Faculty participate in Nicaraguan immersion

By: Maddie Day ~Staff Writer~

Xavier faculty members traveled to Nicaragua this week to experience the country’s unique culture.

Xavier’s Faculty Learning Communities (FLC), sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), put together this week’s trip for “The Transformative Potential of Faculty Immersion.”
CTE works to provide Xavier faculty with collaborative learning environments that will promote reflective, engaging and effective teaching.

Participating faculty members include Josh Shanklin, Shelagh Larkin, Michelle Early, Shannon Hughes, Jill Segerman, Dr. Wendy Maxian and Dominique Brown.

Shannon O’Neill, study abroad assistant at the Center for International Education, also made the trip.

The group will join Dr. Irene Hodgson, professor of Spanish in the Department of Classics and Modern Languages, who is already in Nicaragua this year.

The group spent the majority of the fall semester studying the country’s vibrant culture.
The FLC will stay in a neighborhood in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, where its members will spend time at the local Jesuit university, The Universidad Centroamericana.

They will also visit a sustainable coffee estate called “Selva Negra” in the highlands of Northern Nicaragua.

However, most of their time will be dedicated to living in solidarity with members of the Nicaraguan community.

“The goal is to have faculty experience an immersion, or intensely spend time in an unfamiliar culture and learn from the experience,” Maxian, a member of the FLC in Nicaragua said. “After experiencing an immersion ourselves, we will be able to create more challenging and rewarding experiences for students.”

The FLC hope its immersion experience will help guide future coursework, enhance existing immersion opportunities, and improve university-sponsored service projects.

The CTE is supported and funded in part by the Office of the President of Xavier University.
Its FLC program is modeled after a program developed by Dr. Milt Cox of Miami University.
Cox worked directly with the facilitators of Xavier’s first FLC.

For more information on CTE and its faculty learning communities, visit http://www.xavier.edu/cte.