Seed grants to promote expansion of global vision

All students and faculty are eligible; deadline is Jan. 31

When Benjamin Gorelick ’11 arrived at Brandeis from his native Namibia, he felt there was a lack of a truly global dialogue on campus, particularly among the undergraduate student community. A Wien International Scholar, Gorelick and other students imagined a regular “table” where students could sit with faculty and talk frankly about topics over lunch.

With a seed grant from a new Global Brandeis Fund, the “Global Affairs Table” was born and has held two to three events a semester since 2008. The fund made no new grants last year,  but the Office of Global Affairs has just announced that it will accept applications for 2011, awarding a round of small seed grants in support of global dimensions of teaching and learning at Brandeis. Project proposals are due by January 31.

In the past three years, the Global Affairs Table discussions have covered Zimbabwe, Haiti, Pakistan, Iceland, Turkey, Russia, and more; faculty guests have included Profs. Can Erbil (Economics, IBS), Wellington Nyangoni (AAAS, Politics), and Kerry Chase (Politics).

“Brandeis is still a young university, so we don’t have a lot of deep traditions,” said Gorelick, who aims to pursue further studies in economics and political science after graduating from Brandeis. “We fully intended the Global Affairs Table to be part of a new tradition of student-led dialogue.”

The Global Affairs Table was one of 10 projects awarded grants in the first round. The funding was focused on long-term impact, as well as on collaboration between various units and people on campus. Another project, coordinated by Prof. Bulbul Chakraborty (Physics), explored a potential new study-abroad partnership between Brandeis and the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research. Another, by the Sociology Department, led to a colloquium on “transnational families: theory and methods.”

“The new funding is more specifically focused than the prior grants – this time on teaching and learning at Brandeis,” said Bryan McAllister-Grande, associate director of the Office of Global Affairs and coordinator of the fund. “The goal is to target the home curriculum or co-curriculum, rather than overseas partnerships.”

This focus builds upon the development of “global learning goals” as part of the university’s assessment planning. All full-time students and faculty are eligible to apply.

Potential applicants are encouraged to attend an informational open house on Wednesday, Dec. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. in room 308, Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex.

Categories: International Affairs

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage