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BISC 2016

2016 BISC Conference

Boston College hosted a one-day conference on Friday, February 12, 2016 for faculty members and administrators on best practices for promoting intercultural skill development in short-term study abroad programs. 

The conference featured a keynote address from Steve Duke, Assistant Vice President for Global Strategy and International Initiatives at the University of Nebraska and author of Preparing to Study Abroad: Learning to Cross Cultures. The conference also included a series of breakout sessions. 

Continue reading for more information on the conference's speakers, topics and details. 

8:30-9:00 am: Breakfast 

9:00-9:15 am: Opening Remarks: Nick Gozik, Director of the Office of International Programs and the McGillycuddy-Logue Center for Undergraduate Global Studies, Boston College and David Quigley, Provost and Dean of Faculties, Boston College

9:15-10:30 am: Keynote address: Steve Duke, Assistant Vice President for Global Strategy and International Initiatives, University of Nebraska 

10:30-10:45 am: Coffee break and transition to breakout sessions

10:45 am-12:00 pm: Breakout sessions: "Utilizing Technology in and out of the Classroom" (Fulton 145) and "Integrating Short-Term Programs into Undergraduate Curricula" (Gasson 100)

12:00-1:15 pm: Lunch and Keynote Address: Matthew Goode, Programs Manager at the Center for Teaching Excellence, Boston College; Introduction from Akua Sarr, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Boston College

1:30-2:45 pm: Breakout sessions: "Navigating the Faculty-Student Relationship Abroad" (Gasson 100) and "Enabling and Encouraging Cultural Immersion" (Gasson 305)

3:00-3:30 pm: Concluding remarks: Nick Gozik and Steve Duke 

Steven Duke is the Assistant VP for Global Strategy and International Initiatives

“Intercultural Learning: Why is it Essential in Programs Abroad?”

One of the central goals of education abroad programs is for students to learn about people and cultures that are different from their own. We want students to develop a greater capacity in working with others across cultural boundaries, language barriers and different mindsets. In a nutshell, we want them to develop intercultural competence. But what exactly is intercultural learning and why is it an essential component in education abroad programs? This session will reflect on recent research and personal experience on intercultural learning and offer specific suggestions for ways faculty and education abroad professionals can work to enhance intercultural learning in programs abroad.

Steven T. Duke is Assistant Vice President for Global Strategy and International Initiatives at the University of Nebraska and also serves as President of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Teaching and Learning. With a Ph.D. in history from Indiana University, Steve has taught Russian, European and world history courses at Wake Forest University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Brigham Young University. He has also taught cross-cultural engagement courses and conducts research on intercultural learning and intercultural competence development. He is a frequent presenter at regional, national and international conferences on international education and at workshops for faculty and international education professionals. His publications include Preparing to Study Abroad: Learning to Cross Cultures (Stylus, 2014).

Learn more about Duke's talk with the slides to his presentation

Matthew Goode Photo

"Deepening Study Abroad Students’ Intercultural Competence Through Reflection"

As faculty and staff, how can we better support our study abroad students in developing their intercultural competence? Using the ‘Intercultural Development Continuum’ (Mitch Hammer and Milton Bennett) as a framework, we will explore opportunities for study abroad students to reflect on their experiences. We will identify key reflective learning strategies for students who are participating in study abroad programs and discuss how these interventions can be designed and students’ work assessed. We will also consider the role of cultural mentoring and the importance of instructors and staff members’ own intercultural development. Lastly, we will hear from other conference participants about the reflective strategies that have worked for their students.

Matthew L. Goode manages faculty workshops and programs in the Center for Teaching Excellence at Boston College. Having earned a Ph.D. in comparative and international development education at the University of Minnesota, his research focuses on intercultural competence in teaching and learning and he has published articles investigating the roles of faculty and staff in international education. Matthew has partnered with faculty members in leading short-term study abroad programs and he serves as a cross-cultural trainer working with faculty, staff, and students. He is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory.

Learn more about Goode's talk with the slides to his presentation


  • Utilizing Technology in and out of the Classroom
    (Fulton 145): 
    Can technology help enable intercultural awareness? Faculty discussed ways to enable cultural awareness through collaborative digital curation tools and active learning techniques through flipped classroom models.
  • Integrating Short-Term Programs into Undergraduate Curricula
    (Gasson 100)
    : This session focused on defining learning outcomes and how these relate to students’ broader academic and professional goals. Presenters discussed methods to promote student reflection and communicate post-graduation applications of students’ academic goals.

1:30-2:45 pm

  • Navigating the Faculty-Student Relationship Abroad
    (Gasson 100): 
    This session considered best practices for balancing professional distance while teaching and mentoring students abroad. 
  • Enabling and Encouraging Cultural Immersion
    (Gasson 305): 
    This session explored ways to responsibly encourage students to diversify their experience of a city beyond the typical tourist destinations. It also discussed methods of preparing students for different cultural contexts and dealing with potential sensitivities of students of color/different religious backgrounds/etc. 

Utilizing Technology In and Out of the Classroom
Session Chair: Cristina Mirshekari
Speakers: Stephanie Leone, Boston College; Joseph Nugent, Boston College; and Clare O'Connor, Boston College

Cristina Mirshekari leads the Teaching and Learning Technology group at Boston College's Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), supporting faculty and graduate students in integrating technology into their teaching and advising. Cristina oversees the CTE’s instructional technology suite, as well as outreach and support, emerging technology research and implementation, web development, and system administration, in addition to digital scholarship initiatives supported by the Center. She collaborates with teaching and technology support entities throughout the university to support faculty innovation, and she serves as a liaison to the Academic Technology Advisory Board and the Faculty Technology Contacts. Cristina holds a BA and an MA in English from Boston College.

Stephanie Leone is Associate Professor of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art History in the Fine Arts Department. Her research studies art, architecture and patronage within the social and cultural life of seventeenth-century papal Rome, focusing especially on Pope Innocent X Pamphilj and his relatives. She has published books and articles on the Palazzo Pamphilj in Piazza Navona and the Pamphilj art collections. Professor Leone teaches courses on various aspects of Italian art from 1300-1750 and has taught summer courses on-site in Rome and Florence. She integrates digital technologies into her research and teaching practices. With Boston College technical experts and undergraduate research assistants, she created the website, Roma: Caput mundi (; her current students add content to its new iteration in the MediaKron platform.

Joseph Nugent is an Associate Professor of the Practice of English at Boston College. Writing and researching at the confluence of Joyce Studies and the Digital Humanities, he has produced the iPhone app, JoyceWays, the e-book Digital Dubliners, and a number of digital publications and installations. He is particularly interested in exploring ways in which GIS and off-the-shelf digital text analysis tools can enhance our students’ experience of space, actual and literary. 

Clare O'Connor is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Boston College. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Purdue University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech and UCLA. Prior to coming to BC in 1995, she was a senior scientist at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology. She has taught graduate and undergraduate classes in genetics, biochemistry and cell biology. Her research interests include biological methylation reactions. She is also interested in the integration of authentic research activities into the undergraduate biology curriculum and the use of academic technologies to advance student learning.

Integrating Short-Term Programs into Undergraduate Curricula
Session Chair: Rebecca Hovey, Smith College
Speakers: John Gallaugher, Boston College; Marilyn Matelski, Boston College; and Suzanne Matson, Boston College

Rebecca Hovey serves as Dean for International Study and Lewis Global Studies Center Director at Smith College. Prior to Smith, she worked with World Learning as Dean of SIT Study Abroad. She has also worked in the fields of refugee resettlement and adult literacy. She holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, where her work focused on international development and planning.  Her published work focuses on critical pedagogy, the politics of knowledge, and international education.

John Gallaugher has led student learning experiences on five continents. As founder of the Boston College TechTrek programs, Professor Gallaugher and his students spend several weeks each year visiting with technology executives, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Boston, New York, and Ghana. Named “Guru to Grads” by Entrepreneur Magazine, Gallaugher has also received the Boston College Trzaska Faculty Leadership Award, the all-university Teaching Award, and the student newspaper’s Momentum Award for campus impact. During his time on the leadership team of the Boston College Venture Competition (BCVC), entrepreneurs affiliated with the program gained admittance to elite startup accelerators (Y-combinator, TechStars, MassChallenge, Summer@Highland), launched multiple products, and raised over $100 million in capital.

Dr. Marilyn J. Matelski is a tenured full professor at Boston College, having received her B.A. from Michigan State University, as well as M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has taught in the Communication Department at BC since 1978, where she served as Chairperson from 1995 to 1998. Her scholarly interests include areas of intercultural communication, cultural diversity, social justice and media studies. She has authored and/or co-authored fourteen books, more than a dozen journal articles and numerous convention papers on topics ranging from soap operas to Vatican Radio. Most recently, she has completed a chapter dealing with online journal assignments and interview projects in an upcoming book, Enabling Reflective Thinking: Reflection and Reflective Practice in Learning and Teaching (Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing, in press).

Suzanne Matson is a professor and chair of the English Department at Boston College. She teaches creative writing, and has published three novels and two collections of poetry. Six years ago she designed a summer creative writing course sited in Mussoorie, India, called "Writing out of Place," designed to foreground, by the fact of the journey and the shift into a new culture, questions of location and dislocation for the student writers, as well as fresh encounters with the concept of "home."

Navigating the Faculty-Student Relationship Abroad
Session Chair: Andréa Javel, Boston College
Speakers: Can Erbil, Boston College; Burt Howell, Boston College; and Joe Wardwell, Brandeis

Andréa Javel is a Senior Lecturer in Boston College’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures where she coordinates both Elementary and Intermediate French and supervises teaching fellows in their pedagogical training. Andréa received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Dayton, her Masters in Psychology from the Université René Descartes in Paris (with a concentration in Learning Theory and Clinical Psychology) and her M.Ed. in Teaching (French) from Harvard University. She has been teaching in Romance Languages and Literatures at BC for 25 years. She has been leading and teaching BC’s Intensive Intermediate French in Paris and/or Bordeaux under the auspices of BC’s Office of International Programs since 2002. 

Can Erbil specializes in international trade, development economics and macroeconomic policy recommendations. His applied work extends from education to health policy and energy economics. In 2012, Erbil joined the Department of Economics at Boston College as Associate Professor of the Practice. In 2015, he became Full Professor. Since 2007, Erbil has lead many international student groups to immersion trips abroad to destinations including Istanbul, Baku, and Berlin. Prof. Erbil is a Research Associate ERF and Director of Economic Modeling School at EcoMod, sits on the board of several think tanks and educational programs, and consults for the World Bank.

Burt Howell is the Director of the Intersections Office at Boston College. Started in 2001, Intersections invites faculty and staff to discuss vocation, discernment, mission, student formation, and Jesuit education. The Intersections office, under the direction of the division of University Mission and Ministry, sponsors faculty seminars, retreats, and immersion trips to Central America and the Caribbean.

Joe Wardwell is currently Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Brandeis University and faculty leader of the Brandeis-in-Siena program. He received his MFA from Boston University and his BFA from the University of Washington. He has exhibited at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and has work in each collection. He was a 2012 recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant. In addition to numerous group exhibitions, he has held solo exhibitions in New York, Boston, and Seattle. His work is represented by LaMontagne Gallery, Boston, MA.

Enabling and Encouraging Cultural Immersion
Session Chair: Kathy Bailey, Boston College
Speakers: Prof. Lynne Anderson, Boston College; Jasmina Besirevic-Regan, Yale; and Virginia Jewiss, Yale

Kathleen Bailey is Associate Professor of the Practice of of Political Science and Associate Director of the Islamic Civilization & Societies Program at Boston College. She specializes in Central Asian affairs, in particular political leadership and clan politics in Uzbekistan, as well as interethnic relations in the wider region. Her current research focuses on comparative authoritarianism and the historical legacy of autocratic regimes. She teaches courses on the Middle East, Central Asia, comparative empires, women and Islam, and the Persian Gulf states. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Women’s Studies, Obozrenie, Central Asian Studies. She is Co-Principal investigator and Project Director, U.S. Department of Education, Title VI, Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages Program, “Enhancing an Undergraduate Major in the College of Arts and Sciences in Islamic Civilization and Societies.” Dr. Bailey received her M.A. from Tufts University and her B.A. and doctorate from Boston College.  

Lynne Christy Anderson is the Director of English Language Learning at Boston College and teaches in the English Department. For several years, she has taught a creative writing course in Paris exploring the culinary traditions of the city through BC’s Office of International Programs. Lynne is interested in the connections between language, culture, identity, and food and is the author of Breaking Bread: Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens (University of California Press, 2010).  

Jasmisa Beširević-Regan is the Dean of Trumbull College, one of twelve residential colleges at Yale, and a faculty member in the Departments of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Global Affairs, and Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale having also earned the Master’s degrees there. Her dissertation on ethnic cleansing in the Bosnian city of Banja Luka focuses on the emergence of a Bosnian Muslim refugee community. Her teaching and research interests include genocide and ethnic conflict, identity, and nationalism. Her current work focuses on the Bosnian Muslim identity and disintegration of former Yugoslavia. She currently teaches a seminar on genocide and ethnic conflict, as well as a lecture course on history and culture of Southeastern Europe through Yale Summer Session in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

Virginia Jewiss is Lecturer in the Humanities and Director of the Yale Humanities in Rome Program. She received her PhD in Italian literature from Yale University and taught at Dartmouth College and Trinity College’s Rome Campus before returning to Yale. She lives half of the year in Italy, and in addition to her academic career, she is a translator of literature and film. Her translations include screenplays for Paolo Sorrentino, Gabriele Salvatores, and Matteo Garrone. Her literary translations include works by Roberto Saviano and Melania Mazzucco.

The conference was held on the Chestnut Hill campus of Boston College in Gasson Hall 100. Click here for directions to BC and a campus map.