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Intercultural Studies Happenings

SIETAR USA 2010 Conference

Grace’s Intercultural Studies Program has recently been honored with two invitations to present at the 2010 Annual Conference of SIETAR USA. SIETAR (Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research) was established in 1974 and has become the most important professional organization in the intercultural arena.

“SIETAR-USA is a point of connection for people from many cultural and professional backgrounds who explore differences on many levels; engage in cutting edge research related to cultural dimensions of interactions between and among individuals, organizations and political entities; continually search for and provide avenues to effective relations across cultures; and work with students and others to expand worldviews and build skills for successful interactions in intercultural arenas. ” Grace University will be represented by Sharon Lane (Senior, Omaha NE), Todd Bowder (Senior, Portland OR), Rebecca Tschetter (Senior, Omaha NE), John Myer (Junior, Newton KS), and Janna Nickel (Junior, Columbus NE). Intercultural Studies Program Director Stephen W. Jones will lead the group.

Grace University’s delegation will first present on “An Holistic Approach to Global Service-Learning: Guiding Students through a Real-Time, Formal, Non-Formal, and Informal Educational Process.” In this presentation, they will discuss the educational model we call the edge, which was pioneered by Dr. Jared Burkholder and further developed by former Program Director, Mike Smith. Our unique approach to applied education involves students in a well-rounded and rigorous experience. Preliminary results from ongoing research point to increased intercultural competence in students who have participated in the six-month edge experience.

Their second presentation will be “Realities of Power and Privilege in Cross-Cultural Service.” In this presentation they will discuss the ways that we have attempted to engage with disparities between the resources and opportunities available to those who serve and those who receive service. These disparities play out in real time every day on the edge experience, and students have to wrestle with ethical change-agentry in the cross-cultural environment.

Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education

Grace University was represented at the 2008 and 2009 Conferences of the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education. In 2008, Mike Smith and Stephen Jones presented on developing effective cross-cultural partnerships in Brookings, SD. In 2009, Stephen Jones presented on providing authentic service in Omaha, NE.

National Faith-Based Service-Learning Conference (Messiah College)

Grace University was represented at the 2008 National Faith-Based Service-Learning Conference in Grantham, PA, where Mike Smith and Stephen Jones presented on training students to serve under the leadership of non-North Americans.

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