Professor of Earth Sciences
Purdue School of Science
Applied Earth Sciences: The Human Dimension
Capstone: Global Cycles
The U.S. State Department began a new program in 2014 to engage actively with U.S. universities to gain different perspectives and expertise on issues important to international policy. IUPUI became one of the Diplomacy Lab university sites in 2015, and I saw this as an opportunity to integrate international experiences into two courses that I typically teach—a graduate course titled Applied Earth Sciences: The Human Dimension and a capstone course for our B.S. Environmental Sciences degree titled Global Cycles.
“Internationalizing the curriculum through engagement with the Diplomacy Lab provided invaluable opportunities for my students to learn the value of their academic training in a global setting, and for me to continue efforts to improve international diplomacy through university partnerships.”Dr. Gabriel Filippelli
We are now involved with our 3rd and 4th Diplomacy Lab project this semester. One project is a partnership and mentoring program between our class and a sustainable engineering course underway at the University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, with our involvement being training students and advising them on how to develop and conduct research that has real impact. The other project is on developing tools that the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia can use in its outreach and engagement efforts to highlight the importance of environmental protection in preserving its coastal ecosystems.
Benefit to the Students:
By working together and engaging with State Department officials, students have gained a much greater understanding of the value of their academic training for addressing global issues. They also have a tangible project report to show for these efforts.
“The Diplomacy Lab project and presentations opened my eyes up to engaging in an international forum, developing solutions together with my classmates, and utilizing my skills on a real-world problem. It also got me my first job after graduating! The interviewer was blown away that I had worked with the State Department and engaged in an international issue—she said that it really made me stand out from the other applicants, who had the same degree that I did but not the Diplomacy Lab experience.”Christa Phelps, Student in M.S. Geology Program, 2017
Benefit to the Faculty Member:
These efforts helped me to focus courses on a tangible problem. Additionally, they helped inform my approach to assisting students on a group project, a sometimes tricky prospect for which I learned the importance of having the group self-assign workloads.
Learn more about The Diplomacy Lab here at IUPUI
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