Whitman College is embarking on a Global Studies Initiative (GSI), a large-scale effort to globalize our liberal arts curriculum and our campus as a whole. The first step of this Initiative will be occurring over the next three years, thanks to a grant of $345,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant will allow us to put the academic cornerstone of our Global Studies Initiative firmly into place: globalizing our traditional liberal arts curriculum in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Specifically, we will do the following during the three-year grant period:
- Three Faculty Development Seminars and Annual Symposium: Each fall semester during the grant period, eight faculty who have expressed an interest in playing a leading role in our Global Studies Initiative will participate in an intensive faculty development seminar to study globalization through a variety of disciplinary lenses. During the seminar, participating faculty will produce working papers and lead discussion groups for an annual campus-wide Global Studies Symposium. The seminar will also host a prominent visiting scholar with expertise in globalization or issues of global significance, who will keynote the symposium, and seminar participants will coordinate additional campus-wide activities such as art exhibits and film presentations. When each faculty development seminar is completed, these eight participants then go on to play leading roles in globalizing our curriculum as described below.
- Three Summer Faculty Development and Course Enhancement Workshops: Each year four faculty who participated in the development seminar will lead a one-week course development workshop the following summer for up to 10 additional faculty members from across the College. The goal of these summer workshops will be to work with faculty from a wide variety of disciplines to integrate global issues, perspectives, and critical analyses into existing courses at the College.
- Collaborative Curricular Innovations: Each year, the other four participants from the fall faculty development seminar will create two new, team-taught courses on global themes. These courses will be highly interdisciplinary, and might focus on global themes such as global health, environment, trade and culture.
- Global Studies Director: The grant will provide partial support for a part-time Global Studies Director (1/2 of the part-time salary) as we build and launch a successful program in the first three years of the Initiative. The Global Studies Director will administer the Mellon Grant and coordinate the many assets we already have on campus to support our Global Studies Initiative, including endowed lectureships and speaker series, a thriving study abroad program, international fellowships and service learning opportunities for graduates, and more. The Director will also be responsible for organizing the annual symposium and for ongoing assessment of all aspects of our Global Studies Initiative. After the grant period, this crucial appointment will be made permanent with institutional funding.
The long-term objective of our Global Studies Initiative is to develop a critical focus on globalization at Whitman College. This grant will allow us to begin the process through faculty development opportunities; we also hope to gain additional funding to expand foreign language offerings, to enhance study abroad opportunities, to add opportunities for international student/faculty research, and to bring more international students and scholars to campus.
Global Studies Initiative Faculty
Alberto S. Galindo