November 30, 2020

Ten faculty members travel to Hawaii for conference, explain new global citizenship program

Courtesy of Karen Burch – Ten faculty members presented on the Global Citizenship program at the annual International Education Conference in Hawaii Jan. 5. The program is set to launch in August.


Ten Webster University faculty members traveled to Hawaii for thetenth annual International Education Conference, which began Thursday Jan. 5 and lasted through Sunday Jan. 8. Every year, over 1,500 faculty members from universities in China, Japan, Australia, Europe and other areas around the globe attend the conference.  They exchange ideas, information and research about ways to help students learn in the classroom. This year, Webster educators from all five schools in the university presented an array of topics — one panel discussed Webster University’s new general education program. It is called the Global Citizenship Program (GCP) and will be implemented in fall 2012 for incoming freshmen.

“One of the things that’s different about the Global Citizenship Program from the general education program we have now is that it’s designed to have a beginning, middle and end, instead of a random cafeteria line of things you might sample,” Bruce Umbaugh, philosophy professor and GCP panelist, said.

The new program is more structured and designed to tie lessons learned in various coursework together. It is also designed to put the university’s mission statement into action. Students from every school in the university — excluding conservatory students — will be expected to take a first year seminar as they do now. Then they will move on to a collection of courses that share common ideas. The program will conclude with the Global Keystone Seminar for students to bring together their coursework with their major and intended areas of study, Umbaugh said.

“It offers more interdisciplinary (coursework),” Scott Jensen, school of communications (SOC) professor and GCP panelist, said.  “It’s more intentional in its design to arrive at measurable and important outcomes that is also consistent with the direction Webster is taking.”

Quinn Shao, computer sciences professor, collaborated with Roy Tamashiro, MA Education and Innovation coordinator, to do research in China from 2009 to 2010 to create the paper they presented at the Hawaii conference this year.  The paper discussed China’s technological prowess.

“China is the fastest growing nation in the world — the number one destination for IT development and outsourcing,” Shao said. “It is important to exchange ideas of what is found in China regarding computing and technology.”

The Hawaii International Education Conference covers a broad range of topics. Most conferences for educators are discipline specific and do not bring different nations together to learn from one another.  Also, because other conference topics are more focused, less faculty members attend at a time.  This was Jensen’s first time going to the Hawaii International Education Conference, but he attends around 3-4 other conferences a year.  In those other conferences, about 3-4 faculty members attend.

This conference gives Webster a chance to promote its ideas and innovative programs to schools all over the world, Shao said, who has presented in the Hawaii International Conference on Education two times prior to this year.

“The thing about this conference is that it’s the only one I’ve been to with such a cross-section of the university there,” Jensen said. “We had all five schools of Webster represented.”

Webster faculty members presented other seminars at the conference, including Promoting Engagement and Accountability in Teaching Undergraduate Reading Classes, Education for Universal Consciousness and 21st Century Enlightenment, Unleashing Human Potential: Education for the Second Wave of Outer Space Development and China’s Advances in Computing and Technology: Insights from Instructors and Students.

Professors also attended other presentations from other schools.  Topics included cyber-bullying and faith labels in class discussions, among others.


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