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Initiatives Receive Funding From President’s Strategic Fund

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Ten different proposals for academic activities that incorporate high-impact practices and other elements of the University’s Strategic Plan have been selected to receive support through the President’s Strategic Fund.

With contributions from donors, the focus of this year’s efforts are individual or team proposals that “deliver an impactful, high-quality study abroad or away course or program.”

The inaugural proposals selected for funding are:

Geology-Biology Collaborative Field Investigations in Death Valley and the Mojave Desert

Location: Death Valley National Park and Desert Studies Center, Zzyzx, Calif.
Under the direction of Darren Sandquist, professor of biological science, and Jeffrey Knott, professor of geological sciences, students will develop an understanding of many geology-biology desert processes. The course provides an “innovative instructional experience” that includes cross-disciplinary interactions between advanced biology and geology majors in a real-world setting not unlike that experienced by environmental science professionals.

Spanish Life & Culture: Spain in the European Union

Location: Madrid and Granada, Spain
Under the direction of Juan Carlos Gallego, professor of modern languages and literatures, students will learn about Spain and the European Union by exploring aspects as varied as government, finance, education, religious practices, social and cultural values, and everyday life. They will evaluate the significance of how differing perspectives and trends affect theses communities, and learn about topics such as Spain’s government, religious beliefs and practices, educational and health systems, and how this compares to the U.S. and Europe.

Crime and Justice at the U.S. – Mexico border

Location: Calexico and Chula Vista, Calif.
Under the direction of Robert Castro, associate professor of criminal justice, this project will help students build intellectual literacy through assignments that fuse knowledge, application and first-hand experience. Students are offered an exceptional field setting to apply classroom academics to real-world situations regarding immigration, crime and justice in the border region.

Alternative Break:  Homelessness, Poverty and Hunger in San Diego Communities

Location: South San Diego
Students will experience issues dealing with homelessness, poverty and hunger by not only working with a Fullerton community organization, as well as traveling to San Diego to serve with other organizations dealing with such issues. Under the direction of Martha Webber, assistant professor of English, comparative literature and linguistics, and Alisia Kirkwood, graduation specialist in the Center for Careers in Teaching, students will identify the similarities and differences of issues in communities within the same region of the country.

Vietnamese Life and Culture

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
This course explores the life and culture of Vietnam through its language, literature, cuisine and history. Under the leadership of history faculty members Allison Varzally, Laichen Sun and Lynn Sargeant, participating students will explore the ethnic and cultural diversity of Vietnam in the context of its sometimes turbulent political history.

Language and Culture for Special Populations

Location: University of Ingolstadt-Eichstaett, Germany
Under the direction of Melinda Pierson, professor of education, this program includes seminars at a premier German university with participating undergraduates representing such countries as Japan, Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, Poland and England. Reflective discussions and writing assignments, as well as local elementary and middle school visits, will facilitate student engagement with other cultures and with community-based support centers for people with disabilities in the Eichstaett area.

Modern Art:  Mexican Muralism and the Art of Frida Kahlo

Location: CSUF, Guanajuato, Mexico
After the Mexican Revolution ended, the government commissioned artists to create art that would educate the mostly illiterate Mexican people about their history. Under the direction of Rose Adams, lecturer in art, students will visit Guanajuato and Mexico City to better understand muralism, the leaders of the Mexican muralist movement and the ideas that helped shape the movement.

International Public Relations:  Professional Communications & Tourism in Mexico

Location: Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
Students will travel to CETYS Universidad campus in Ensenada, Mexico, to learn about professional communications in the context of tourism and tourism promotion. Under the guidance of Dean Kazoleas, associate professor of public relations, and Inez Gonzalez, director of the Latino Communications Initiative, students will collaborate with their Mexican counterparts on integrated marketing communications directed at improving the image of Mexico as a safe, fun and affordable tourist destination.

Universidad de Guadalajara

Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
Under the direction of Julian Jeffries, assistant professor of literacy and reading education, Cal State Fullerton students will attend a course at the Universidad de Guadalajara that will focus on Mexican and Latino/a immigration to the United States. The destination of this program is a culturally rich city with a long history of migration patterns to Southern California. Students will engage in transnational research projects that detail the lived experience of migrants between these two states.

Exploring Little Saigon (Vietnamese Communities in the U.S.)

Location: Little Saigon, Orange County
Little Saigon has the largest Vietnamese American community in the United States and is a hub of the Vietnamese diaspora. Under the direction of Tu-Uyen Nguyen, associate professor of Asian American studies, Little Saigon is an ideal location for students to learn about the Vietnamese American community and its historical, social, political and cultural contributions.