Short-Term Faculty Exchanges
In spring 2009, the two universities launched a series of faculty exchanges intended to pair professors of similar disciplines. The visiting faculty members guest teach brief modules, consult on research activity, and help mentor their peers.
The first visit brought Brandeis faculty members Daniel Kryder, Anne Carter, and Derek Isaacowitz to Al-Quds University for one- to two-week visits. A similar exchange of Al-Quds faculty members to Brandeis is planned for fall 2009.
A short summary of the spring 2009 visits is available below.
For Dan Kryder (pictured right), associate professor of politics at Brandeis, the visit built upon on a similar trip one year prior that centered on student assessment, and had three overlapping goals: to participate in a workshop on mentoring junior faculty; to offer lectures on American politics and political science methodology and to observe lectures by Al-Quds University faculty in turn; and to consult with students and faculty in the Political Science and American Studies programs at Al-Quds.
He met several times with Dr. Amneh Badran (left in picture), Chair of the Political Science Department, to discuss curriculum reform and other issues. In partnership with Al-Quds colleagues he identified a number of issues that deserve attention and generated a number of ideas for future consideration in the areas of external resources, student life, courses, research and thesis work.
Kryder said: “My conversations with Dr. Amneh and Dr. Abdul-Rahman were enjoyable and very instructive for me. They helped us to identify a number of issues that deserve attention and generated a number of ideas for future consideration. The students were enthusiastic and contributed focused, animated, and well-informed discussion. I gave an open lecture to about an audience of about 50 on my work on social movements in the U.S. The community seemed eager for and open to both formal and informal conversations of these kinds.”
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS
Anne P. Carter (left in picture, with Al-Quds University head of economics Mahmmod Aljafare), professor emerita of economics, visited the Faculty of Business and Economics at Al-Quds University’s Abu Dis campus for meetings and conversations. Her visit led to recommendations for enhancements to the teaching of economics and business at Al-Quds, including broadening the range of teaching methods to include some of the approaches most commonly used by elite business schools in the U.S., adapting course requirements and teaching loads to foster innovation, and continued partnership with Brandeis University, including the International Business School.
Derek Isaacowitz (right in picture), associate professor of psychology, was hosted by Dr. Eyad Hallaq (left in picture), Chair of the Psychology Department at Al-Quds University. He also met extensively with Dr. Taisir Abdallah and Dr. Khuloud Khayyat Dajani from the Child Institute. Prof. Isaacowitz focused on getting to know the Psychology program at Al-Quds.
He visited courses on Psychopathology, History of Psychology, Special Education, and Developmental Psychology; and met with groups of faculty on integrating research into the undergraduate curriculum, as well as on the development of new graduate programs in Learning Disabilities and Clinical Psychology. He learned about needs and challenges at Al-Quds, and discussed a range of interesting ideas for collaboration between Brandeis and Al-Quds.
Said Prof. Isaacowitz: “The visit was extremely engaging, and I am very appreciative of the great hospitality shown by all of my Al-Quds hosts.”
You can read a blog entry about his experience teaching here.