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Reflecting on The Passport Tour

Posted By Daneen Johnson, Monday, April 10, 2017

 

Diversity Abroad recently completed its ninth consecutive year of campus visits through its national outreach, The Passport Tour (TPT). This initiative continued to reach hundreds of college students throughout the country prioritizing students who are traditionally underrepresented in pursuing global education opportunities. As we began to plan our spring 2017 tour, the team considered our nation's current political and diversity climate and urgently committed to expanding our efforts to areas that we had not visited in previous years. We traveled to nineteen institutions throughout Michigan, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee with an emphasis on rural communities. With fewer study abroad fairs being offered during the spring, we have the unique opportunity to further personalize each campus visit. We work with Education Abroad, Career Services and Multicultural Affairs offices to create a series of targeted student outreach events and workshops on campuses and connect students back to Diversity Abroad resources. I’ll share a few of my experiences as I led most of the Tour’s visits throughout the country.


Highlights from The Passport Tour


As the Tour stopped in Michigan, I spoke to a group of peer advisers who worked in the study abroad office at their university. I facilitated a session where we discussed identity and how to navigate conversations with peers who have intersecting identities and the challenges they may incur abroad. We also discussed personal bias, how to avoid assumptions, and how to be aware of our dialogue especially when advising. The session comprised of candid conversations that led to enlightening discussions and it was one of my most memorable moments of the Tour.  


In Tennessee, I collaborated with a couple of departments at a university to facilitate a Study Abroad and Your Career session — a workshop model that can easily be replicated at your institution. Students listened to my twenty minute presentation on the transferable global skills that can be developed abroad and how to professionally articulate their experience to employers. Students also received the coinciding Diversity Abroad booklet. The university’s Career Services department invited a professional from their local Chamber of Commerce to speak about the impact of study abroad from an employer perspective. The session ended with a brief presentation from a study abroad alumna who continued to network upon return to campus, which led her to be selected for an internship with a prestigious faculty member.


The Tour later stopped in Oklahoma where I spoke with students from rural communities, a demographic of students who are also underrepresented in education abroad, and discussed how studying abroad can have a positive impact on them and their local communities. In Colorado, my visit consisted of several opportunities to speak with non-traditional students with the conversations leaning heavy on how to balance family and a global learning experience. As The Tour headed south, my time in Texas was filled with curious students asking probing questions as they began to see education abroad as not just a phrase, but a reality they wanted to pursue.


Student Interviews


Throughout The Tour, eighteen students (study abroad alumni) were video interviewed and openly shared their positive experiences and challenges while abroad. Student interviewees represent a diverse range of cultures, perspectives, and study abroad destinations. These interviews can be used as a resource to empower your students to learn abroad. Additionally, many of The Passport Tour visits were captured on our social media pages — Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.


Bringing Diversity Abroad to Your Campus


We frequently facilitate unique opportunities to engage in challenging conversations about awareness and access to global programs as it pertains to one’s identity. If you are interested in bringing us to your campus to facilitate these discussions and to share resources with your students, please contact me at djohnson@diversityabroad.org


Tags:  outreach  students  TPT 

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Coming Soon to a Campus Near You! Diversity Abroad Passport Tour

Posted By Diversity Abroad, Monday, September 12, 2016
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2016

About the Passport Tour

Diversity Abroad's Passport Tour (TPT) is a nationwide campus-based initiative designed to introduce study abroad resources and opportunities to students, faculty and administrators, particularly from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

Since 2008, TPT has visited more than 75 different college campuses across the country. Each campus visit looks different, but can consist of various on-campus outreach initiatives such as tabling at a study abroad fair, hosting information sessions, moderating alumni panels, making classroom visits, and more.

Diversity Abroad is delighted to welcome Daneen Johnson to the team. In her role as the Community Engagement Coordinator, Daneen will be spearheading campus visits with the Passport Tour. Additionally, Diversity Abroad is excited to have 6 Campus Fellows hosting events at and around their campuses throughout the year. 

Wondering where you can connect with the Passport Tour in your area? More details available on the Events Calendar.
  


Meet the Passport Tour Team

 

Community Engagement Coordinator

Daneen Johnson

Daneen JohnsonDaneen is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Diversity Abroad. She oversees The Passport Tour which is a nationwide campus-based initiative designed to introduce study abroad resources and opportunities to students, faculty and administrators, particularly from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. 
 
As a Student Affairs Professional, Daneen has experience working with student-athletes, first generation, STEM, honors, low income, and international students. She has also worked within a university career services department where she assisted both undergraduate and graduate students with career readiness and employability skills. Prior to joining the Diversity Abroad team, Daneen worked as an Advisor at Seminole State College of Florida where she worked within a grant program that sought to assist and increase underrepresented minority  students pursuing STEM degrees. 
 
As a two time Alumna of the University of Central Florida, she completed her undergraduate degrees in Hospitality and Restaurant Management. During that time she studied abroad in Italy with an Italian Culture and Cuisine program. She continued her education at UCF completing a M.A. in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Higher Education. During graduate school Daneen completed a mission trip with her church to Cape Town, South Africa. 

Daneen is a proud Take Stock in Children Scholar--a nonprofit organization in Florida with a mission to break the cycle of poverty for low-income, at-risk students by offering college scholarships and provide caring volunteer mentors. In her role at Diversity Abroad, she is able to give back to the local and global community that inspired her career. 


Campus Fellows 

Amira Beasley
Miami University, Ohio
Oxford, OH
Major: International Studies; Latin American Studies; Spanish Minor
Studied in: Spain, Argentina 

Arielle Crook
Xavier University of LA
New Orleans, LA
Major: Biology/Pre-med; Chemistry; Spanish minor
Studied in: Costa Rica, Cyprus

Arielle Hankerson
College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA
Major: International Community Development; Public Health Minor
Studied in: Australia, Interned abroad in Ghana

Austin Joseph
Morehouse College
Atlanta, GA 
Major: English; Multimedia minor
Studied in: Semester at Sea; volunteered in Rio for 2016 olympics

Maggie Kelley
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA
Major: Public Policy
Studied in: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Tauri Tomlin
Georgetown University
Washington, DC
Major: Science & Technology; International Affairs; Japanese minor
Studied in: Japan

 

Tags:  Diversity  Minority Students  Outreach  Passport Tour  Underrepresented Students 

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Getting the Word Out: Is it Enough?

Posted By Erica Ledesma, Monday, July 13, 2015
Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2016

Through participation in the Global Access Pipeline (GAP) and other venues, many organizations are committed to connecting students from diverse backgrounds to the prospect of international experiences as they move along the “pipeline” from K-12 through college. This “pipeline” provides innumerable opportunities to convey the message that international experiences are valuable and attainable for all students, especially for those from traditionally underrepresented communities. As professionals seeking to advance diversity and inclusive excellence within international education, awareness of how students move through this so-called “pipeline” from K-12 through college is imperative. International Educators at the higher education level often wonder if students are exposed to information about education abroad throughout their educational careers, at different stages along the pipeline. But is it enough to expose students from diverse backgrounds to these messages during their formative years? Or do we also need to consider who is delivering these messages?

A quick review of the demographic background of public school teachers and faculty members across the country indicates that students from diverse backgrounds are taught primarily by white educators. The National Center for Education Statistics indicates a mismatch in today’s classrooms. Now that “minority” students constitute the majority of public school students, the teaching force remains over 80% non-Hispanic white. Within higher education, faculty statistics are even more dismal. Not only is the faculty predominantly non-Hispanic white, Native American faculty member participation has been stagnant while faculty participation among Black males has actually been decreasing in recent years. Anecdotally, we know that students from diverse backgrounds are often drawn to study abroad when they are encouraged to do so by a faculty member, particularly when the faculty member represents the student’s background.

While research examining the academic impact (see here and here) -- often measured through test scores -- of same-race teaching instruction is inconclusive, many argue for other benefits.  

Leslie T. Fenwick, Dean of the Howard University School of Education, outlined some of the benefits to African-American and Hispanic/Latino students in schools with large percentages of same-race teachers in her recent Diverse Issues in Higher Education article entitled “Who’s Teaching Whom?”:

Tremendous benefits accrue to African- American and Hispanic/Latino students who attend schools with high concentrations of African-American or Hispanic/Latino teachers. These students are less likely to be expelled or suspended; more likely to be recommended for gifted education; less likely to be misplaced in special education; and more likely to graduate high school in four years.

Likewise, in the recent New York Times article “Where are the Teachers of Color?”, professor of education at Stanford University, Thomas S. Dee, said, “When minority students see someone at the blackboard that looks like you, it helps you reconceive what’s possible for you.”

Professor Dee’s statement is particularly relevant to our efforts to encourage students to consider international opportunities along the pipeline. For many of the traditionally underrepresented groups within international education, students are coming to college as the first in their families. This often means that they have not had role models at home who have pursued international study and other such opportunities. It is paramount, then, that the International Education community (from K-12 to higher education) prioritize hiring and retention practices to ensure that student backgrounds are proportionally represented amongst their educators. If we are taking the statistics and related implications seriously, there is no time to wait. Here are some areas for consideration:

What other resources and initiatives have been effective at your institution/organization to promote diversity and inclusion within global opportunities?

Tags:  global education  inclusion  Minority Students  Outreach  Study Abroad 

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Pushing the Envelope - Diversity Abroad Initiatives for 2015

Posted By Andrew Gordon, Friday, January 16, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Back in 1989, director Robert Zemeckis and the rest of the filmmakers for Back to the Future II made some pretty exciting predictions about what life would be like in 2015. While hoverboards and flying cars have yet to materialize as modes of transportation, 2015 is still set to be an exciting year, especially for those of us in international education. For Diversity Abroad, 2015 marks eight years of operation, and it promises to be a year with new opportunities for engagement, enhanced resources for students and professionals, and broader initiatives that will impact diversity and inclusion efforts in international education and exchange.

Here are a few developments to look out for from Diversity Abroad that will impact access, inclusion, and diversity in international education.

1. Launch of new DiversityAbroad.com

On January 20th, Diversity Abroad will relaunch its flagship website, DiversityAbroad.com. The new site has been designed and developed with one goal, “Preparing the Next Generation of Global Leaders.” Through articles, student stories, resources guides, online events, and exclusive scholarships, DiversityAbroad.com gives students and parents from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds the tools to make meaningful international education experience a reality. DiversityAbroad.com has been and will continue to be the most robust free online rescouce for connecting students and recent graduates to international study, intern, graduate, and career opportunities. Visit DiversityAbroad.com on January 20th to learn how our new resources can help more of your students go abroad

2. Release of version 1.0 of the A.I.D. Roadmap

In February 2015 the Diversity Abroad Network will officially roll out version 1.0 of the Access, Inclusion, and Diversity in International Education (A.I.D.) Roadmap, the most comprehensive evaluation and benchmarking tool targeting access, inclusion, and diversity in international education. After nearly two years of development, this innovative resource will give institutions and organizations clear guidance on the types of practices that should be employed to increase participation and better serve the needs of diverse and underrepresented students in education abroad. Learn more about the A.I.D Roadmap.

3. Inaugural Global Student Leadership Summit

On March 22 - 24, 2015, while hundreds of professionals are gather for the 3rd Annual Diversity Abroad Conference, a group of exceptional students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, all with international experience, will gather in New Orleans for the inaugural Global Student Leadership Summit. Students from around the country will participate in hands-on trainings and student leadership sessions, identify and share emerging trends in international education, engage in critical dialogue, stay abreast of relevant and new resources, establish and maintain relationships with like-minded student leaders, and connect with higher education professionals and professionals from various public and private institutions and organizations. Learn more about how to nominate your student for the Global Student Leadership Summit.

4. Expanding the pipeline - K-12 Engagement

It’s no secret, the earlier students are exposed to global opportunities, the more likely they are to participate in them. While Diversity Abroad has always had resources for high school students, in 2015 and going forward direct outreach to high school students and their parents, as well as providing training and resources to K-12 educators, will be an essential aspect of our work.

5. New Projects & Services

2015 would not be complete without Diversity Abroad rolling out new services to its members and higher education community. What are they? You’ll have to wait and see, but what I can say is that we will continue to develop and fund new and innovative ways for students to connect to international opportunities. We will also expand opportunities for international, diversity, and other professionals to connect and have the resources to serve all of their students.

2015 will be a busy year for Diversity Abroad and everyone committed to increasing access and promoting diversity and inclusion in international education. We’re looking forward to partnering with you and your colleagues as we continue to lead the field of international education toward diversity and inclusive excellence. Do you have questions or suggestions for us? Interested in getting involved in these efforts? Send us a message and let us know your thoughts on access, inclusion, and diversity in international education: 
(members@diversitynetwork.org)

Tags:  AID Roadmap  Education Abroad Diversity  Outreach 

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Moving Beyond Barriers: What if we stopped talking about what’s wrong?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

At the latest CIEE conference, Diversity Abroad staff teamed up with local universities to host a workshop titled “Breaking Our Own Barriers: Becoming An Accessible Study Abroad Office.” Unlike most presentations on barriers, we decided not to look at the traditionally accepted 4 F’s which focus on barriers from the diverse student perspective. Instead, we took this as an opportunity to look inwardly, and identify what barriers we may have knowingly or unknowingly put in place that keep students from taking advantage of international opportunities. From staffing and organizational structure, to advising, outreach, and applications, the room of over 100+ study abroad practitioners identified many issues that we have put in place ourselves that may be hindering the very students we want to encourage. Many times, the policies (or lack thereof) are related to organizational habits - doing things the way we’ve always done them because that’s the way they’ve always been done. At other times, the policies came about to make our lives easier without much consideration for the student (morning office hours or information sessions).

After sitting in on a session that is focused on barriers, or everything that’s wrong, it’s easy to get discouraged.  We talk so much about barriers as an industry and try to attack those barriers, but participation rates mostly stay the same. So how can we change the approach? If we’re not going to focus on the negative barriers, what are we going to focus on? Let’s turn our attention to the appreciative inquiry method, as described by Sue Hammond in The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry:

“The traditional approach to change is to look for the problem, do a diagnosis, and find a solution. The primary focus is on what is wrong or broken; since we look for problems, we find them. By paying attention to problems, we emphasize and amplify them… Appreciative Inquiry suggests that we look for what works in an organization. The tangible result of the inquiry process is a series of statements that describe where the organization wants to be, based on the high moments of where they have been. Because the statements are grounded in real experience and history, people know how to repeat their success.”

So how can we, as a field, move beyond a conversation focused on the problem, or barriers? How can we identify our strengths, the strengths of our staff, the strengths of other campus partners, and the strengths of our colleagues around the field to shift our focus and build towards a shared vision for international education? Let’s first learn to appreciate that the barriers can be challenges, but not focus all of our attention on them. The appreciative inquiry approach can help us move past these barriers and have open conversations about what is working well to create transformational change. To learn more about appreciative inquiry and find tools you can use in your organization, you can visit any of the appreciative inquiry centers found online including Appreciative Inquiry Commons, The Center for Appreciative Inquiry, and Mind Tools: Appreciative Inquiry.

Image credit: http://layservantministries.blogspot.com/ 

Tags:  Education Abroad Diversity  inclusion  Outreach  professional skills 

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