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Georgia Southern University

New opportunities available for faculty through North American Studies consortium

Georgia Southern and five other universities in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. are developing a program in North American Studies that will lead to new international exchange opportunities for both faculty and students. University President Bruce Grube recently signed a memorandum of understanding that affirms Georgia Southern’s role in the consortium, which is funded by a $1.07 million FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education) grant.

The six universities involved in the North American Studies consortium include Georgia Southern; Bowling Green State University (Ohio); the Universidad Veracruzana (Xalapa, Mexico); the Universidad de Sonora (Sonora, Mexico); Wilfrid Laurier University (Ontario, Canada); and Mount Allison University (New Brunswick, Canada).

‘The consortium recently began developing the academic content of the North American Studies Program,” explained Nancy Shumaker, director of the Center for International Studies. ‘We have established a secure Web site that allows the six institutions to collaborate on developing teaching modules, and it allows us to upload resources for use by faculty who become involved in developing this curriculum.”

The North American Studies program will focus on six broad themes: culture; environmental issues; indigenous peoples; NAFTA and economics; nationalism and contested identities; and migration and mobility. While all universities will contribute to each theme, Georgia Southern will take primary responsibility for issues of migration and mobility.

‘Because we already have minors in Latin American Studies and American Studies, some of the resources we need are already available,” said Shumaker. ‘We invite and encourage faculty with an interest in one or more of these six themes and an interest in faculty exchange in Canada or Mexico to become involved in developing this program. This grant is called the North American Mobility Grant because we want faculty and students to move among the six institutions involved. In this program, we are interested in faculty development as much as we are student development.”

To learn more about the consortium and the faculty opportunities available, contact Shumaker at the Center for International Studies, 912-681-0332.

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