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International education to expand with help of Mellon Foundation grant

01/28/2014

 Sophomores Dana Sorkin, Lizz Ocampo, and Kaitlin Cunningham teach Russian to New London middle-schoolers at last year's International Student Expo, which was supported by the Mellon Initiative on Foreign Languages.

Sophomores Dana Sorkin, Lizz Ocampo, and Kaitlin Cunningham teach Russian to New London middle-schoolers at last year's International Student Expo, which was supported by the Mellon Initiative on Foreign Languages.

Connecticut College has been awarded $700,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support international initiatives and foster integration in global studies.

The grant funding will support initiatives over the next three years to better integrate international experiences into the curriculum, and to enhance College strategies for global education, including foreign language learning and study abroad.

“Connecticut College has long prioritized international opportunities in the form of its Traveling Research and Immersion Program (TRIP) and Study Away/Teach Away (SATA), and, increasingly, internships abroad. However, the proliferation of opportunities must be accompanied by thoughtful reflection about the curriculum as a whole, particularly with respect to how we prepare students intellectually to engage in the world and how they meaningfully incorporate what they have learned abroad back into the academic program,” said Roger Brooks, dean of the faculty and the Elie Wiesel Professor of Judaic Studies.

The Mellon initiative will promote the intentional curricular integration of international learning with standing courses and academic majors, and the systematic coordination of international experiences throughout students’ four years, according to Brooks.

“This generous grant from The Mellon Foundation will make the international and global experience at Connecticut College richer and deeper throughout our curriculum and co-curricular activities,” Brooks added.

Building on the momentum of a $375,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation in 2009, the College will also use the new grant to:

  • Provide enhanced support for Foreign Language Across the Curriculum (FLAC) programs, which give students the opportunity to enrich their disciplinary studies by taking sections of courses in a foreign language;
  • Launch a new course, “Second Language Acquisition,” to anchor the World Languages Partnership with the Regional Multicultural Magnet School (RMMS) in downtown New London, where students teach Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, French and German to elementary school students; and
  • Enhance the Foreign Language Fellows program, through which advanced-level language and international students design and run co-curricular and extracurricular activities.

Amy Dooling, associate professor of Chinese, and Andrea Lanoux, associate professor of Slavic studies, will direct the grant-funded programs, as they did for the previous Mellon grant for foreign languages.

A 2009 winner of the Sen. Paul A. Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, Connecticut College has a deep commitment to global education that is reflected in the College’s mission to educate students to “put the liberal arts into action as citizens in a global society.”

Over the past decade, more than 2,600 Connecticut College students have studied abroad; since 2010, 49 students have conducted original research in a foreign language in 25 countries. Through the College’s Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, students are able to internationalize any major with intensive language study and a funded internship overseas.


For media inquiries, please contact:
Matt Engelhardt (860) 439-2505, mengelha@conncoll.edu
Deborah MacDonnell (860) 439-2504, dmacdonn@conncoll.edu


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