Study abroad faculty director of the year
September 15, 2017
UD faculty invited to propose Winter Session study abroad programs
The University of Delaware’s Institute for Global Studies (IGS) has opened the online proposal form to UD faculty interested in directing a study abroad program during Winter Session 2019. The deadline for submitting a proposal is Dec. 1, 2017.
Program design and location vary widely. During the 2016-17 academic year, 77 faculty led 59 programs, spanning all seven of UD’s colleges and six continents.
In addition to session-long programs, faculty may choose to lead a micro-mester program, which offer three credits and are three weeks in length, to a location that requires less than 10 hours of travel by plane.
Before submitting a new proposal, faculty are asked to review current offerings and to be strategic in developing a program which diversifies the countries, cultures, languages or disciplines offered. Programs should also align with the academic department’s global education goals and have a clear, relevant and sustainable target audience.
Those interested in learning more or refining their existing study abroad program are encouraged to visit the faculty section of the IGS website.
A Legacy of Faculty-led Internationalization
UD was one of the first U.S. institutions to champion international higher education when Raymond Kirkbride, an instructor in the Modern Languages Department, led the nation’s first study abroad program in 1923. Nearly 95 years later, UD remains an innovator in the field and faculty continue to play an integral role.
In recognition of the steadfast contributions of UD faculty, IGS annually names one Study Abroad Faculty Director of the Year. Douglas Miller, professor in the School of Marine Science & Policy, is the most recent recipient of the award for his work co-directing the 2017 Winter Session program to New Zealand.
“Doug Miller exemplifies the qualities of a successful faculty director,” noted Lisa Chieffo, associate director for Study Abroad. “Each of the program’s locations and activities was firmly grounded in the content of one of the courses, or had cultural or historic significance that enabled students to learn about aspects of New Zealand that they would not have experienced as tourists. In addition, Doug conveyed a caring and helpful attitude to students; it was always clear to them that he was there to help them learn, develop and overcome challenges.”
Miller has led multiple study abroad programs to New Zealand and Bonaire since 2005.
“I think we realized early on that New Zealand was the best place in the world to study Marine Biology and geology because there are amazing sites for biodiversity, culture and history,” Miller said. “We teach field classes at UD that have to go up and down the East Coast of the U.S. and to the West Coast to see as much diversity as what exists in New Zealand.”
The 17W program, co-led by associate professor Arthur Trembanis, allowed students to experience iconic locations like White Island, an active volcano, and explore mangroves, seagrass beds and rocky intertidal communities, among others.
It is this hands-on approach that won Miller praise among his students.
“Doug took pictures of almost everything that we saw,” one participant said in the anonymous nomination of Miller. “He made them available to us to study and to make connections. Rather than just learning about the species, we were able to experience them... I know am able to apply these concepts back home and have a much more extensive knowledge because of Doug's connections.”
Outside of the classroom, Miller took on a mentorship role with participants in the program.
“He pushed us to exit our comfort zones in order to have a fuller experience,” said a student in their anonymous nomination. “He was patient with my inquisitive nature and answered all of my questions whether they were related directly, indirectly or uncorrelated with the course materials.”
Another student commented, “Doug always encouraged us to try new things and immerse ourselves in New Zealand and I think the program would have been much different if Doug wasn't with us.”
About the Institute for Global Studies
The Institute for Global Studies (IGS) was created in 2009 to enhance the international dimensions of teaching, research and outreach at the University of Delaware. IGS provides leadership and support for programs and experiences that contribute to the education of informed, skilled, open-minded citizens of the world.
Best known for coordinating the University’s study abroad program, IGS also awards scholarships and grants to faculty and students, administers State Department-sponsored programs such as the UD Fulbright Initiative, Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Student Leaders Institute and the Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders on Women’s Leadership (SUSI-WL) program, and sponsors globally-focused events throughout the year.
IGS collaborates with campus partners, including the Office for International Students and Scholars, the Confucius Institute and the Center for Global and Area Studies. In addition, IGS partners with Enrollment Management to coordinate the UD World Scholars Program