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Spring 2020 Internship

"Building Community in Times of Social Unrest"

Let's take an interdisciplinary look at the broader theme of “Building Community in Times of Social Unrest.” Given the upcoming Presidential election, political, cultural, and social strife throughout the world, having the ability to understand ways to develop community across cultural lines is not only necessary but critical in the 21st century.

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This course will explore diversity through multiple perspectives so that students will gain knowledge, awareness and skills to work in today’s culturally diverse environments. Interns in this course will specifically take an interdisciplinary look at the broader theme of “Building Community in Times of Social Unrest.” Given the upcoming Presidential election, political, cultural, and social strife throughout the world, having the ability to understand ways to develop community across cultural lines is not only necessary, but critical in the 21st century. This course is designed around four central ideas: an anthropological understanding of culture; self-reflection on our individual positionality; the multiple dimensions of diversity; and acting with cultural sensitivity and humility. From an anthropological perspective, students will gain insight into how their own cultural lenses shape their interactions with others, and examine what it means to engage with others in culturally competent ways.

 

Through an internship placement, students will learn to identify data sources and collect accurate information, use technology to engage across the state, and present findings in an accessible manner. They will also participate in weekly team virtual meetings, a US/International virtual exchange program, and develop and attend on- and off-line career development workshops where they will learn about professional opportunities and develop professional skills. As a component of this internship, students will develop intercultural competencies in order to gain crucial skills that will allow them to excel in today’s culturally diverse environments. The internship will conclude with a public presentation jointly developed by the interns.

Course Overview

This course will explore diversity through multiple perspectives so that students will gain knowledge, awareness and skills to work in today’s culturally diverse environments.

 

This course is designed around four central ideas: an anthropological understanding of culture; self-reflection on our positionality; the multiple dimensions of diversity; and acting with cultural sensitivity and humility. From an anthropological perspective, students will gain insight into how their own cultural lenses shape their interactions with others and examine what it means to engage with others in culturally competent ways.

As the world continues to become more interconnected through commerce, education, and politics, the need for developing intercultural competencies is even more critical. Dr. Rogers believes that facilitating a deeper understanding of each individual's culture, we could better prepare module participants to develop their awareness of intercultural similarities and differences (e.g., the role of sensitivity and adapting thinking and towards ability/disability, linguistic proficiency, privilege, gender, culture, learning approaches, and other variables), and foster the growth of the intercultural competencies necessary to participate fully in our increasingly diverse and interconnected world.  

Course Description

  • ​Analyze multiple dimensions of diversity, human differences, and similarities 

  • Explain key anthropological concepts such as culture, cultural construction, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, social difference, and hierarchy; 

  • Identify intercultural competencies and their connections to learning;

  • Develop solutions to challenges surrounding inclusiveness in the context of collaborative online international learning.

Learning

Outcomes

 

Dr. Rhianna Rogers Course Professor

Dr. Rogers served  as Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Tenure Track; August 2010-2017) and is currently Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies (History & Anthropology), since August 2017, at SUNY Empire State College.

She is the Principal Investigator of The Buffalo Project, and director of the Center for Law and Policy Solutions (CLPS) internship program at the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

 

The Buffalo  Project

The Buffalo Project is a longitudinal participatory action research project. For ten years (AY 2010-2020), Buffalo Project data has been analyzed to discuss students’ perceptions of culture and its impacts on the learning process. Generally speaking, our data indicated a general lack of cultural understanding among diverse student populations (i.e., across genders, race, ethnicity, settlement/location, class, economic, and technological divides), illustrating that students were not being adequately engaged taught intercultural competencies and cross-cultural communication. As a way to address these issues, beginning in 2010, Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Rhianna C. Rogers, co-PIs, colleagues, and research associates have worked with community stakeholders and WNY data to engage in a participatory action research study of perceptions of culture in the region, coined “The Buffalo Project.” 

The Center for Law & Policy Solutions investigates how decisions of law and policy affect ordinary people and communities to help policymakers, community organizers, and the public develop practical solutions to pressing public policy issues.

The center is a collaboration among the following institutions:

  • The Rockefeller Institute of Government

  • SUNY Empire State College

  • Hudson Valley Community College

  • The Government Law Center at Albany Law School

  • The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany

  • The University at Buffalo School of Law

 
 
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