In April, I had the opportunity to give a talk at the ABET Symposium titled, “A More Worldly Graduate: How to Engage Your Students Globally.” During that talk, I discussed ways to provide students with a global perspective, both within and outside of the US. I also strongly advocate introducing students to an “internationally friendly” community, such as the one that is provided by the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions, LACCEI.
I discussed my first LACCEI conference, and steps that were taken after that initial conference in Panama to expose students to global communities.
I also discussed the importance that I placed on learning about the local culture first, before immersing my students. The photo below shows examples of time spent in Costa Rica and Ecuador, months prior to the conference, to meet people, learn the history of the land, and appreciate the culture.
When my students travel, we establish an itinerary, complete with daily assignments, and expectations. This process helps us to assess and evaluate the experience.
It has been a joy to provide experiences for students over the years. I have witnessed their growth, and have seen some of our faculty mentees become global mentors themselves, providing international experiences for their own students. During the talk, I also referenced the short article that I wrote for the American Society of Engineering Education, http://www.ase
The following photos showcase our groups. One has our students, faculty, and postdocs in Maryland with students from Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) a public university located in Guayaquil, Guayas Province – with some of the best engineering programs in Ecuador. The next highlights the experience in Costa Rica, the first trip that I took with undergraduates (previous conference travel invitations were limited to graduate students, postdocs, and faculty). All of the participants are in the STEM fields. In the final photo, I am with Dr. Maria Larrondo Petrie, the Executive Director of LACCEI, and Dr. Mónica Rueda (whom I first met at LACCEI in Mexico) of Universidad Santo Tomas in Colombia. Both were at this talk and are strong supporters of these efforts to provide experiences for students.
I am passionate about issues related to global diversity in STEM, and am pleased to be able to have opportunities to be mentored, have mentees in this space, and develop new mentors who will positively influence future generations.
— LACCEI (@LACCEI_Engineer) April 21, 2017