2019 Global Engagement Grant Awardees

A5: The Augmented Atlas for Architecture and Landscape Architecture Abroad 1
Dongying Li, Ph., PI
Assistant Professor
Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning
College of Architecture

Co-PI: Galen Newman, Ph.D.Amir Behzadan, Ph.D.Shinjiro Sueda, Ph.D.Ture Petersenn, M.A.

The aim of this project is to develop and evaluate an innovative method of architectural study abroad via “human-digital-context-time” interaction (HDCTI). This platform, referred to as the Augmented Atlas for Architecture and Landscape Architecture Abroad (A5), will transform the traditional passive field study experiences using virtual reality (VR) and location-based augmented reality (AR) technologies. The project facilitates information acquisition and the horizontal sharing of information among both affluent students (who can afford to participate in trips abroad) and financially disadvantaged students (who may not be able to afford such international trips); the information will also be shared and acquired vertically among students and study abroad instructors across multiple years. We will use the established Bonn, Germany Study Abroad program as the test bed. A digital spatial model of Bonn will be created using a hierarchy of high, medium and low attribute resolution areas. Based on the structure, we will develop a 3- dimensional VR experience for immersive architectural visits, and a mobile augmented reality (AR) system for on-site interactivity and content embedment during students’ study abroad experiences. Our project is a collaborative effort across several programs from two Colleges, benefiting around 20 students from College of Architecture who participate in the Bonn program, more than 1000 students who take architecture and landscape architecture history classes each year, as well as 20 students from College of Engineering who are involved in the platform development. Beyond the Bonn program itself which concentrates on design-related disciplines, the A5 platform could be applied in a wide variety study aboard programs within the College, such as the UK program offered in the Department of Construction Science, as well as field studies in a variety of other disciplines across campus. This project also presents an innovative approach toward equity in education by enriching the immersive learning opportunities provided for disadvantaged students.

Global Engagement Grant--Germany Biosciences Semester Program

Virginia Fajt DVM, PhD, PI
Clinical Professor
Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Co-PI:  Saurabh Biswas, PhDJeremy Wasser, PhD

The Germany Biosciences Semester Program is an already existing, highly successful, study abroad program with a strong interdisciplinary element with close collaboration between the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Dwight Look College of Engineering. Our program provides an immersive academic and cultural experience for students designed to be transformative, both professionally and personally. A critical element of the program is the semester- long design project carried out in collaboration with our German partner, the biotechnology firm, enmodes, GmbH. Students work on a real-world biomedical design project in an international milieu with implications for real patients. We propose to build on the success of this program by:
(1) engaging additional TAMU faculty from both of the participating Colleges by bringing them to Germany for site visits with our students and industry partners
(2) engaging additional European academic, clinical and industry professionals to present guest lectures and hold workshops throughout the semester abroad
(3) expanding intercultural awareness and communications training for our students
(4) continuing to provide and to build on opportunities for graduate students to participate in the program as instructors
(5) introducing the students to a nationally adopted training platform -- I-CorpsTM (Innovation Corps) started by National Science Foundation and developing our program further as an "incubator" for preparing students for international internships with European companies, governmental and non-governmental agencies by establishing further relationships with
these entities and facilitating students entry into the international scientific and
technological arenas
(6) establishing and formalizing a "pipeline" program for undergraduate and recent graduates to intern with enmodes GmbH.

Revolutionizing Science & Engineering Education in Food Engineering - A TAMU-UPV Collaboration

Rosana G. Moreira PhD, PI
Professor, Food Engineering
Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
M. Elena Castell-Perez, PhD, PI
Professor of Food Engineering
Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Maria Barrufet, PhD, PI
Professor of Petroleum Engineering
Department of Petroleum Engineering
College of Engineering
The proposed global engagement initiative is designed to provide 21st century education to students in Engineering, Food Science, and Agricultural Business Management fields. The Mission is to provide valuable experiences to TAMU students focusing in part on the future domains of Food Science and Engineering education. Through culture awareness and creativity, our students will improve technical and soft skills essential to compete in a globally integrated society. The students will learn the most recent advances in food engineering and technology in the area of enginomics, innovations in food engineering, cultural awareness, and social responsibility. Students will understand how food science and engineering impacts new knowledge and tools to excel in a highly-competitive global economy and changing markets and consumer needs. TAMU students will interact with Spanish undergraduate peers as part of multidimensional teams. This experience will prepare the students to succeed in international careers.
McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship Global Entrepreneurship Initiative (GEI)

Donald Lewis, MBA, PI
Executive Professor
Department of Management Director
McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship
Mays Business School

Patricia Thornton, PhD, PI
Department of Sociology
College of Liberal Arts
Janet Parish, PhD, PI
Clinical Professor; Associate Department Head; Director of Professional Selling Initiative
Department of Marketing
Mays Business School

The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship’s Global Entrepreneurship Initiative (GEI) seeks to provide students with high impact entrepreneurial experiences in multiple locations, including programs in Belgium, Chile, and Cuba, and potentially expanding to Ireland, Eastern Europe, and Central America. The Initiative goes beyond traditional study abroad by simulating international business scenarios by teaching students using innovative results-oriented pedagogy developed by Texas A&M professors and staff that aims to transform students into global entrepreneurial thinkers. For student participants, the 1-year, 3-credit, faculty-led study abroad program consists of three phases that focus on providing a unique experience working with foreign entrepreneurs.

The first phase takes place at Texas A&M University and begins with research and goal-setting, including pre-departure meetings and courses with faculty covering topics including entrepreneurship, socio-cultural factors within business, problem recognition, and personal reflection. During phase one, students will build relationships with pre-selected startups by contacting agents of the businesses and reading about their company. The second phase involves travel to the respective country for a cross- cultural immersion experience. Students connect with startups abroad with the goal to assess and advise these startups and businesses. Groups will critically evaluate these startups with instructor guidance and offer specific recommendations based on a set of problem statements. The third phase takes place at the end of the program, where students provide feedback to improve the program’s quality and help its perpetuation.

On completion of all three phases, interested students will apply for another year of the program to assist with recruiting new students and serve as mentors, leaders and teaching assistants. Students’ performance in the first year of the program and demonstrated leadership potential determines their selection for the second year of the program.

While initially the students will do exercises evaluating the startups and businesses, the long- term vision for the program is to expand in two ways: Working with foreign startups and businesses to import products for sale in a student-run retail lab on the Texas A&M campus and adding a language component with the College of Liberal Arts. Through the import process, students identify products that have market demand in the U.S., and then conduct a business deal with them by purchasing products to import to the United States for sale at a student retail lab. Currently no program at Texas A&M University allows students to have hands-on experience conducting international business and importing products for sale. Incorporating students in various language courses as live translators throughout this exchange will offer another dimension to the GEI. The GEI aims to work closely with the College of Liberal Arts to offer an additional learning experience for their language studies students to apply their studies to a real-world scenario.