Where Do We Go from Here? A Global Perspectives Essay on Trends in Design Higher Education

This post is the essay I wrote to close out my Global Perspectives Program experience. My research topics were trends in teaching & learning in the U.S. and Europe and Emerging Trends in Design Education, which I explored while developing the following paper. To learn more about our experience & the 2017 cohort, please visit the GPP website. Where Do We Go from Here? A Global Perspectives Essay on Trends in Design Higher Education The Global Perspectives Program (GPP) is about joining the future professoriate. The world is rich in geological, biological, and cultural diversity. Diversity is also present in institutions of higher … Continue Reading →

First Impressions of Switzerland

Arrival The six of us who traveled together made it into town on Saturday morning, at about 10:15 AM local time. We are 6 hours ahead of our normal timezone (Eastern) so the fact that we flew overnight helped a little bit because we at least had the opportunity to get in a catnap. (I “slept” somewhat restlessly on the plane for about 3 hours. It was better than nothing!) We went through customs as a group where we were greeted and passed by a very friendly agent. Afterwards, we found our way to the baggage claim carousels and retrieved … Continue Reading →

Pre-Trip Jitters

Tomorrow at 5:30 AM my journey begins. I’m all packed. My family is all packed. The car is mostly packed. The baby is asleep in her crib and my husband is asleep on the couch. In a little while I will wake him and send him to bed, where I am not long to follow. Before dawn, we will rise and make our way to Roanoke where I will board a train and begin working my way towards the rest of my friends and the Dean in Switzerland for the 2018 Global Perspectives Program. I am so excited and also … Continue Reading →

Women & Minority, Artists & Scholar Lecture: Saving Muslim Women

When I parked my CR-V on the side of Wall St. this afternoon at 4:55, I had no idea that by 6:55, I’d be sitting in Torgerson 3100 awaiting a lecture from Dr. Juliane Hammer, a specialist in Islamic studies and religion in the Americas from UNC Chapel Hill.  At the present moment, I sat, and reconsidered my parking choice. Although it was in a convenient location, I cringed while I took in the scene of broken branches that lay scattered all around the yard next to me. The oak I was parked under clearly lost them in the recent … Continue Reading →

Proud for Progress; Pressing on for Inclusion & Change

It’s HokiePRIDE week here at Virginia Tech and I am looking forward to participating when I can during this jam-packed week of activities and engagement at the university. This week, and in recent weeks, I’ve been thinking very hard about inclusion and acceptance. (Radical acceptance, really.) I am writing this post this week because I wanted to share some of the experiences of the people where I am from and to show a glimpse of the climate in Mississippi towards equal rights. I haven’t always been in places where the community was so supportive of and encouraging to people who … Continue Reading →

“The Blog” as a living, breathing, evolving body of work

The featured image is of saucer magnolias blossoming in front of Burruss Hall. Like these blossoms that are finally coming into their season, we graduate students are future faculty and we are beginning to come into our own as well. I’ve been thinking a lot about what the role of a blog is to academia. In this graduate class, like many others across Tech’s campus, blogging is a requirement for the course. Professors point to the blog as a space for sharing ideas, for collaboration, for practicing writing, and for developing a digital presence–kind of like a next generation CV … Continue Reading →

Planning for a Culture Shock

Early Observations While our actual departure to Switzerland seems like a long ways off (at 93 days away), I know that if I blink, it will be here in an instant. And so I have begun to plan my trip now in earnest. Part of the planning involves keeping a journal about the process, so I have been collecting my notes, ideas, and first impressions this week in an effort to try and wrap my brain around the culture I am soon to be immersed in. Ultimately, I feel like I’m preparing myself for a culture shock. Proper planning will … Continue Reading →

Citizen Scholar: Hike it Baby!

In my first semester at Virginia Tech, I was enrolled in GRAD 5204 Citizen Scholar Seminar with Dr. Rosemary Blieszner. Each of the students in the course were required to develop a community engagement service project to be deployed either concurrently with the course or soon after course completion. The prompt was open-ended so each student would have the freedom to develop a project they felt passionately about. For me, the real challenge was wrapping my mind around the engagement component. As a first year, first semester Ph.D. student who had only just moved to the New River Valley area a … Continue Reading →

Reconciling Privilege in the Academy

I was thinking about my post after I published it yesterday and I wanted to add just one thing to put it all in context. My approach to blogging (since VT) has been to do the readings FIRST and then look at the Prompt so that I am able to form my own ideas before I look at the issues through the lens provided by the Prompt. So, with that in mind, I think you can better understand the frame of mind I was in while creating this piece of writing. This week, we were assigned two readings. The first, … Continue Reading →

The Countdown Begins: 115 Days to Switzerland.

Back in November, I received an email calling for applications to Dean Depauw’s Global Perspectives Program (GPP) through the Graduate School. This program integrates face to face study here at Virginia Tech with a study abroad experience based out of VT’s educational facility in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. “The Global Perspectives Program enables graduate students to examine differences in academic practices and to develop innovative and effective approaches that foster international awareness and education. During the trip, participants gather firsthand knowledge about global higher education through (a) visits to a diverse array of universities, (b) discussions with various faculty, administrators, and … Continue Reading →