Engaging Difference

Collaborating with James Madison University

From 2018 to 2021, faculty from Elon University and James Madison University were awarded a $40,000 ColonialAcademic Alliance (CAA) IN/CO grant support of their collaborative global engagement research initiatives. The grant, entitled “Engaging difference: A deep dive into the assessment of transformative learning,” facilitated a multi-faceted research project examining the interactions between students’ identities and experiences and their participation in an off-campus global study program, as well as their perceptions of transformation and re-entry experiences.To view a PDF describing the grant and 2018 recipients, click here.

“The CAA IN/CO grant enabled the research team at Elon to partner with colleagues at James Madison University on a large-scale study of global engagement experiences, utilizing an innovative research tool, the Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory (BEVI). This collaborative research opened up avenues of exploration related to how students engage difference while studying off campus, and how these experiences may influence their identity, worldview, future pathways, and ways of interacting with others upon return to the home campus. We are grateful for the opportunities afforded by the grant to collaborate with leading scholars and look forward to disseminating outcomes that will influence the field of global education.”  ~Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Elon University

Bringing Theory to Practice

With the support of a grant from Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP), collaborative partners at James MadisonUniversity, Elon University, Kansai University, and Crossing Borders Education (CBE) developed a methodology to address a number of key challenges of online and in person interactions. Through use of authentic peer video prompts in the learning environment, students were able to overcome isolation and anxiety by dialoguing deeply across differences and making connections with peers around the globe.

Because this project was eclipsed by the global pandemic, the team began to focus on how to create productive interactions across differences in the virtual space. Authentic peer videos we had collected were a large part of creating an environment where learners saw themselves and their challenges in the videos of their peers. These video prompts led to deeper and more vulnerable dialogues among students who reported how meaningful those connections were during the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic.

Mentoring Undergraduate Research in Global Contexts (MURGC)

Virtual Think Tank on Undergraduate Research in Global Contexts

October 6, 2020

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, a virtual think tank on “Mentoring Undergraduate Research (UR) in Global Contexts” was co-facilitated by Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Director of the Center for Research on Global Engagement and Professor of Psychology at Elon University, Dawn Whitehead, Vice President of the Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community, and Careers at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and Elizabeth Frohlich, Director for Programs and Resources at the Forum on Education Abroad.

Twenty-eight professionals, who are actively engaged in the work of integrating mentored UR and diversity/global learning, participated in the three-hour think tank. Four faculty from Elon co-facilitated two of three World Café breakout sessions. Associate Professor of Religious Studies Amy Allocco and Associate Professor of Anthropology Mussa Idris co-facilitated a session on “Local-global partnerships and UR mentoring practices during a pandemic.” Eric Hall and Caroline Ketcham, both professors of exercise science, co-facilitated “Salient practices for distance mentoring of UR.” The third breakout featured Eric Hartman and Nora Reynolds from Haverford College and The Community-Based Global Learning Collaborative, who talked about “Flipped classroom, open-access introductions to participatory methods across power differentials.

Also included among the 28 participants were Elon faculty members Matt Buckmaster, Jen Hamel, and Paul Miller.

Jennifer Wiley, Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Eric Hartman, Nora Reynolds, Kate Patch, Paul Miller, Darla Deardorff, and Elizabeth Frohlich participated in this World Café discussion.

The think tank concluded with a session on building a collaboration and developing next steps, facilitated by Kris Acheson-Clair of Purdue University and Jennifer Wiley of James Madison University. Acheson-Clair identified three particularly salient themes in the conversation: 1) Increasing access to UR opportunities in global contexts in our new virtual context; 2) Emphasizing intercultural/global outcomes of undergraduate global research with intentionality and accountability; and 3) Attending to key issues of power differentials, impact, and sustainability. Future actions by the group include collaborative research proposals, presentations, and publications, as well as building a hub of resources to share more broadly.

To read more on the event, follow this link to access a featured article at ‘Today at Elon.’