have been selected to receive an $800 award to fund internationalization course proposals for the 2016-2017 academic year.
The Faculty Senate’s International Programs and Studies Committee (ISPC) annually awards the grants to faculty who demonstrate how an existing class may be augmented to incorporate international themes and content to enhance intercultural competence.
The grants were awarded to Dr. Brett Chloupek, assistant professor of geography; Dr. Ildiko Olasz, assistant professor of English; and Dr. Kevin Romig, assistant professor of geography.
Chloupek seeks to enhance students’ understanding of cartography in his Maps and Map Interpretation course. Course content will familiarize students with map reading analysis, and interpretation through the incorporation of information from other cultures, including Chinese, Indian and Islamic map-making techniques.
Olasz will encourage students in her Introduction to Literature course to experience the sound and appearance of works in other languages and examine the influence of translation processes and international literary communities. Students also will be invited to interview international students at Northwest to learn about literature and cultural values in other countries and reflect on ways their understanding of world literature and cultures has been transformed.
“The overarching goal is to make the students’ international engagement deeper and more meaningful,” Olasz said.
Romig will incorporate international themes in his Economic Geography course by implementing a textbook written by authors in the United Kingdom who focus on globalized trade and finance. Additionally, students will gain perspectives of economic patterns and development in other countries through videos and journal articles.
“Nearly 60 percent of the course material will be different after the internationalization initiative, and I believe students will have a much better understanding of the intricate interrelationships across cultures and geographic space within the modern globalized world,” Romig said.
ISPC, in cooperation with Northwest’s Office of International Affairs, Study Abroad and the financial backing of the Society of International Ambassadors (SIA), a Northwest Foundation fund, offers unrestricted stipends and funds for successful applicants.
“Concentration on internationalization and intercultural competence upholds a perspective that these content areas are universally applicable across disciplines and, in fact, improve learning,” said Dr. Jeff Foot, director of international affairs at Northwest. “We are thankful to have peers that value the ideals of the ISPC, SIA, International Affairs and Study Abroad.”
Now in its third year of the initiative, ISPC evaluates faculty proposals to determine an appropriate level of objectives, goals and outcomes.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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