For nine years, Charles Braithwaite and his UNL students have been interacting with counterparts in Russia — but only through audio and video beamed over the Internet. In September, he’ll turn the tables as he teaches his popular Global Classroom curriculum from Tyumen State University in western Siberia.
Teaching the class from a new perspective is just one facet of Braithwaite’s four-week endeavor to Russia as a Fulbright Specialist. He’ll also be working with faculty and administrators at Tyumen State on further adapting the Global Classroom, which is a Communication Studies class that connects UNL students to countries around the world. Through the class, students interact face-to-face with their peers in countries such as Pakistan and Turkey.
The Fulbright Specialist Program awards grants to faculty approved to join the Specialist Roster in their selected discipline. Once selected, these professionals can participate in short-term collaborative projects with institutions in more than 140 countries. They remain on the roster for five years.
Braithwaite will arrive in Russia on Aug. 29. During his stay, he plans a complete evaluation of the Global Classroom with Russian colleagues to ensure it is up to date in technology and curricula. He said he also hopes to branch the Global Classroom into other disciplines.
“I’ll be meeting with faculty and administrators and students in other programs besides communication to do a needs assessment to see if this could help them as well,” he said. “I’m always looking for opportunities to connect UNL to other parts of the world.”