Vandermaas-Peeler and Buckmaster receive Colonial Academic Alliance grant through James Madison University

The grant will fund a study looking at the interaction between a student's characteristics and the experiences they have while studying abroad.

Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Research on Global Engagement, and Matt Buckmaster, associate professor of music and assistant dean of global education, were awarded $7,656 from James Madison University for their work on the project, “Engaging Difference: A Deep Dive into the Assessment of Transformative Learning.” This is part of a $40,000 Innovate/Collaborate (IN/CO) grant awarded by the Colonial Academic Alliance.

The study will address the complex interaction between student characteristics (demographic variables providing information about who the students are) and the experiences they have during or after the study abroad/away. Participants in all off-campus study programs offered at James Madison University and Elon University will be invited to participate in the study in the first year to maximize response rate.

In the subsequent years, additional CAA institutions will be invited to participate in the project. Semester-long and short-term for-credit study abroad and study away programs will be included in the study.

Vandermaas-Peeler and Buckmaster will be joined in this project by Olivia Choplin, associate professor of French, Amanda Sturgill, associate professor of communications, and Nina Namaste, associate professor of Spanish.