Center for International Affairs: 2015 Faculty Seed Grant Awards
The Center for International Affairs is excited to announce the 2015 winners of the faculty seed grants for internationalization. The faculty seed grants are available to support projects that advance the development of sustainable initiatives to enhance internationalization at the university. Since the inception of the seed grants, the Center for International Affairs has provided over $130,000 to fund 20 different faculty designed projects abroad. The Center is proud to highlight the 2015 awardees.
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Project Title: Language and Culture Immersion and Interdisciplinary Learning at CWRU through the Lens of the International Slow Food Movement
Department of Music
Project Title: International Exchange Program in Popular Music Studies.
Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Project Title: Network of Excellence in Engineering and Related Areas
Department of Biology
Project Title: Developing a Field Course in Tropical Ecology at CWRU
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Project Title: Study Abroad Course: “Dresden and Berlin: War and Memory in Germany”
You can visit our website for more information on these winning proposals and other faculty seed grant projects.
Case Western Reserve Husband and Wife Use Sabbatical to Research and Explore Opportunities in Ghana
Mark Joseph, an associate professor at the Mandel School and director of the National Initiative on Mixed Income Communities, and Me’lani Labat Joseph, Director of Engineering for the Gelfand STEM Center at CWRU, spent six months in Ghana during his recent sabbatical with their children working on both academic and personal pursuits. Mark collaborated with the Department of Geography at the University of Ghana in West Africa, conducting emerging research on mixed-income neighborhoods in Accra while Me’lani worked remotely and explored CWRU relationships with universities in Ghana. Through a conversation about the time they spent in the African nation, they share their professional and cultural reflections, challenges, and successes that include future CWRU Ghana ventures and collaborations:
Mark: We certainly had quite a family adventure to Ghana where we were based at the University of Ghana-Legon in the capital city of Accra. I was finishing up work on a book and teaching in the Department of Geography and Resource Development and you were exploring international partnerships for the university as well as continuing to work remotely for Case Western's Gelfand STEM Center.
Me’lani: Yes, we had some wonderful experiences as well as some real challenges. I loved the generosity and friendliness of the Ghanaian people as well as the sense of camaraderie among everyone. I miss the beautiful smiles of the African people and the bright, colorful clothing everywhere you look. And I appreciated the sense of safety and security that we felt everywhere we went, especially since we were there with our kids.
Mark: For me, it was a powerful experience to return with my wife and children to a continent where I had spent several years as a child and later as a college graduate. I was struck by the Ghanaians’ deep pride at being the first African nation to gain independence from its colonizers and to have established such a relatively stable democracy in the last two decades.
Me’lani: And don’t forget the wonderful sight of schoolchildren walking to school each morning in their colorful uniforms, the older siblings holding the hands of the younger ones.
Mark: We had many challenges as well, the main ones being due to the poor state of infrastructure, even in such a relatively advanced African nation: power outages, no running water, poor sanitation, bad roads and those five days when the entire capital city ran out of fuel and we were stranded at home.
Me’lani: The worst for me was the chaotic traffic and driving conditions. I was also saddened to learn of the level of political corruption, even in such a stable and respected democracy. To end on a positive note though, I am excited about the possibilities for partnerships with the brand new Engineering School at Ashesi University, a true jewel of education excellence located outside of Accra.
Mark: And I’m looking forward to completing my first paper on Ghana this spring with colleagues from the university there and to launching a study abroad program to Ghana for Case Western students!
If you are interested in planning a short-term study abroad program and/or developing partnerships with international institutions, please contact Molly Watkins at the Center for International Affairs.