Monday, November 28, 2011

USF International Education Week, Dr. Allan E. Goodman IIE; Global Education Quiz

After the breakfast honoring USF Fulbrighters (see previous post), Dr. Allan E. Goodman spoke to students and faculty in an impressive lecture hall in the new Patel Center for Global Solutions building.

Dr. Goodman gave us all a quiz -- a Global Education Quiz. It included questions such as

*What is the approximate population of the earth?

*Approximately what percentage of the world's population lives on less than $1.25 a day?

*What percentage of the U.S. Government budget is devoted to foreign aid?

*Which country is the leading seller of military arms and equipment?

I suggest you take a few minutes to take the quiz online and see how you score:

"Think You Know Our World? Take the IIE Global Education Quiz"

USF World Fulbright Medal

USF World recently honored the USF Fulbright scholars at a Celebration Breakfast. Dr. Allan E. Goodman, President & CEO of the Institute for International Education, which oversees the Fulbright program, was on hand as we were awarded USF World Fulbright medals (to be worn at Commencement).

Speakers included USF System President Judy Genshaft, Vice President for Research, Innovation & Global Affairs Karen Holbrook, Betty Castor (former President of USF and current member of the Fulbright Board), Dr. Allan Goodman, and two USF Fulbrighters.

I must say that I was humbled by the faculty presentations. I was truly inspired by Dr. Darlene DeMarie's efforts to open a day care center in South Africa and by Mr. Michael Foley's work that transformed a dance company/theater in Mexico.

After the breakfast, we moved to the new Patel Center for Global Solutions to listen to Dr. Goodman's International Education Week presentation. (More to follow about this in my next post.)

Pictured with me are USF System President Judy Genshaft, former USF President Betty Castor (who currently serves on the Fulbright Board), Dr. Allan E. Goodman (President of the Institute of International Education, which oversees the Fulbright program) and Dr. Ralph Wilcox (Provost and Executive Vice President of the USF System).

For more information about USF World, see

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I contributed a short piece about our USM-USFSP Joint Research Project regarding Human Trafficking and the role that Peace Corps Volunteers played in that effort to the Peace Corps newsletter in Moldova. The PCVs helped us to understand the work that is being done in Moldova to combat human trafficking.

Here is a link to the site where you can learn more about the impressive work being done by PCVs in Moldova and how you can support their work:

And here is an excerpt from my post:

November 12th - International Collaboration Researching Human Trafficking
posted Nov 20, 2011 12:59 AM by Post Event

During the Fall 2011 semester, I collaborated with Professor Svetlana Suveica at the American Studies Center at Moldova State University in Chisinau to create a joint project where my students from my Women and the Law class could work together with her students. (We developed the idea for this project when I was teaching in Moldova as a Fulbright Scholar in 2010 (see; Professor Suveica was a Fulbright Scholar to the U.S. (Stanford University) in 2009-10.)

The objective of the assignment, as we described in our handout for the students, is as follows:

"This group research project will give students from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Moldova State University to work together on research projects regarding human trafficking. We will have several videoconferences with our colleagues in Chisinau/St. Petersburg during the course of the semester. In these meetings we will discuss common readings, hear from guest speakers in Moldova (NGOs and Peace Corps Volunteers) and in Tampa Bay (non-profits, prosecutors, law enforcement officials), hold a conference to present research findings, and enjoy a celebration event at which each student will be presented an edited volume that contains copies of each group’s research paper.

"While working on this assignment, students will learn about a wide range of issues related to human trafficking: the role of NGOs and non-profits in combating human trafficking in Florida and in Moldova; U.S. and Moldovan partnerships and coordination with other nations and international agencies and treaties designed to combat human trafficking; prevention programs in the U.S., Florida and in Moldova; prosecution of human trafficking in the U.S., Florida and Moldova, government agencies in the U.S., Florida, and Moldova responsible for combating human trafficking; U.S., Florida, and Moldovan anti-trafficking legislation (e.g., U.S. Trafficking Victim Protection Act 2000), and international responses to human trafficking (e.g., the U.N. Protocol against Trafficking in Persons (2003) and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings).

"In addition to learning more about the issue of human trafficking, this assignment will give students the opportunity to
• foster intercultural understanding through learning and communication
• develop oral and written communication skills through the communication with a counterpart from U.S. and Moldova - across cultures and beyond borders
• make students aware of the interconnectedness of local/regional/global social issues
•expand students’ opportunities in using technology in communication, learning and research
•make students curious and interested in acquiring more knowledge about U.S. and Moldova and their peoples
•make students work virtually, outside homes, outside the country, through an on-line cooperation
•overcome stereotypes about a “privileged” American student in terms of research opportunities, non-academic cooperation, individual and group work
•make students reconsider possible preconceived ideas about big and small countries and the problem these face
•get in contact with a non-academic environment, e.g. NGOs, Peace Corps volunteers that are involved in solving the issues that are explored in the classroom
•make students share and learn from the experience of the other in terms of study and research
•overcome language barriers for those who were not able to communicate with a native speaker"

During our third videoconference/joint class meeting (on 20 October 2011), students heard from guest speakers working on combating human trafficking in Moldova. Presenters included a representative from the NGO LaStrada as well as Peace Corps Volunteers.

The LaStrada presentation was very insightful and full of information to assist students as they got their research projects underway. For more information about LaStrada, see

The joint classroom also heard from 3 Peace Corps Volunteers working in Moldova. While these volunteers do not work directly with victims of human trafficking, they work on a number of economic and community development projects aimed at prevention (and getting to the root causes that lead to trafficking).

PCVs Keith Johnson and Leigh Stenberg discussed their work with the TIP program, which is designed to connect volunteers with resources available to them for their work in the villages.

As described in an article by Melissa Stuart on this site ( on April 28, "MoldovaTiP is the Peace Corps committee dedicated to human trafficking and migration issues in the Peace Corps Volunteer community. Primarily, we work as a conduit between eager PCVs and our counterpart organizations in the larger cities. Most of our partner organizations have a plethora of resources ready to distribute, and they rely on us to spread these resources throughout the country using the widespread, rural PCV network. Education is the key when it comes to avoiding instances of human trafficking and safely migrating from Moldova. Thus, the most common form of collaboration between our partner organizations and PCVs is seminars offered by our partner organizations. Our partners visit PCV classrooms, youth groups, and communities offering seminars and workshops on avoiding human trafficking, internet safety, and entrepreneurship. These events are free and are often taught by the organizations’ volunteers. Hence, our Moldovans partners really do most of the work on behalf of other Moldovans, we simply help facilitate the correspondence."

PCV Emily Getty discussed her work with GLOW -- Girls Leading Our World -- which has a variety of initiatives all aimed at empowering young women. Emily described a number of programs and initiatives she organizes to help empower young women in Moldova so that trafficking is not seen as the only way out of poverty in the village. You can see the GLOW Moldova facebook page for more information.

Not long after my students heard from the Peace Corps Volunteers serving in Moldova during this skype videoconference, many of them attended an event with the USF Peace Corps Recruiter when she visited our campus.

The insights gained from the PCV presentations not only informed my students understanding of issues to be addressed in combating human trafficking but also inspired them to consider serving as a PCV after graduation.

I am grateful that the PCVs could take time out of their busy schedules to join our "global classroom"!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Global Classroom: Independent Group Work

A key component of the work in the joint project between USM and USFSP students was to work independently within the eight groups to conduct the research and to draft a paper. Students at USFSP were offered the opportunity to record their experience of working closely with their USFSP and USM colleagues throughout this project as an extra credit assignment.

Here are a few excerpts:

“Over all my thoughts about this assignment are positive. I feel that it was a unique opportunity to work with students both in our class and in Moldova. … I have learned more about Human Trafficking through my own research, and it’s all because of this project. … This project also allowed me to make new friends out of classmates, and I truly hope those friendships last.”
- KM

“[I was] very surprised and happy about the work Elizaveta has contributed… she’s very intelligent in her writings.” – CC

“I made a Facebook group to strengthen the communication between the five of us [in the group].”
– LG

The students utilized social networking and online programs such as Skype, Facebook, and Dropbox in order to facilitate communication with group members at USFSP and USM.

“I spoke to Elena on Skype this morning. … I learned that Elena is actually a Russian & Russian Literature major not American Studies like I originally thought. I was very interested to find this out and our conversation about the project quickly transgressed into a discussion about the writings of one of my favorite authors, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It turns out that Elena wrote her thesis on Dostoyevsky.” – AB

“Our group came together quite well, with each person knowing what they had to do for the group and contributing their best efforts. … Overall, I found it to be a very beneficial project and I hope that this book can be of benefit to people by highlighting some of the issues with the horrors of human trafficking. – YK

Friday, November 18, 2011

Guest Speaker from Romania: Women and the Legal Profession

On Thursday, November 17th, the lecture topic in my Women and the Law class was "Women and the Legal Profession."

This usually means "Women and the Legal Profession in the U.S."

This semester, since my students are working in groups with students from Moldova on their legal research papers (about human trafficking), I thought it would be appropriate for students to hear from a woman lawyer in the region.

We were so pleased that Diana Neagu, a partner of the law firm of Vernon|David (offices in Bucharest, Romania and Chisinau, Moldova) and head of its Banking and Finance Division, was able to speak to our class -- skyping with us from Bucharest, Romania.

We asked Diana to speak about her decision to become a lawyer, legal training in Romania, what it is like to practice law as a woman.

After covering these topics, Diana answered quite a broad array of questions about the kinds of cases she works on, how law firms are structured, the health care system in Romania, the EU (and what kinds of changes took place in Romania following its accession into the EU in 2007; the relationship between EU and national law), government and politics (and issues of corruption) in Romania and in Moldova....

When it came to issues such as family and medical leave, students were shocked to learn that women can take a year of maternity leave with 85% of their salary (and an additional year without pay without losing their jobs) -- and that people who are sick can go to the doctor, under the national health care system -- and that university students do not pay tuition.

Learning more about women and the legal profession in Romania (along with other political and legal issues) was a wonderful complement to the assigned readings and lecture material that focused exclusively on the U.S.

You can learn more about the law firm of Vernon|David at

Monday, November 14, 2011

USM-USFSP Joint Classroom - 10 November 2011 Conference -- Photos from ARC

These are photos taken at the American Resource Center of the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau of students participating in our joint seminar on 10 November 2011. At this meeting, students presented their research findings about their topics related to human trafficking.

(These photos were some of those posted on the ARC facebook page.)

Previously I posted photos from this class meeting taken in our USFSP classroom (at the Poynter Library television studio).

Friday, November 11, 2011

USM-USFSP Joint Classroom--Student Presentations -- part 2

USM-USFSP Joint Classroom --Student Presentations -- 10 November 2011

On November 10th, our classes met together for the 5th time. During this joint seminar, the students (each of the 8 groups)presented their preliminary research findings.

During this class session, we met in new locations. The students in Professor Svetlana Suveica's seminar at the American Studies Center of Moldova State University met in the American Resource Center of the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau. My students met in the distance learning studio at the Poynter Library. The staff at the library recorded the presentations, and soon I will be able to share with you on this blog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

USM-USFSP Joint Classroom

On Thursday, 10 November 2011, the students in my Women and the Law class at USFSP and the students in Professor Svetlana Suveica's class at the American Studies Center at Moldova State University will share their preliminary research findings.

Students from Florida and Moldova have been working together in groups researching topics related to human trafficking this semester.

More about the project and our course meetings throughout the semester will be shared on this blog.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Peace Corps Info Session at USFSP

The USF Peace Corps Recruiter (RPCV Kazakhstan)came to USFSP for several information sessions on November 8

I was pleased to see so many of my students from Women and the Law in attendance at the event.

I am looking forward to reading through the Post-Test Surveys (to be administered on the last day of class) to learn more about the ways in which this class (and the group assignment with students from Moldova) has affected my students' understanding of what it means to be a "global citizen."