Lois B - Binghamton University by okyestao


									                 Lois B. DeFleur International Innovation Fund Report
                                      January 2013

The Lois B. De Fleur International Innovation Fund (IIF), in its first five funding cycles, has had a
significant impact on the advancement of Binghamton University’s internationalization. A
variety of units and individuals across campus have been able to pursue creative ideas in
support of the development of faculty international expertise, new learning opportunities for
students, enhanced professional staff service, and the advancement of broad university goals.
Taken together the projects strengthen our infrastructure and provide models for others to
emulate and adapt. The IIF projects lend a welcome balance to our international initiatives by
providing international learning for staff and students right here in New York as well as support
for expansion of cost-effective, high quality programs that take faculty and students abroad.

Of note is the strategic thinking underlying many of the projects in which multiple dimensions
of a partnership are being pursued simultaneously along with broad research, learning, and
student recruitment goals. Such approaches maximize a project’s potential and position it for
long term success. Some projects also demonstrate that while learning about other societies
and cultures is paramount, it is also possible, in fact highly desirable, to be engaged in discovery
and knowledge production collaboratively with faculty and students in other countries. Several
projects have opened up the African continent to Binghamton University. All of the early
projects continue to shape the current iterations of their programs.

The IIF is admired for the way it inspires and supports creative endeavors. In the recent
Roadmap planning discussions, the Global Engagement Team took inspiration from the IIF, and
its successes, and proposed expanded funding of this type to support the development of
global expertise among faculty and staff so that international education at the University
reaches its highest potential, and is accessible to as many members of our community as
possible. Recipients of IIF grants express their deep appreciation for the generosity of the
individuals who maintain the program as do those who benefit from it or observe the fine

Projects Funded in 2012

Establishment of a Virtual Research Institute with Viswakarma Institute of Technology (VIT),
Pune, India

Professor Bruce Murray of the Watson School is using his IIF grant for the establishment of a
virtual research institute between faculty and students from Binghamton University’s
Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Mechanical Engineering and Industrial and
Production Engineering Departments at VIT. The initial focus of the research will be on thermal
analysis related to the design and manufacturing of key automotive components for hybrid and
electric vehicles. Once established the research will be conducted at both universities by
faculty and graduate students. Binghamton undergraduate students also will be able to
participate. Publication and dissemination of the research results will be done jointly. The
initial collaboration will position Binghamton to seek funding from the National Science
Foundation through their new program entitled Science Across Virtual Institutes.

Bridging the Professional Divide: Binghamton University and the University of the Free State

An exchange of professional staff members in Communications and Marketing from
Binghamton University and the University of the Free State (UFS) has been inaugurated with an
IIF grant. Visits take place for approximately two weeks. This project offers an idea exchange
for communications professionals at both institutions through which they can explore the
similarities and differences in context, philosophies, values, and institutional goals for the
practice of their profession in a university environment. During the fall semester 2012, Rachel
Coker hosted two colleagues from UFS. Their program at Binghamton University focused on
internal communication, media and public relations, online communication, emergency
communication, alumni communication, and research advancement. This project feeds into
the student exchange between Binghamton and UFS because the communications
professionals have organized student experiences to explore how race relations are depicted in
the media in both countries.

Kenya/Binghamton University Linkages via Computational Chemistry

Building on his 2009-2010 Fulbright year in Kenya, Professor James Dix continues to work with
Kenyan collaborators to build a computational chemistry infrastructure for East Africa.
Computational chemistry is useful in Kenya because it requires only a computer and Internet
access. Its immediate value is for the development of natural products as commercial drugs
and models of pollution flow through various water sources. Professor Dix is using his IIF grant
for a return trip to Kenya to train faculty in computational methodologies and develop
instructional materials that can be used to teach computational chemistry in an internet based
course involving both Binghamton and Kenyan students. The Chemistry Department has a long
tradition of attracting graduate students from Kenya; at this stage Professor Dix is formalizing
an agreement with the University of Nairobi to fast track one or more top chemistry students
into our doctoral program each year. This project exemplifies the multi-dimensional thinking
that combines research, teaching, service and student recruitment, giving us the opportunity to
leverage a collaboration to its maximum benefit. The project demonstrates how Binghamton
University can be truly engaged in another part of the world learning from local faculty and
students and joining them in creating knowledge.

Studying and Documenting Traditional Dance Forms in Ghana

Professor James Burns from the Department of Music together with Binghamton alumnus and
dance instructor Marcel March will spend three weeks in Ghana making audio-visual recordings
of ten traditional dances from various regions of Ghana. This project will provide archival

material for research scholars and will be used at Binghamton to increase the repertoire of the
performing ensemble, Nukporfe, a student performance group of African dance and music.
This Binghamton group gives concerts and workshops throughout the Northeastern United
States and has performed at Cornell, Tufts, and Princeton universities and at Advocacy Day in
Albany. The material also will provide sufficient repertoire to sustain the African dance courses
offered in the Theatre Department. Each semester 100-120 students take the African dance
courses. They will use this archival material not only to learn the traditional dances themselves
but to create new dances. Copies of the recordings will be placed in the University Libraries
and on You Tube for the widest possible dissemination of the archival footage. With this
material Nukporfe will have a sophisticated dance repertoire that will sustain the group for a
number of years in the future, and students in the dance classes will be able to progress from
beginning to more advanced levels. Professor Burns will also use this trip to re-organize the
Ghana study abroad program to make it more affordable when it is offered during winter
intersession 2014.

Bioengineering Capstone Design: a Collaborative Effort with the Village of Saylla, Peru.

Expanding on the relationship established with community leaders in the village of Saylla, Peru
by the Center for Civic Engagement (see 2011 IIF awards below), a team of bioengineering
students have successfully designed and fabricated a water filter for the residents of the
remote mountain village of Saylla, Peru. During the current academic year, Professor George
Catalano will visit Saylla to meet with local engineers and plan additional engineering projects
which students in their senior capstone seminar course can complete. The goal is to develop
on-going relationships with the Peruvian engineers so that projects can be discussed and
implemented through electronic communications. Binghamton students can conduct the
design and fabricate work without traveling; however our past experience shows that students
like the opportunity to deliver their work in person and work with local residents on
implementation so the summer 2013 service learning program to Saylla will be very attractive
to these bioengineers. This project fits with broader Watson goals that encourage senior
engineering students in various engineering fields to develop projects for less advantaged
communities and complements the work of faculty and students in Watson’s Society of
Hispanic Engineers and those involved with Engineers Without Borders.

Projects Funded in 2011

Oral History Project: Immigration from Germany 1945-1970

This project guides student exploration of intercultural differences through immigration in their
own communities and let them investigate if and how the differences were overcome.
Professor Harald Zils has students in his course focus on German immigration between 1945
and 1970, a generation of foreigners that came from a country that had been defeated in war
and that was watched closely and suspiciously. The project brings together undergraduate
students and senior citizens from Broome County or the students’ home communities who
were first generation immigrants from Germany. Through private one-on-one conversations,
students research personal and family biographies, the reasons for coming to the United States,
the economic situation then, and the challenges and opportunities for integration. This project
was funded primarily by the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD); the IIF secondary
funding was important in providing institutional cost-sharing support to secure the DAAD grant

The Oral History project contributes to a number of Binghamton’s priorities: developing
research opportunities for undergraduate students, cultivating our relationship with New York
communities, and providing international/intercultural learning opportunities right here on
campus and in our state. The most recent group of students to participate in the program in
the fall 2012 semester presented their findings at a public forum held at the Broome County
Public Library.

Translation and Publication of Safety-Related and Informational Brochure

The New York State University police are using an IIF grant to translate a selection of brochures
and handouts, which are currently used in orientation and workshops with students regarding
the services the unit offers to make Binghamton University a safe and secure place to work,
learn, and live. International students’ experience of University policing may be very different
from that of their home country and even more specifically the highly specialized field of
policing in a university setting that has a long tradition of Community Policing with an emphasis
on service. Timothy Faughnan and his staff are collaborating with the Office of International
Student and Scholar Services to implement this project. They have chosen the languages of
Chinese, Turkish, Korean, and Spanish for the translations. Once translated the materials will
be used on an on-going basis at the many venues in which the police present information and
conduct discussions and workshops. The material will also be available on the web site.

Binghamton University-Saylla Service Learning Partnership - Peru

The Binghamton University-Saylla Service Learning Partnership project is an outgrowth of
connections made by Dr. Allison Alden, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, with the
Deputy Mayor of Cusco, the Mayor of the municipality of Saylla, and Binghamton alumna Dahlia
Green, founder of the non-profit service organization Corazon de Dahlia. The IIF grant
supported Ms. Kerry Cook, formally of the Center for Civic Engagement and now from the
Office of International Programs, to visit Cusco and Saylla and lay the organizational and
logistical foundation for Binghamton’s first service learning program abroad. The first program
will take place in summer 2013. A course titled Local Development in the Andes will be taught
by Public Administration Professor Susan Appe who will be accompanied by Nadia Rubbaii –
Barnett as Co-Director. This project is important because service learning study abroad
program opportunities are expanding nationally as a component of international education and
there is expected to be significant interest from students in such opportunities. This pilot
project will become the model for effective, highly responsible service learning programs at
Binghamton in the future.

Projects Funded in 2010

Proposal for Innovative Programmatic Linkages between Binghamton University and the
University of Botswana

The Geography Department at Binghamton University has used its IIF grant to forge a
partnership with the School of Environmental Sciences of the University of Botswana for
collaborative research, joint on-line delivery of courses, and study abroad programs. The
collaboration focuses on race, ethnicity and place, environmental health and health disparities
and spacial statistics. The IIF grant allowed Professors Norah Henry and John Frazier to travel to
Botswana to initiate formal discussions, identify the first collaborative research project, and
plan the study abroad program. In summer 2012 the first 14 students studied comparative
health and urbanization in Botswana together with a group of Botswana students led by
Professors Florence Margai, Mark Reisinger, Henry and Frazier. The program was rich with field
work and excursions in which students explored the landscapes of the Kalahari Desert and the
wildlife of the Okavango Delta. The next study abroad program will take place in 2013. Since
its inception the project has yielded one visiting scholar from Botswana and a recently -
admitted, fully funded master’s graduate students for Geography. This project offers a model
for how one department has thought holistically about international engagement for both
faculty and students, integrating research, distance learning goals, graduate student
recruitment, and its values for a rigorous, affordable study abroad experience for majors and
other students.

Binghamton University and South Africa’s University of the Free State (UFS) Build a

Professor Josephine Allen and Ms. Jennifer Marshall, Field Coordinator, both from the
Department of Social Work traveled to the University of the Free State (UFS) to formalize a
relationship with the Department of Social Work and develop field placements for a study
abroad program. The program includes a focus on micro and macro social work practice and is
designed to help prepare students to work with clients who are racially, ethnically, and
culturally diverse. This destination is valuable because the University of the Free State is highly
committed to preparing its students to be leaders and participants in South Africa’s agenda for
social transformation. The initial result of this trip is that in 2012 16 students traveled to a
“Global Summit” hosted by the University of the Free State which brought students from
around the world to consider issues of race and diversity. The South African destination was
highly attractive to Binghamton students; the first group included both graduate and
undergraduate students from the College of Community and Public Affairs and Harpur College.
The program will next be offered in 2014 with a well-developed service learning component.
The foundational experience we gained with this first group enabled the School of Management
to send two faculty members and a group of 20 Price Waterhouse students to South Africa
during the winter intersession 2013.
Projects Funded in 2009

Community Nursing in the Dominican Republic

Joyce Ferrario used the IIF grant to develop a partnership between the Faculty of Nursing at the
Universidad Pontificia Maestro Maria in the Dominican Republic and the Decker School of
Nursing. A group of Decker faculty traveled to the Dominican Republic in January 2010 to gain
an understanding of the country’s health care delivery system, community health issues, and
the cultural sensitivity that would enable a fruitful partnership. The site visit included
discussion with nursing school counterparts to identify areas for collaboration and projects for
which external funds can be sought. Further development of the Decker School‘s summer
Dominican Republic study abroad program was enhanced by building ties to the Nursing School.
The project is an important example of how support can take a project minimally developed by
one faculty member and provide professional development for additional faculty members so
they can take on responsibilities to advance the initial program and subsequent projects. Since
this initial trip, Decker faculty have collaborated to offer professional development
opportunities for Dominican counterparts and support the study abroad program.

Strengthening Binghamton University’s partnership with Beijing Normal University Library:

With the development of the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies and the
scholarly interest in Asia across Binghamton University, the library experiences a high demand
for Chinese language materials which cannot be met in the current fiscal climate. The Beijing
Normal University Library is considered one of the largest and most comprehensive research
libraries in China. Recently Binghamton University and BNU signed a memorandum of
understanding to begin a book exchange. The IIF grant was used to initiate visits between
librarians of both institutions to collaborate on the use of library technology, collection
planning, materials processing, and instructional pedagogy. Possible projects included a
reciprocal interlibrary loan, cooperation on processing library collections by using the Chinese
and English language expertise of both partners and jointly developing effective instructional
pedagogical methods for differing cultural environments. Since the grant was funded both
libraries have worked on book exchange and collection development.

Developing a Global Gateway on the Web

Proposed by Rachel Coker on behalf of the Binghamton University Globalistas (BUGS), a
volunteer group of Binghamton University faculty, staff and students, the Binghamton
University Globalistas (BUGS), have collaborated with the Office of International Programs to
enhance and develop the University’s global web presence. The group proposed the
development of a robust, interactive Web portal to link campus departments, organizations,
and individuals with an international focus. The site, when fully implemented, will feature a
calendar of international events on campus as well as video and image galleries of international
events and of University community members studying and working abroad. A key component
of this Web portal will be a database featuring the international interests and expertise of
students, faculty and staff, which will be interactive to promote networking among the
members of the campus community with shared international interests. Over time it has
become apparent that some of the features imagined for the web site are best developed
through social media which Globalistas have carried out.

Projects Funded in 2008

Collaborative Online International Learning in German Studies

The spring 2009 course “Current Trends in German Studies” introduced fifteen undergraduates
to a “pan-aroma” of recent, ongoing research in German Studies. Professor Harald Zils used the
IIF grant to prepare a video conferencing course by inviting young German scholars located in
Germany, Canada, Armenia, and other parts of the US to discuss their research with the
students. The course showed them how colorful and broad the field has become while
teaching them about various aspects of German culture. The wide range of topics included
aristocratic ideas in German political thinking, the politics of cosmopolitanism in the German
sports world, German immigration to Pittsburgh, and the question of whether there is a unified
German literature. Students were fascinated by the behind-the-scenes glimpses into various
issues and the discussions stimulated very high quality term papers. The IIF grant enabled the
necessary travel to meet with some of the scholars during the preparation period for a course
that was challenging to design. It also enabled Binghamton to test our technology to deliver
such a course through which we gained a better understanding of the possibilities and
limitations. Professor Zils now invites virtual guest speakers into other courses. The projects
are also a model for others to emulate, and the results have been disseminated to the SUNY
Center for Online International Learning and Binghamton’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

Shenzhen University and the College of Community and Public Affairs

An international and comparative theme has been part of the Master of Public Administration
Program since 2000 in the belief that leadership in the public and non-profit sectors must take
into account the welfare of citizens in the “global village.” However, students have not taken
much advantage of international experiences that were suggested to them. An organized
short-term program with an international partner sharing common interests appeared to be
one solution. Professor Thomas Sinclair used his IIF grant to visit Shenzhen University,
Shenzhen, China, location of one of China’s fasted growing modern cities in which considerable
urban planning has taken place. During the 2010 winter intersession 10 students studied in
Shenzhen with Professor Sinclair. The course covered issues related to the political economy of
China, Chinese contemporary culture, issues arising with rapid urban development, and local
public administration practices. Participants included 7 MPA students and 3 economics
undergraduates. For all MPA students this program was their first significant international
travel experience. CCPA has since hosted students from Shenzhen during the 2011 and 2012
summers. The planning for the project exemplifies how to establish a study abroad opportunity
for students who have previously been unable to access such experiences. New collaborative
learning projects are in the planning stages for CCPA and Shenzhen students.

International Alumni Advancement

Dan Polhamus’ application for an IIF grant stated that “development and implementation of a
comprehensive alumni advancement initiative is imperative to the global competence of the
University.” An International Advancement Committee had been formed to begin thinking
systematically about how this area of endeavor should be addressed. Based on the group’s
assessment of international alumni demographics, several key countries were identified on
which to focus. In receiving IIF grant support, Dan Polhamus has established a foundation for
ongoing alumni activity in Turkey and Korea. In Korea the IIF grant made possible a spectacular
alumni event November 1, 2009, featuring President DeFleur as keynote speaker. Over 80
alumni and parents attended this lively event during which leadership from among the Koreans
themselves emerged to continue activities of benefit and interest to the Korean alumni
themselves. In Turkey and Korea alumni events now take place on an annual basis.

Integrating Study Abroad Students into the Local Community

Professor Dora Polachek has used her IIF grant to explore possible extracurricular and volunteer
activities for students choosing to study abroad through Binghamton University’s Paris program
at the Sorbonne. She developed a survey instrument that was delivered to 200 students here
on campus taking language courses. Then on the basis of responses received concerning what
students participate in here at BU, she set out to find comparable activities in which to be
involved while studying in Paris. Returning with a variety of possibilities that included sports,
music, volunteer work, and professional internships, Professor Polachek worked with students
so they could begin to participate in these activities for the first time during the spring
semester, 2010.

The goal of this project was to find ways of helping students truly integrate into another culture
by finding activities with which they have a comfort level because they have been engaged in
similar activities in the US. As students quickly find out, campus life as they know it does not
exist in France (or in other countries for the most part). The idea is to have a systematic way of
making these opportunities available for our students studying in Paris, but also to create a
prototype that can be emulated in other study abroad programs in other countries. Since this
pilot project, the Paris-based staff for the program have continued to develop activities and
internships for participants.

Report prepared by
Dr. Katharine Krebs
Vice Provost for International Affairs
January 8, 2013


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