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Virtual Exchange Faculty Grant Recipients

Spring 2021 Recipients

Yoav Kaddar, professor of Dance from the College of Creative Arts is partnering with The Center for Dance and Movement Research Artes Landívar and Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Kaddar’s students will learn and practice dance and dance education virtually with students from The Center for Dance and Movement. Two main dance spaces in E Moore Hall have been set up with specific lighting and special connections into the system through WIFI so dance classes can be transmitted without a delay, which Kaddar says is important for students learning the correct timing and tempo of music.

"We want to keep working to create new projects, one of those potentially being to choreograph something virtually with a group there and a group here and put it together in a video we can present," said Kaddar.

"That’s the way the dance field is going right now during this pandemic. What’s beautiful is that you can film dance in various locations and highlight the locations that are unique to a certain place. This really does bring out some really positive exchanges and work from everyone that we might not have even taken the time to do if everything was still ‘normal’."

Clifton Smith, a teaching assistant professor in the Reed College or Media, is partnering with the Estudios Universitarios Superiores de Andalucia (EUSA) in Spain. This collaboration will explore the use of phone-based augmented reality for storytelling. Students will work together to plan, produce and film performances and develop interactive games using volumetric video, or holograms. Teams from each university will work with identical equipment and processes to film volumetric video that will be published on mobile phones, and by mid-semester will be working on production for a more in-depth interactive project that will be published near the end of the semester.

Dr. Marina Peralta , Assistant Professor and Director of Teaching at the WVU School of Pharmacy, will be working on a project taking global initiatives with School of Pharmacy students in collaboration with the University of Sevilla. The project “Learning from each other in times of pandemic” is divided into three goals for this coming year. The first is to learn from each other about the pharmacist’s role during COVID in both the community and hospital pharmacy settings. The second goal is to assist the University of Sevilla to introduce pharmacogenomic education into their curriculum. The last goal is to learn from each other on how to shift in-person team-learning activities to a virtual setting. Dr. Peralta says students will be sharing their experiences as PharmD interns by posting recordings on their experiences in either community or hospital settings. They will also participate in a pilot virtual escape room related to pharmacological sciences and therapeutics learned throughout the curriculum.

"If COVID has taught us anything, it is that we need each other, and we can learn from each other," said Dr. Peralta.

"I obtained my PharmD and PhD at the University of Sevilla and have always kept in close contact. I previously had the opportunity to visit the institution and provide lectures and seminars, mainly focusing on pharmacogenomics and scholarship of teaching and learning for PharmD education. We thought this would be an incredible opportunity to expand knowledge and be a reference point for further collaborations while providing a great opportunity for students of both institutions.

"For our students and students from Sevilla, to get exposed to a different culture, increase knowledge and awareness of cultural diversity, discover alternative approaches for patient care and the pharmacy profession, learn leadership and advocacy roles within the PharmD profession, promote scholarship of teaching and learning across universities and countries, foster the awareness of quality of teaching in a virtual setting, increasing knowledge of pharmacogenomics among faculty from both institutions, and to learn from each other on the different pedagogical approaches used."

Dana Friend , Coordinator of Global Programs in the WVU School of Nursing, is collaborating the Hamamatsu Nursing School in Japan to explore cultural care with WVU students and HNS faculty. Faculty from Hamamatsu Nursing School will create a recorded zoom lecture for Community Health Nursing students that will enable students to identify 3 similarities and 3 differences in the provision of nursing care in Japan and the United States. Students will also be able to identify 3 factors leading to a longer life expectancy in Japan. Friend says the 80 Senior level nursing students will also have the opportunity to meet students studying nursing at Hamamatsu Nursing School during their live English class, and hopes the virtual exchange inspires future students to pursue a study abroad in Japan.

"The hope is that students will gain a better appreciation of the different aspects of nursing care in another country that enhance patient care and that we may apply to the care we provide," said Friend.

"For example, nurses provide the bath for patients in Japan as it is an important part of their culture and have more intimate and personal relationships with their patients. Additionally, I hope that learn characteristics of Japan’s culture that leads to better health outcomes that we can apply to our culture as well."

Beth Nardella, associate professor in the WVU School of Medicine, will use her award to collaborate with two different groups at Hanze University in the Netherlands.

Nardella plans two main projects, the first being a Skype assignment with first-year physiotherapy students in which they team up to learn about healthcare and cultural identity and discuss how our culture influences our health beliefs. This includes stereotyping which leads to misconceptions and then poor health outcomes. The second project is an assignment with students in the Global Health minor, where students will work in teams and discuss recent events in each country related to healthcare. They will then compare stats of the US, the Netherlands, and a third country of their choosing to better understand the social determinants of health.

"With the grant comes responsibilities and I felt that it was important for other faculty members to see that we can still develop international collaborations during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Nardella.

"Losing all study abroad has been terrible for students but this gives an opportunity to have an international experience while not travelling. Our goals are for students to learn more about the healthcare systems in other countries. I think we all have a lot of misconceptions about each other and this gives students the opportunities to learn about how we are different and how we are the same. I also think looking at the social determinants of health from a global perspective helps us better understand ourselves and are place in society."

Dr. Jonathan Sherman, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, will use his grant to Enhance Gross Anatomy Education at The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Sohar, Oman.

The virtual exchange program will be a lecture series introducing the use of a state-of-the-art visualization platform for enhancing and accelerating health sciences and medical student training in gross anatomy. According to Dr. Sherman, Education XR™ through WVU will provide an interactive platform for visualizing in Virtual Reality (VR), as well as on tablets and smartphones a fully featured anatomy atlas through distinct learning modules. With Education XR ™, students will fully immerse in the anatomy so that they can study the anatomical and functional details of each organ system at high resolution from all angles. As a result, Dr. Sherman says all the learning points from each lecture can be incorporated into subsequent real cadaveric prosections provided by WVU.

"Proving immersive Virtual Reality’s ability to help medical and health sciences students understand complex 3D anatomy could increase its use as a serious training tool in anatomy curricula and courses," said Dr. Sherman.

"This would facilitate a positive transformation in anatomy education, supplementing traditional teaching methods and making up for the decreased funding and resources available for cadaveric and surgical learning methods.

"The use of immersive XR technologies in medical education is a new concept. By developing use case studies and test them in the appropriate clinical settings to enhance care quality and expand medical education competences, such tools will eventually become easily adopted by the accreditation agencies such as ACGME (Accreditations Commission on Graduate Medical Educations), and WFME (World Federation for Medical Education)."

Dr. Michael Vercelli, Director of the World Music Performance Center, will be collaborating with The Bernard Woma Dagara Music Center located in Medie, Ghana. Dr. Vercelli’s students will participate in zoom workshops, lectures, and concerts featuring members of the Saakumu Dance Troupe, the professional performing ensemble of the Bernard Woma Dagara Music Center. Through these workshops and lectures, students will have the opportunity to learn from master Ghanaian musicians and dancers, as they would if they were attending the BWDMC. Over the course of three workshops, the WVU African Ensemble will learn a traditional piece to perform on their Spring 2021 concert. This concert will be prerecorded both in Ghana and at WVU to allow WVU students to perform “with” their Ghanaian instructors. The MUSC 477 course will be involved with an ethnographic analysis as a means of understanding the myriad of ways “traditional” music in Ghana is developed and performed in modern contexts.

"As the pandemic has crippled the performing arts, this project aspires to demonstrate the important collaborative process of cross-cultural musicianship," said Dr. Vercelli.

"Many WVU students have studied at the Bernard Woma Dagara Music Center (BWDMC) through my faculty-led trips to Ghana and I have hosted many prominent members of the BWDMC to give workshops on campus. This project will continue to strengthen our collaborative relationship with the BWDMC in three ways: 1) by providing the opportunity for WVU student to study virtually with master African culture-bearers, 2) providing an important effort in advocacy supporting our colleagues in Ghana that currently cannot perform due to the pandemic, and 3) to reaffirm the WVU World Music Performance Center’s mission in bringing the best of global music to WVU. Ultimately, this project will foster WVU’s connection to the BWDMC for future student/faculty/artist exchange."

Watch his video to learn more. Access Passcode: 9u2ey$4X

Dr. Kazuhiko Kido , Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, will be collaborating with Kitasato and Keio Universities in Japan and WVU School of Pharmacy students to learn international pharmaceutical practices. Dr. Kido says this is virtual exchange program will be the start to a new working relationship between WVU and Kitasato and Keio Universities. The virtual exchange is slated to start in early April, with a limited number of students in the trial program. Dr. Kido says students will collaborate in teams with the Japanese universities in an effort to think outside the box when it comes to typical pharmaceutical work and gain an international perspective on how pharmacies play a different role in foreign countries.

Dr. Benjamin Silverberg , Assistant Professor and Medical Director at WVU’s School of Medicine, will be working to globally engage WVU Physician Assistant students with the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Students in the course took part in guest lectures with Professor Ian Jones, the program director of the Physician Assistant training program at UM-W. Dr. Silverberg says the guest lectures were engaging, highlighted ethical failings in Canada's history of medical research, and health disparities. The course (PA549) is a required second-year course in WVU's PA training program and enrolls about 25 students.

Fall 2020 Recipients

Ludwig Schaupp of the John Chambers College of Business & Economics, who is collaborating with Münster University of Applied Sciences and Fulda University of Applied Sciences in Germany, and Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Colombia for his classes in Managerial Accounting and Global Consulting.

“I lined up the fall semester with four projects and four different international contacts and built in a mini consulting project for each of those engagements,” said Schaupp.

“I try to make them build on each other, but they are team building exercises with communication skills and problem solving. They started with a project with the partner school in Columbia and did a virtual intro and team building to get acclimated to the communication channels out there for internationals. The next one rolled on to GEA Consulting, which is a real Fortune 50 firm in Germany, and did a project on automated milking technology, which is the human-less milking of a cow. The third piece is going through an intercultural seminar with incoming engineering students with Fulda University. The last project is with the University of Münster, which involves having a need for wheelchairs due to COVID-19 and trying to build one that meets all of the standards for international markets.”

Scott Barnicle, teaching associate in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences is partnering with Halmstad University in Sweden for his Psychological Perspectives of Sport course.

“The Virtual Exchange Grant has been a crucial component of this semester’s effort to continue to build the working partnership between the WVU and Halmstad University Sport and Exercise Psychology programs,” said Barnicle.

“As this partnership has been evolving over the past 5 years, our ability to utilize cutting-edge technology this semester has been a tremendous benefit to WVU and Halmstad University faculty and staff, but most importantly out students. I look forward to being part of this partnership moving forward, and I am excited to see where opportunities like the Virtual Exchange Grant takes us!”

AJ Aluri, associate professor in the John Chambers College of Business & Economics, will be using his award for his courses in Tourism Management and Hospitality Social. Dr. Aluri is collaborating with Hong Kong Baptist University, Hotel and Tourism Management International, Dubai, and Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Dubai.

“I have held a session for Hong Kong Baptist University students that was very engaging, and they also presented to my HIT Lab and students in the hospitality program and it was insightful,” said Aluri.

“When you have experts outside the US and can bring them to your zoom call that’s a great way to hold a virtual exchange. And I’m not stopping there, I take students to Dubai as part of my study abroad program but obviously we can’t go, so I’m collaborating with a couple of programs there and planning a virtual exchange as well. So that’s the reason I applied for the grant from Global Affairs, and it has been really helpful to get this up and running.”

Teaching associate professors Susan Lantz and Paula Fitzgerald from the John Chambers College of Business & Economics are working together on their partnership with the Royal University for Women in Bahrain for their course Appalachia and the Arabian Gulf: Engaging with Women, Business, and Entrepreneurship around the Globe.

    “What it boils down to is this semester we had three virtual study abroads that are two hours long, and we opened it up to 25 WVU students and 25 RUW students each section,” said Dr. Lantz. “We’re working with three professors there and put the students together in the sessions to talk about culture and work on a case study. At the end they put forth the results of the study and make a video presentation for us.”

    Dr. Fitzgerald and Dr. Lantz say this virtual exchange has paved the way for a new kind of course they hope to offer in the spring.

    “One of my goals is to teach an entire virtual study abroad 3 credit class next semester. We have a minor in B&E called International Business, and a requirement is a study abroad experience. Well that’s a problem right now isn’t it? So, this class is BCOR 200 would fulfill that requirement for study abroad for the minor and is open to all,” said Dr. Lantz.

    “The goal is having a class with students here and RUW studying the same things in parallel and sharing them with each other. The name of the course is Appalachia & the Arabian Gulf: Women in Entrepreneurship Around the Globe. We’re going to study women in entrepreneurship, culture, issues that come along with women in business and study it through the lenses of culture and gender.”