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Global Issues Faculty Seminar: Year of the Middle East
In support of the College of Arts & Sciences Passport to the World initiative and its 2014-2015 Year of the Middle East, UK Education Abroad is partnering with the College of Arts & Sciences to offer a faculty development seminar in the Middle East that focuses on contemporary issues pertinent to the region. The goal of the seminar is to offer UK faculty members the opportunity to learn first-hand about these issues and to thereby make them better prepared to disseminate knowledge and understanding about this region among UK students and faculty. The seminar is intended for faculty members who (1) are open to internationalizing their teaching by blending a global component into a course or refocusing a course by incorporating contemporary  Middle Eastern issues into it or (2) are interested in advancing the international education goals of the University (e.g., education abroad, institutional partnerships, etc.).   

The main objective of the University of Kentucky Faculty Seminar is to provide the faculty members with an opportunity to experience the personal and political dynamics of gender in Islam (while in Jordan) and encounters, conflicts and transculturation (while in Morocco). Additionally, the hope is to encourage participants to learn about the various means through which ISA is able to maximize the education abroad experience for U.S. students and leaders, particularly regarding learning, development and academic progress.

Nominees who are chosen to participate in this seminar will also share perspectives with host university faculty and administrators on the challenges and opportunities involved in bringing or sending U.S. students to the classrooms in Jordan and Morocco. Discussions with host university faculty, local professionals and non-profit organizations will shed light on some of the factors that shape the students’ experience, with particular attention given to the complex cultural dynamic, demographics, politics, economics and educational systems in the Middle East and North Africa.

OVERVIEW:  In association with International Studies Abroad (ISA), faculty participants will attend educational lectures and guided cultural site visits in Jordan and Morocco. Participants will share rooms at centrally-located hotels for the duration of the program in both Jordan and Morocco, typically two participants per room. A basic structure of the Seminar follows but remains flexible to accommodate faculty interests and requests:

Jordan:  Women and Islam: The Personal & The Political

  • Guided walking tour and Amman city orientation
  • Guest  lecture and discussion with Jordan River Foundation
  • Guest lecture and discussion with President of Al-Ahliyya Amman University and roundtable with university professors
  • Day trip to Ghor al Mazra’a, with service-learning at Zikra Initiative
  • Day trip to Petra, with guided walking tour

Morocco: Encounters, Conflicts and Transculturation

  • One night in Casablanca, with guided walking tour
  • One night in Rabat, with visit to Sh’lah Roman ruin, guest lecture and discussion with the Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange, and a guest lecture and discussion with the Association Marocaine des Droits Humains
  • Two nights in Meknes, with guided walking tour of Meknes, roundtable discussion with local university professors and local development organizations
  • Day trip to Azrou, with guest lecture and discussion with Al Akhawayn University’s Azrou Center for Community Development

SCHEDULE:  The seminar offers the flexibility to attend just the Jordan portion of the trip, just the Morocco portion, or both. The general calendar is as follows:

Depart the US: June 5th, 2015
Arrive in Jordan: June 6th, 2015
Seminar in Jordan: June 7 – 10, 2015
Travel to Morocco: June 11, 2015
Seminar in Morocco: June 12 – 14, 2015
Depart for United States: June 15, 2015

COST: UK Education Abroad and A&S will cover the local arrangements for five faculty members; these faculty members will pay for international airfare to Jordan and out of Morocco. The Jordan to Morocco flight is included in the Seminar. Others may participate at their own expense (approx. $3,500, plus international travel). Participants will be responsible for all lunch and dinner meals not already included in the program itinerary.

ELIGIBILITY: The program is open to all faculty members at the University of Kentucky. However, priority will be given to faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences.  We are especially interested in faculty members who (1) are open to internationalizing their teaching by blending a global component into a course or refocusing a course by incorporating issues about the Middle East, (2) are interested in pursuing research on issues related to the Middle East, and/or (3.) are interested in advancing the international education goals of the University (e.g., education abroad, institutional partnerships, etc.). 

Participants will be selected by the A&S Dean’s office and UK Education Abroad. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Faculty members must first submit an online interest inquiry form here no later than February 2, 2015.  Selected faculty nominees will then be notified by UK Education Abroad with instructions on how to officially participate in the Seminar.  All participants must register by February 16, 2015.    

 

Faculty Interest Form