In celebration of International Education Week, The Forum is pleased to announce the 2017 recipient of the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design: James Kelly of Indiana University, for his course “Reporting HIV/AIDS in Africa.” As reporting interns at Uganda’s Daily Monitor, students in Professor Kelly’s embedded program acquire the skills to report complicated stories in a cross-cultural setting through a mix of academic work and interaction with local reporters and editors. In addition to their classroom study and internship, students benefit from a two-day seminar at the African Centre for Media Excellence and a visit to Makerere University’s journalism program to meet Ugandan students.
Kathleen Sideli, Associate Vice President for Overseas Study at Indiana University, responded with enthusiasm upon learning that Professor Kelly’s course had been selected:
I have always been amazed at the confluence of learning levels embedded in Jim Kelly’s reporting program on HIV-AIDS. Although he is ostensibly teaching students how to write journalistic articles, he opens them up to the sobering health epidemic in many ways. They develop their own compassion and understanding for the human face behind this disease which has many social and economic reverberations for those living with HIV-AIDS and their families. And working out a system by which the IU students work side-by-side with Ugandan reporters, learning from them in a real newsroom, is a significant dimension of this program. Each year I follow the student articles and photos online and am always moved by the depth of their experience. Every university should have a Jim Kelly of their own!
Selection committee chair Wendy Lombardo of Arcadia University’s College of Global Studies remarked, “This year the committee had a strong group of submissions covering current and important subject matter. Reporting HIV/AIDS in Africa rose to the top based on an innovative model carefully aligning the topic with the location. This course gives students the unique opportunity to gain expertise while reporting on a complex issue in a highly experiential environment.”
The Forum’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum Design honors instructors who develop and implement innovative and effective education abroad curricula. It is the education abroad field’s only award presented to an individual or group of individuals for excellence in the design of an education abroad course. By recognizing the outstanding efforts of instructors who are committed to the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, The Forum hopes to inspire the field to strive for enrichment of education abroad curricula, and to continually reflect on how to best encourage student learning abroad.
The award will be presented at The Forum’s 14th Annual Conference, Building on Strong Foundations: Best Practices for an Evolving Field, in Boston on March 23, 2018, where Professor Kelly will present a session about the course.