Going global in the Midwest

Sep 12, 2008

Sharing his passion for Rule of Law and education reform in his native India, Dr. Badri Rao spent his summer vacation away from Kettering lecturing to other college instructors.

It’s normal for a college professor to find himself in front of a classroom lecturing; it’s not always normal for him to be lecturing a group of his peers – other college instructors.

Dr. Badrinath Rao, associate professor of Liberal Studies at Kettering University, did just that this summer, and it wasn’t the first time. Rao participated in the Midwest Institute for International/Intercultural Education (MIIIE) for the sixth year in a row, lecturing about his research on social justice and the rule of law inIndiaand the state of education in India.

A Fulbright grant underwrites the seminars by experts in international and intercultural topics at the Midwest Institute at Kalamazoo Community College, in Michigan, during the summer months. “The seminars are part of the Midwest Institute’s International-Intercultural Education program for community college instructors to help them create modules for use in their course curriculums,” said Rao.

The Midwest Institute for International/Intercultural Education (MIIIE) is a self-funded consortium of two-year colleges located in the Midwest region. Its primary objective is to support curriculum and professional development by organizing curriculum workshops, fall and spring conferences, overseas projects for faculty and students, assistance with grant development, provide faculty mentoring and professional networking.

Rao’s lectures were part of two of the Midwest Institute’s 2008 Summer Workshops, one focused on human rights and cultural diversity and another focused on global healthcare and education. 

“It is always a pleasure to present at these workshops,” Rao said. “It is an opportunity to share your research interests with other educators, and I have found the participants to be very interested and very interesting. It is a win-win situation.” In past years, topics have included terrorism and ethnic and minority rights.

“It is my hope that these workshops have some impact on the community college faculty in attendance, that it broadens their horizons and gets into their school’s curriculum,” he added.

Rao plans to apply for a Fulbright grant opportunity to take 15 community college professors toIndianext year, participating as a subject expert.

Established in 1992, MIIIE strives to inspire or enhance existing degree programs in international-intercultural studies at community colleges through curriculum development modules and provide professional development for faculty with summer workshops, online training/sharing, overseas faculty travel/teaching, short-term professional visits to four-year universities and annual conferences. Originally funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Title VI program, MIIIE has been self-funded since 1995 but continues to receive funding from federal, state, and nonprofit organizations for various projects. There are currently 128 members of the consortium, from two-year colleges in the Midwestregion. For more information, visit their web site.

Written by Dawn Hibbard