Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The books arrive at the American Studies Center at Moldova State University!

I belatedly sent the box of books to my colleague Dr. Svetlana Suveica and the students at the American Studies Center of Moldova State University -- and it finally arrived in Chisinau!

Dr. Suveica and I (with the assistance of Ms. Allison Brown) edited a book of the materials produced in our "global classroom" last semester -- these included students' research papers, powerpoint presentations, materials from our community partners, and a photo gallery (of our joint classroom skype sessions, our joint conference to discuss research findings, and students' collaboration outside of class).

Pictured here are Dr. Suveica, Dr. Crestianicov (President of the American Studies Center) and the USM students with their copies of the books.

Again, we would like to thank the USF St. Petersburg Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership and Civic Engagement and the U.S. federal grant from Learn and Serve America that supported this class (and the publishing of this book).

Friday, April 20, 2012

USFSP Undergraduate Research Symposium April 2012

Ms. Allison Brown, who has been working with me on a research project about whether and how decisions of the European Court of Human Rights affect legal change in Moldova, created a poster presentation for the USFSP Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Pictured here are Ms. Brown explaining her research findings to USFSP Honors Program Director Dr. Thomas Smith.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

NAFSA Video Contest Entry

We were thrilled that out of all of the innovative international programs at USF that USF World selected our project to showcase in its NAFSA Video Contest Entry!

NAFSA is the national association of international educators. The top 3 videos will be shown at the upcoming conference in Houston, Texas in May.

Dr. Svetlana Suveica joined me (via skype on my iPad) and a few of my students from Women and the Law to discuss our project from last semester.

(For those of you new to the blog, in the Fall 2011 semester my Women and the Law class at USF St Petersburg partnered with Dr. Svetlana Suveica's class at Moldova State University in Chisinau. Our students worked together in groups on research projects related to human trafficking. More about the project is posted on this blog.)

It was incredibly gratifying to hear my students reflect on what they learned from the human trafficking research project specifically and on how the experience working with colleagues in Moldova had a broader impact on their perspectives and on their long-term career career goals.

After the NAFSA conference, we can post the YouTube link of the video on this blog, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

USF World Faculty Spotlight

USF World (see for more information about USF's international programming and initiatives) recently featured me in the Faculty Spotlight.

See this link for the full story:

Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan
April 10, 2012

Pursuing new avenues to bring the international perspective to her classroom, Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, Associate Professor of Political Science at St. Petersburg, is successfully helping her students travel to Moldova and the United Arab Emirates without leaving Tampa Bay.

In 2010, McLauchlan was awarded a Fulbright grant to the Republic of Moldova in Eastern Europe to work on her project entitled “U.S. Constitutional Law and Judicial Process.” The project gave her the opportunity to rethink how she teaches students about the American court system. “It was a phenomenal experience for me. You don’t always realize all of the assumptions that you take for granted. I had the opportunity to question and to reflect on those assumptions when teaching American government and politics to a foreign audience. This has positively impacted how I approach teaching law and politics with my U.S. students since my return home.”

Collaborating with a colleague at the Universitatea de Stat din Moldova (USM), McLauchlan conducted a joint, 10-week project between her Women & the Law class at USFSP and graduate students in American Studies at USM. Students worked on group projects related to human trafficking in the U.S. and in Moldova through Skype videoconferences, email and Facebook, learning first-hand from each other the similarities and differences in the legal system in each country. Through the use of technology and real-time communication, students discussed readings, attended guest lectures by NGO representatives and Peace Corps volunteers in Moldova as well as prosecutors, law enforcement officials and non-profits in Tampa Bay. Students at both universities were also required to participate in an online videoconference to present their research findings, hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau. In 2012, McLauchlan and her Moldovan counterpart, Dr. Svetlana Suveica, presented their research on the success of an internationally linked course curriculum at the American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference in Washington, DC.

The success of her first internationally linked class was only the beginning. Shortly after her visit to Amman, Jordan in December 2011 as a Delegate to a Middle East Summit, McLauchlan partnered with an attorney in Abu Dhabi, Raya Abu Gulal and the Women’s Lawyers Group of the Middle East. Through this partnership, she connected students in her Civil Liberties and Civil Rights class at USF St. Pete to experts in women’s rights issues in six different Middle Eastern countries under the mentorship of the Women’s Lawyers Group.

Recently, Dr. McLauchlan received two more grants to support her international research and her work on internationalizing the curriculum. Awarded a grant this Spring by the European Union Center for Excellence, McLauchlan will use the funds to support a project in her public law courses concerning the European Court of Justice. In addition, she will travel to Moldova as a returning Fulbright this summer to work on a research project on the impact that the European Court of Human Rights’ decisions have on legal change in Moldova. While there, she will also finalize logistics for an alternative Spring Break Study Abroad program she is planning for 2013.

For current information on Dr. McLauchlan’s international projects, visit

Sunday, April 8, 2012

USFSP International Week: International Research & Cultural Exchange

During USFSP's International Week in March 2012, faculty organized a mini-conference over lunch during which faculty from each of the colleges would share their international research and teaching initiatives. The idea was that this opportunity to meet with colleagues in other colleges might stimulate new research, service, and/or teaching ideas and possibly interdisciplinary co-author relationships.

Of my current projects, I chose to share materials about my project working with Dr. Svetlana Suveica during the Fall 2011 semester (in which my students in Women and the Law worked together in groups with students at Moldova State on research projects related to human trafficking (more detailed information contained in earlier posts on this blog) as well as a project in my Civil Liberties and Civil Rights class this semester [in which my students working on comparative legal research papers about women’s rights in the Middle East were paired with a woman lawyer from that country (we partnered with the Women’s Lawyer Group in the Middle East) who mentored them on their projects (see my blog for more information about this project)].

This was an engaging event, and one that I hope will become a tradition during USFSP's International Week programming.

USF Diversity Award

This year I was selected as a USF Diversity Honor Award recipient. The recipients were recognized at the 9th Annual Diversity Summit at USF Tampa.

I was recognized for my work "internationalizing" my courses in American politics.

As those of you who follow this blog know, I collaborated with Dr. Svetlana Suveica to develop a project for my Women and the Law class in which we partnered with her class at Moldova State University. Our students worked together in groups on research papers about human trafficking. Students had the opportunity to work with students from another culture -- expanding knowledge and fostering mutual understanding and cooperation. A truly multicultural experience!

Due to my class schedule, I was not able to get over to Tampa for the Summit.

Not only would it have been nice to receive this honor in person, but also, and more importantly, there was programming all day as a part of the Summit that I would have very much enjoyed.

For example, there was a session entitled

Experiential Learning: “Learning is Experience. Everything Else is Just Information.”— Albert Einstein

"Discuss the importance of integrating academic with learning experiences outside of the classroom. From mentoring experiences to community service to exposure to the global society. Explore the connections between student engagement, civic responsibility, retention and student success."

I would have loved to have the opportunity to talk to colleagues at USF Tampa who are as passionate as I am about incorporating civic engagement across the curriculum.

As the Founding Director of USF St. Petersburg's Center for Civic Engagement, I have been working for the last 6 years to expand our Citizen Scholar program -- courses that include a civic engagement component, getting students out of the classroom and in to the community, working with community partners on projects that are tied to the student learning outcomes in the course. Typically, USF St Pete offers about 100 different citizen scholar courses per academic year. We need to create our new website (we have since merged with the Bishop Center to become the Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership and Civic Engagement), but you can learn more about our past programming here

Friday, April 6, 2012

KOPOBKA - Kellogg's Krave

Kellogs just came out with a cereal in the U.S. that is very similar to one of Peggy's favorite Russian cereals (which we had called the "cushions"), that she enjoyed in Moldova.

(Pictured here is a photo I posted on this blog back in August 2010 of the cereal, along with other products purchased at the grocery store in Chisinau)

Peggy has enjoyed the new American version of this cereal -- Krave -- every day this week.

It's brought back happy memories of our time in Moldova.