Grant funding will enhance UNK students’ global perspectives

From left, Amanda Sladek, Michelle Warren, Ben Malczyk, Jody VanLaningham and Taekyung Park.
From left, Amanda Sladek, Michelle Warren, Ben Malczyk, Jody VanLaningham and Taekyung Park.

LINCOLN – The University of Nebraska recently announced the recipients of five faculty grants in the fall 2019 competition for “Global Perspectives in the Curriculum” funding.

These grants are awarded to faculty from across the university system who increase global perspectives in their on-campus courses and programs.

University of Nebraska at Kearney faculty received two of the grants.

Amanda Sladek, an assistant professor in the department of English, was awarded $4,500 to develop a new course, “English around the globe,” to be offered in summer 2020.

Michelle Warren, an associate professor in the department of modern languages, and assistant professor Taekyung Park, associate professor Jody VanLaningham and assistant professor Ben Malczyk from the department of social work were awarded $5,000 to revise three existing UNK courses to include more content regarding Spanish and Korean speakers in social work settings and the helping professions. Spanish 205 will be revised to incorporate conversation partnerships with students in Spain, while SOWK 420 will be revamped to include conversation partnerships with individuals in other parts of the world. SOWK 467 will now require students to interact with Spanish speakers living in different Latin American countries.

Tim Burkink
Tim Burkink

More than 70% of NU students do not participate in a formal education abroad program, and it’s important that they be exposed to global themes, regional histories and perspectives, foreign languages and literatures, and disciplinary insights from different regions of the world. This exposure helps students to develop a global mindset and the skills they need to contribute to a rapidly changing and globalizing world.

“The proposals reflect innovative approaches to globalizing the curricula,” said Tim Burkink, assistant vice chancellor for international affairs at UNK. “The quality of each proposal was outstanding, and once implemented, the new and revised courses promise to positively impact students. I encourage all faculty to consider how their curricula enhances our students’ global perspectives.”

The University of Nebraska’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost has held grant funding competitions since 2016 to encourage faculty to increase global perspectives in their courses. Since 2016, 17 awards have been made to faculty at all four NU campuses.

A second round of competitive grant awards in this area is anticipated during the 2020 spring semester. An RFA document will be posted in the announcement section of the University of Nebraska Global Engagement page and will be made available this month through each campus’ assistant/associate vice chancellor for global engagement.