IFLE Newsletter - August 2020

US Department of Education Newsletter

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Volume 6 | Issue 2 | August 2020

IFLE Header - March 2017


Announcing the Title VI International Research and Studies Program for Fiscal Year 2020

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The International and Foreign Language Education Office (IFLE) of the U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the opening of the competition for FY 2020 new awards under the Title VI International Research and Studies Program (IRS) Program


The IRS program provides grants to institutions, public and private agencies, organizations, and individuals to conduct research and studies or to develop instructional materials to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields. IRS program funds may not be used for the training of students and teachers. Cost sharing is not required.


The FY 2020 competition will feature three competitive preference priorities, each worth five points. An applicant may receive points under only one competitive preference priority.

  • Competitive Preference Priority 1: Research on more effective methods of providing instruction and achieving competency in modern foreign languages, area studies, or other international fields.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 2: Studies and surveys to assess the use of graduates of programs supported under Title VI of the Higher Education Act by governmental, educational, and private-sector organizations and other studies assessing the outcomes and effectiveness of supported programs.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 3: Developing and publishing specialized materials for use in foreign language, area studies, and other international fields or for training foreign language, area, and other international specialists.

To learn about projects funded under the last call for applications for this program, visit our Google Map of FY 2019 IFLE Grantees and filter by the “International Research and Studies” program.


The deadline to apply is September 8, 2020. Please refer to the Notice Inviting Applications published in the Federal Register and the application package for further information. We appreciate your interest in this program and look forward to receiving your application.

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Title VI National Resource Centers Host 2020 Global Studies Symposium for Minority-Serving Institutions and Community Colleges

Global Symposium for Minority-Serving Institutions and Community Colleges

The Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University (FIU) and the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University co-hosted the Title VI-funded 2020 Global Studies Symposium at FIU on January 9-10, 2020. As part of the National Research Center Community College (CC) and Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Collaboration to Internationalize Education, the symposium brought together over 40 MSI and CC faculty and administrators from 38 institutions in 19 states who work across world regions.


FIU President Mark Rosenberg kicked off the symposium with remarks about FIU’s long-standing commitment to transcending borders through internationalization, the importance of global competencies, and engagement for current and future generations. He highlighted the critical need for cross-institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration among MSI and CC faculty and students, and he acknowledged the significant contributions of all of the participants in attendance who dedicate their lives to the effort.


Stephanie Doscher, Director of Global Learning Initiatives at FIU, followed with a session about the process of global learning, how it relates to comprehensive internationalization, and how to develop strategies for infusing global learning in and across MSI and CC curricula. Participants interacted with Doscher to reflect on their own specific programs and identify practical applications for each MSI and CC institution.


The remainder of the symposium featured panel presentations from MSI and CC faculty and administrators from Bethune-Cookman University, Community College of Beaver County, Florida Memorial University, Florida SouthWestern State College, the Nine University and College International Studies Consortium of Georgia, Parkland College, Spelman College, Tuskegee University, and Valencia College.


Program co-chair Avery Dickins de Girón (Vanderbilt) stated, “From the outset, our intention was to highlight, hear from, and recognize the Title III and Title V faculty and administrators who are doing extremely innovative and impactful work in the fields of global studies and internationalization. We wanted to create a space in which they could share best practices with their colleagues and then build out from there.” Fellow program co-chair Liesl Picard (FIU) added, “We knew effective international programming was already happening at MSIs and CCs across the U.S., and we wanted to provide a unique forum to showcase and explore ways to expand those efforts through new partnerships developed during the symposium. Everybody walked away with newfound knowledge, expanded networks, new plans for collaboration, and an understanding of what one’s institution needed from others and could offer to others.”

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Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Alum Uses Indonesian Language Skills to Research Renewable Energy

FLAS Fellow Sean Kennedy from UCLA

Researcher and Assistant Professor Sean Kennedy credits his success to support he received from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)including four Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships to study Indonesian. In 2014, Kennedy decided to formally study Indonesian. Four years, four visits to Indonesia, and four academic-year FLAS fellowships later, he graduated from UCLA with a Ph.D. in urban planning. He now works with UCLA’s California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC) and as an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

During his time as a FLAS fellow, Kennedy was surrounded in his Indonesian language classes by students from a variety of other disciplines like geography, architecture, and ethnomusicology. He remarked, “One of the most interesting things about FLAS is that the recipients aren’t all studying the same thing. A common interest in Indonesia has allowed me to meet people I wouldn’t have normally come into contact with and apply their knowledge to my own work and research. The skills I learned in the program allowed me to converse with the locals while conducting research — even in extreme situations — which enabled me to be much more understanding and engaged than I would have been without any language connection.”

Kennedy’s dissertation focused on the geography of transitions to renewable energy in Indonesia, but much of his research also applies to energy transitions in Los Angeles. Unequal access to modernized energy grids is a concern in both locations. “A lot of the issues related to income inequality that I’ve examined in Indonesia are applicable to Los Angeles,” said Kennedy. “Like Indonesia, Southern California is a region with big gaps in income levels,” he explained.


Although the geography of Southern California differs greatly from that of Indonesia, Kennedy predicts that both regions will eventually have to rely on the same renewable energy production methods as a means of fighting inequality. “The electricity sector in both countries is increasingly moving away from centralized energy generation towards small-scale operations which can be distributed across different types of places.”

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Georgia Tech National Resource Centers Launch Hebrew and Swahili Programs

Georgia Swahili and Hebrew Program Launch

This Fall 2020 semester, students at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) will be able to study introductory Hebrew and Swahili for the first time.


While the initial course offerings focus on introductory Hebrew and Swahili, Georgia Tech expects to add intermediate and advanced courses and grow experiential learning opportunities focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the Middle East and Africa.


“Offering students a rich array of languages to study is an important part of our goal to develop leaders with a global mindset who are prepared to improve the human condition,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. “It is also yet another way we are supporting Atlanta as an international hub and contributing to the state’s economic development efforts.”


The new course offerings are part of the mission of the Atlanta Global Studies Center, a partnership between Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, a consortium grant recipient under the Title VI National Resource Centers and Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Fulbright-Hays Fellow Studies Earthquake Recovery in Nepal

Post-earthquake Recovery in Nepal

by Austin Lord, Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellow, 2019-2020

Five years ago, I was in the Langtang Valley with my parents at the moment when the earth shook. The earthquake released a massive, roiling avalanche weighing over twelve million tons of material from the slopes of Langtang Lirung, carrying half the force of an atomic bomb. The earthquake brought loss beyond words or comprehension, and even now, so much remains unspeakable and unknowable. Surviving those unstable moments and all that followed has changed my life and my view of this world forever.


Since that day, I have returned to Langtang again and again, and I have remained engaged with post-earthquake recovery and the Langtangpa community in a variety of ways. It has been an immeasurable privilege to see and feel Langtang come back to life. The Langtangpa have a great deal to teach us about strength, courage, resilience, endurance, and the ways we might carve out places for ourselves in a world full of uncertainties.

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FREE Online Educational Game for Grades 512 from the Title VI Centers at the University of Arizona

Road Maps: Around the World Adventure

The University of Arizona’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Center for Latin American Studies, two Title VI National Resource Centers, recently launched a new online educational game for secondary students called “Road Maps: Around the World Adventure.” This free resource is designed to expand students’ global awareness and spark interest in learning about Latin America and Middle East countries in particular.


“Road Maps: Around the World Adventure” is a web-based digital journey that allows students to explore new places, languages, cultures, and histories. As they travel virtually around the world, students complete “exploration” and “excursion” tasks that will help them learn more about the places they visit. The program offers students the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion and even have a chance to win prizes! Teachers can use the tool in a traditional in-person setting or in a virtual learning environment. This journey is suitable for students in grades 5–12, or anyone interested in learning more about the world around them. 

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FREE International Business Webinar Series from the CIBER MSI Consortium 

International Business Webinar Series

The Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Consortium, comprised of 10 Title VI Centers for International Business Education, is now offering a prolific series of webinars designed to inform faculty, students, and the business community in view of the current global health emergency and the prolonged recession it is likely to cause. Targeting its extensive outreach network, which includes Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), two- and four-year colleges, and trade practitioners, free webinars are offered on:

  • pedagogy for teaching international business,
  • contemporary trade and investment issues, and
  • research trends in international business.

Speakers are experts drawn from the Georgia State CIBER and the national MSI CIBER network. For more information, please click “Read More” below.

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New Research on Remote Teaching and Learning from Title VI Language Resource Center

Journal Article

The article linked below is the first of three in a series that attempts to frame a set of principles for measuring the outcomes of remote teaching and learning across U.S. universities and K–12 schools during the COVID-19 crisis. The framework of the first analysis focuses on the use of Zoom as one of the common mediums and platforms for course realizations, and how remote synchronous (real-time) teaching and learning measures up in comparison with typical campus-based, face-to-face classroom teaching and learning. Speech act theory, communities of practice, and speech communities will be additional aspects of the analysis in order to provide a research basis for designing the analysis.


This research was conducted by Edna Andrews, Director of the Slavic and Eurasian Language Resource Center (SEELRC) at Duke University. SEELRC is one of 16 Title VI Language Resource Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education for the FY 2018-2021 grant cycle.

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IFLE Welcomes Jessica Lugg

Jessica Lugg joins IFLE as a program officer overseeing the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program, which provides short-term study and travel seminars abroad for U.S. educators to improve their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. Jessica previously served as a grants manager for the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services program in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining the Department, Jessica served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco for two years, focusing on teaching content-based English to youth in a rural setting. During her two years of service, she worked with parents, teachers, and community organizations to support youth development in education to prepare them for roles within family, community, and the world of work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Health from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University in International Studies with a focus on Education.


Google Map of FY 2019 Grantees

FY 2019 Google Map of IFLE Grantees

Explore our Google map of FY 2019 IFLE grantees to learn about the currently funded Title VI domestic projects being implemented on campuses across the United States and the Fulbright-Hays overseas projects being conducted around the world by participants and dissertation researchers. These projects strengthen international and foreign language education for a wide range of students, participants, and stakeholders.


This map provides a user-friendly way for viewers to get a sense of the extensive reach of the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays grantee institutions featured, as well as the diversity of our grantee institutions.



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