Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Florida Political Science Association Annual Meeting, "Facilitating Globally Oriented Learning"

It was a pleasure to be back at the Florida Political Science Association Annual Meeting. This year it was held at the Honors College at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

I participated in a panel "Facilitating Globally Oriented Learning."

While I do teach a study abroad course to Moldova (you can see a video about the course here ), I strive to internationalize the curriculum and to provide opportunities for my students to become “global citizens" without leaving St. Petersburg.  

In my presentation I discussed examples such as my projects in Women and the Law in which my students worked together in groups with students at the Moldova State University’s American Studies Center on research projects related to human trafficking (more on this blog) and in Civil Liberties and Civil Rights 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 ). We ran this project in Women and the Law as well.  This semester  my students in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties partnered with a seminar at the Scoala Nationala de Studii Politice si Adminstrative in Bucharest, Romania, working in groups on legal research projects about religious freedom in the U.S. and in Europe (I am going to be updating this site with more information about the collaboration: )

Since returning from my Fulbright in Moldova, I have been looking for ways to connect my students with students overseas to conduct research and to exchange ideas.  

Ours was a robust panel discussion, and I enjoyed learning about my colleagues' techniques for "facilitating globally oriented learned" -- including creative uses of international sources in the classroom, twitter, simulations, and exchange programs.  (I solicited articles to publish in the Political Scientist, of which I am editor, so we can share some of these ideas more broadly.)

The "Facilitating Globally Oriented Learning" Panel

It was also a pleasure to see my graduate student Marissa present her paper "The Democratic Peace: Achieving Liberalization and Stability in the Post-Soviet Space through Eastern EU Enlargement"

with my graduate student Marissa on a break. So pleased that she will be starting a PhD program in Political Science at Ole Miss in the Fall

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Farewell visit with Fulbrighter from ULIM, visit to Tarpon Springs

Happy to report that we were able to see the Fulbrighter from ULIM (who had been conducting research at USF Tampa), Svetlana, before she had to return to Moldova.

She wanted to go to Tarpon Springs, the destination for an upcoming Fulbright Association event that she would have to miss.

As the tourist website declaraes

"The Sponge Industry helped build a Greek Community that is now famous not only for the worlds finest sponges, but for some of the finest Greek Restaurants, Markets, and Bakeries in the Country. What will you find in Tarpon Springs? The Sponge Docks, Greek Restaurants, Bakeries, Attractions, Natural Sponges, Sponge Diving, Tours, Sightseeing Cruises, Unique Greek and Florida Souvenirs, lots of Shopping, Sightseeing and Live Entertainment (Bouzoukia)."

We had a delightful afternoon in Tarpon -- highlights were the sightseeing cruise with a sponge diver who gave us a demonstration (and I learned about the 5 kinds of sponges you see pictured below) and the dinner and dessert at Hellas.

We wish we had more time to visit with Svetlana -- but we will look forward to greeting her on our next trip to Moldova!

Now I know more about the sponges that we occasionally see at the beach

We really enjoyed learning more about sponge diving

Marissa's MA Thesis Defense! "Stabilizing De Facto States in the Post-Soviet Space: The Role of the EU in Conflict Resolution in Moldova"

It was a pleasure serving as Marissa's Thesis Advisor as she worked on research that grew out of her participation in my Study Abroad course to Moldova.

The title:

"Stabilizing De Facto States in the Post-Soviet Space: The Role of the EU in Conflict Resolution in Moldova"

Very proud to announce that she begins a PhD program in Political Science in the Fall at Ole Miss.

Thoughtful discussion of her analysis of the ENP Action Plans and Annual Progress Reports, evaluating Moldova's progress towards resolving the Transnistrian conflict

with the MLA Graduate Program Director, Dr. Lisa Starks-Estes

with the Committee....thanks Dr. Mark Amen (pictured) and Dr. Marco Rimanelli for your guidance

It's official!

No better way to celebrate than with a bottle of Moldovan wine! One of our classmates from the Study Abroad course sent this to Marissa. Multumesc!