Open Forum II: Addressing the Hidden Curriculum in Academic–Host Community Relationships

Thursday, September 29, 2022 (Virtual)

2:00 – 4:00 pm Central European Summer Time (CEST)/UTC+2.

Many education abroad programs claim to foster mutually beneficial outcomes for learners and receiving communities. Too often, community voices are not included in either program planning, instructional planning, or assessment efforts, raising questions of the implicit and explicit messages learners take away about receiving communities. When do our programs reinforce stereotypes rather than challenge them? When do they weaken local community capacity rather than enhance it? What are the benefits and challenges of working with receiving community groups and what models and tools are available to address power differentials in these relationships?


Julie Ficarra
Julie Ficarra is an Associate Professor of the Practice in the Global Development Department at Cornell University, where she is responsible for developing international partnerships for globally engaged learning. Dr. Ficarra has worked in international education at the University of South Florida and SUNY as well as at the U.S. Department of State where she was a Cox Fellow. She won NAFSA’s 2019 Innovation in International Education Research Award and holds a Masters in International Education Policy from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education from Syracuse University.


Carmen Luca Sugawara
Dr. Carmen Luca Sugawara is an associate professor at Indiana University School of Social Work, where she teaches international social development and community practice, and leads and promotes global community-engaged education. One of her signature courses is a study-abroad program she developed and leads in a post-war region of Croatia. Her most recent Fulbright work examined the role of higher education institutions in strengthening local capacity for development. Prior to assuming her professorship role, she worked in social development, supporting civil society strengthening and democracy efforts in Southeast Europe.


Sanja Vokovic-Covic
Sanja Vukovic has more than two decades of professional experience in community reconstruction, policy making, youth and community work, and social entrepreneurship. In her executive director role, Ms. Vukovic builds bridges and facilitates cross sectoral cooperation, including Croatian and European foreign ministries and departments. For the past 12 years, she has been involved in community-engaged education, co-designing and implementing a global service-learning course, participating, and hosting various local, national, and international events promoting community-university engagement.


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