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Community Partners

Community Partners

Tool Objectives:

  1. To build sustainable connections between a local community organization and the targeted international project/organization.
  2. To think critically about global service learning initiatives and the importance of building sustainable and meaningful partnerships.
  3. To collectively reflect on and share best practices toward raising local awareness of a particular international issue (specific to the targeted international project/organization).

Tool Description:

This activity is designed for embedded courses that engage students in international service learning projects. The exercise requires that students work in small groups to develop a connection between a local community organization and the targeted international project/organization. Doing so will require that students think critically about global service learning initiatives and the importance of building sustainable and meaningful partnerships.

Tool Procedures:

1.   Selection of Community Partner. Working in small groups, have students identify a local community organization which would potentially have an interest in working with the targeted international project/organization. This local organization can be any civic, religious, educational or community group. Each small group should introduce the international service learning project to the local community organization and extend an invitation for support. Such support can take many forms, but will depend heavily on the nature of the international service learning project and known needs. Examples may include the coordination of activities, donation of supplies and/or resources, information sharing, student pen-pal exchanges, etc.

2.   Community Partner Proposal. Each small group should submit a 3-4 page project proposal that includes a description of the community partner organization and the form of support requested. As class time allows, have students present their proposals to the entire class.  It is important that the projects be feasible and appropriate to the international service learning project.

3.   Implementation. While in-country, students should carry out their proposal in collaboration with the targeted international project/organization. The proposal should be secondary to the overall course goals for the service learning project. Each small group should document this process through journaling, photographs, recordings, etc.

4.   Reporting. Upon return, each group must prepare a final report of the community partner project and a presentation to be delivered both in class and if possible, to the local community organization.  The final report should include a description of the project as implemented, its sustainability and a group self-reflection on the overall learning process.

Tool Evaluation:

Evaluation is carried out in two parts: 1.) community partner proposal, and 2.) proposal implementation and reporting. Together, the total assignment can count up to 40% of the overall course grade (20% for proposal and 20% for final group report). All members of each group should receive the same grade.

Tool Time Requirement:

Variable time allotted for presentations and class discussion.

Tool Author(s):

S. Barnhart, L. Spess & A. Ogden, 2009

Tool Handouts [.doc or .docx]:
Community Partners Handout

Episode 29: Cultural Lens on U.S. Higher Education: Analyzing International Perceptions of 'Anti-Woke’ Discourse

Dive into a nuanced exploration of the global discourse surrounding higher education in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with esteemed international educators as we embark on a journey through the lenses of culture and international perspective, examining how global audiences interpret and engage with the ‘anti-woke’ discourse within the context of U.S. higher education. This engaging panel discussion will delve into the intersections of culture, ideology, and education, and the complex landscape of how international audiences perceive the ‘anti-woke’ narrative that has emerged within U.S. academia.

Whether you’re a senior international officer, or simply curious about the diverse viewpoints shaping U.S. higher education, this podcast episode will provide an invaluable space for critical analysis and insightful conversations.

Speaker Biography:

Fanta Aw is a distinguished leader in international education, renowned for her extensive contributions to global learning, cross-cultural understanding, and educational equity. With a deep commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and promoting educational excellence, she has significantly impacted the international education community.

Fanta Aw’s career has been characterized by her dedication to advancing global education initiatives, promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing partnerships that transcend borders. She has held influential roles in various organizations, advocating for the importance of international collaboration and learning experiences that empower individuals to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thought leader and visionary, Fanta Aw’s insights and expertise have shaped discussions on the future of international education, emphasizing the significance of equitable access, cultural exchange, and lifelong learning. Her work has not only elevated institutions but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace the transformative power of global education.

Date: September 14th, 2023
Time: 12 noon ET

Sponsored by:

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

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Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.