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Global Engagement Grant Recipients 2018


Building a Joint Academic Program with Ocean University of China through a Semester-Long Environmental Resilience Curriculum
E. Brendan Roark, P.I.
Associate Professor, Department of Geography
Director, Environmental Programs in Geosciences
College of Geosciences

Co-PI:  Frederick 0. Boadu, Jack G. Baldauf, Kim E. Dooley, Christian Brannstrom
 
This project is an immersive semester-long environmental-focused study abroad program at Ocean University of China targeting several hundred TAMU undergraduates (ENST-GE; ENGS; ENST-AG; BESC). The program focuses on increasing global awareness and competencies of TAMU undergraduates by pairing TAMU and Chinese students in classes about environmental resilience taught by TAMU faculty. This kind of interaction goes beyond a traditional study abroad and includes significant cultural immersion components. The program includes a rigorous assessment plan aiming to improve program quality and establish foundation for future sustainability. Our innovative program fills a major open niche in TAMU study abroad programs—demand for a semester-long China program led by TAMU faculty members—in collaboration across several undergraduate programs in two Colleges. In addition the program complements prior research collaborations and builds upon substantial efforts between TAMU faculty and administrators to build stronger academic and research ties with Chinese colleagues.
 
MARA-LIST School of Law Maritime Global Engagement Initiative – Switzerland/Malta
Joan Mileski, P.I.
Department Head & Professor
Department of Maritime Administration & Marine Science Texas A&M University at Galveston
Bush School of Government and Public Service (Online)
 
Co-PI:  Charlotte Ku, JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz, Cassia BÖmer Galvão

This project focuses in developing an immersion into the United Nations (UN) activities related to the maritime transportation activities. The Maritime industry is a highly regulated sector and its main characteristic is to be international by nature. The UN and their specialized agencies (like IMO) are responsible for designing and implementing several of the regulations that are in place in the maritime sector. UN related organizations (like UNCTAD and the WTO) also deal with several aspects of the regulation, arbitration and development of world trade. This immersion is structured in three steps. First, the students will take a two-week course on campus for familiarization with the UN’s organization, concepts, challenges and trends; second, the students will be taken on a field trip to three different strategic locations of UN offices. The first stop will be at UN Headquarters in New York; the second will be at UNCTAD office at Geneva; and the third stop will be at Malta where the IMLI (International Maritime Law Institute) is located. Finally, we will return to campus to summarize and assess the trip’s learning outcomes. We anticipate that this project’s major impact will be in the students’ global awareness about the international maritime affairs related to trade, public policy, and law. Students attending this initiative will be offered a multidisciplinary perspective of the international maritime reality given by Professors that are experts in International Policy, Law and Business and by experiencing a field trip to strategic decision centers in the UN structure.

The Costa Rican Core Semester:  A sustainable, high-impact learning experience at the Soltis Center for Research and Education
Donald J. Brightsmith
P.I. Associate Professor
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
 
Co-PI:  Eugenio Gonzalez, Jane Flaherty, Jennifer Whitfield, Craig Coates, Hojun Song, Mariana Mateos, Cory Arcak, Ronald Vargas
 
The Costa Rica Core Semester Program will provide undergraduate students with high impact learning opportunities while efficiently completing TAMU core curriculum requirements. Students will explore an innovative combination of natural and social environments of Costa Rica through lectures, laboratories, field trips, homestays, and a service-learning project. Courses on ecology, entomology, history and mathematics will be woven together to provide students with the skills to analyze and report upon the natural diversity of the tropics and beyond. The course “History of the World Since 1500” will help students develop a deep cultural awareness that will guide them in understanding the place of Latin America within the past and current world. The program will be based at the Texas A&M University Soltis Center for Research and Education and builds on the program development expertise of the program director and the faculty’s decades of combined expertise in the region. During this 16 credit hour program, students will advance their degrees with 13 University Core Curriculum credits, an International Culture and Diversity course, a Cultural Discourse credit course, and a Writing Intensive course. All students will also study Spanish to help them integrate into both the Texas and international community while broadening their cultural awareness. This program will provide a unique transformative experience for TAMU students that will contribute to both their academic course and their life-long goals.
 
Mexican Reintegration Project
Huyen Pham, P.I.
Professor of Law
Texas A&M University School of Law
 
Co-PI:  Luz E. Herrera, Soniah Hernandez, Angela D. Morrison, Nancy Plankey-Videla
 
The phenomenon of deportees returning to Mexico is significant for humanitarian, legal, economic, and social reasons. In 2017, the number of interior removals from the United States increased by 30% from 2016. Media reports of individuals detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in front of schools, homes, and job sites have become commonplace in Texas.
 
This project’s objective is to help TAMU students better understand the complexity of the deportation phenomenon through experiential learning, research inquiries, and service projects. We want our students to see firsthand the difficulties that deportees face, by visiting reintegration centers in Mexico, interviewing deportees, and doing internships with the centers that are assisting deportees. Our activities will address the following research questions:

  • What challenges do Mexican deportees face?
  • As they try to re-integrate, how do deportees fare economically, socially, and psychologically?
  • What is the impact of deportation on family members left in the U.S.?

We plan to share our research by convening services providers and attorneys who work with Mexican deportees (and those at risk of being deported) at Hacienda Santa Clara at the end of our three year study. Engaging students in this work that has binational impact is critical to training global leaders. Also, in keeping with core Aggie values, our students will work on service projects, include compiling legal information to help deportees wrap up their financial and other affairs in the U.S. and sharing this information through community presentations, both in the U.S. and Mexico.