NOVA and The World: Inaugural Workshop! Don’t miss the rest of the series!

This was originally posted at It is re-posted here with permission.

By Cindy Miller, Northern Virginia Community College, September 12, 2014

David Smith, an International and Internationally known speaker on the issues of human rights talked to a group of NOVA faculty on Friday, September 12th about the ways in which we might integrate discussion and teaching about human rights into our curricula across all disciplines.  He provided us with sample exercises (debates, agreeing, emerging discussions, story telling,  problem solving and others).   An interesting d2014-15_NOVA_and_the_World_schedule_imageiscussion!

Don’t miss the Rest of the NOVA and World Series held this year!

Smith and Frank FerraraSmith 1Smith and rights umbrella 1Smith 2

Deadline Extended to Monday, 9/29/14: National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar, Northern Virginia Community College

The deadline for the National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar to be held October 17-20, 2014 at Northern Virginia Community College/Alexandria has been extended to Monday, September 29, 2014.  Payment and application must be received by 4:30 p.m. EDT.   For more information contact Linda Rodriguez at .

Call for Submissions: International Education at Community Colleges: From Optional to Integral

International Education at Community Colleges: From Optional to Integral
Edited by
Rosalind Latiner Raby (California State University, Northridge)
Edward Valeau (Senior Partner ELS group and Superintendent President Emeritus of Hartnell Community College)
You are invited to submit a contribution to an edited volume to be published by Palgrave Publishers.  The book, International Education at Community Colleges: From Optional to Integral, will highlight the uniqueness of community college international education.  We invite contributions that unpack the changing dimensions of community college international education from that of an optional program to an integral one (King and Fersh, 1992) that is institutionalized as a comprehensive part of the college whole.
For over sixty years, community colleges have been implementing various international educational programs and practices, including taking part in faculty exchanges, enrolling international students, offering education abroad programs, internationalizing their curriculum, and participating in bilateral and cooperative agreements that provide technical, vocational, and occupational education, workforce improvement, and international trade and development to institutions in other countries.  In each context, international education aims to connect students, faculty, and local communities to people, cultures, and contexts beyond local borders.
Chapters are invited from practitioners and scholars in the field of community college international education who can contribute to a critical understanding of the field by sharing original research on the impact that international education has had for community colleges.  The intent is to have a combination of state-of-the-field reviews, new empirical scholarship, and critical discussions that help to depict variables that account for successful programs and those that are not so successful. All manuscripts will undergo a blind peer-review.  Editors will only consider papers written in English.
If you would like to contribute a chapter to this book, please email an expression of interest to Dr. Rosalind Latiner Raby at
Expressions of interest should be received by October 24, 2014.  Please submit:
a) Title of chapter
b) Author contact details (position, institution, email, and phone)
c) 500 – 750 word description of the chapter that includes a description of the theoretical and/or empirical emphasis of the chapter.Contributors will be notified of acceptance decisions by November 14, 2014 and sent chapter format and guidelines at that time.  Please note that first draft of chapters are due by February 27, 2014 with final chapters due by May 15, 2014.  Completed chapters should be between 3,500 and 4,500 words (excluding references).

Thank you in advance for considering this invitation.
Please send chapter proposals and questions to
Rosalind Raby
(818) 882-9931

Promoting Good Communication Among Educational Leaders

By: David J. Smith, September 3, 2014

In May 2014 I was invited to develop an afternoon workshop for the Anne Arundel County (MD)  Board of Education.  The board had recently appointed a new superintendent and wanted to create an opportunity for  board members to meet with him in a working environment.   The focus of the workshop was advancing effective communication approaches, looking at ways to resolve differences, and promoting collaboration.

Before the workshop I implemented a survey with the participants using SurveyMonkey.   This gave me an opportunity to consider the needs of individual board members and how they saw upcoming priorities.  During the first part of the workshop, I shared with the group the survey results.

We discussed the role of trust and how it could be enhanced.  This led to considering a fictitious situation  where trust and communication had broken down in a board. Participants were asked to consider how trust might be rebuilt.

Consensus is a means of decision making.  We discussed the importance of consensus building.  Using a simulation I created called “Comments by a Former President” we considered how a college board might respond to a situation where a former president made racially disparaging remarks (after a building was named after him.)

The program ended with a short visioning exercising using some precepts from Appreciative Inquiry.

Advancing Public Discourse in Colleges and Universities

By: David J. Smith, September 2, 2014

Bridgewater College faculty engaged in dialogue

Bridgewater College faculty engaged in dialogue

In August 2014 I was invited by Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia to offer a one day program that would build capacity for faculty to promote discursive activities in the classroom.  Bridgewater College is a small liberal arts institution of 1,800 students founded in 1880 and prides itself as the first Virginia institution to admit women.  The invitation came from the Academic Citizenship Program at the college. The program is designed to improve the culture of engagement and collaborative problem solving.  My workshop was part of the college’s Annual Pedagogy Project which brings together interdisciplinary faculty to focus on a particular issue or topic to integrate college wide. This year’s topic was “public discourse.”  I worked with about 15 faculty from a range of disciplines including biology, English, sociology, history, political science, and education.

In that I take an applied and experiential approach to workshops, much of the program consisted of activities that might be used with students to engage them in conversation, dialogue, and discourse.  I started by considering definitions of civic engagement – that being the overall context to consider discourse – and then engaged in demonstrating examples of discourse including argument, debate, discussion, and dialogue. The participants participated in an exercise demonstrating an argument, we then discussed the benefits/detriments of various forms of discourse.  In considering dialogue, I used materials from the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (and am thankful for allowing me it use their materials).

We also spent time talking about the theoretical foundations of civic engagement including looking at John Dewey, Paulo Freire, and Lev Vigotsky.   I emphasized the benefits of considering David Kolb’s “Learning Styles” as an approach to experiential learning, which discourse invariably is part of.

Other aspects of the program included emphasizing the need for reflection, creating the right conditions for students to engage in discourse, and ways of supporting our students. Activities I employed included pairing and questioning, writing one’s symbol (as a means of considering identity and building confidence), paraphrasing, and deep listening (which I adapted from materials from Educators for Social Responsibility).

I developed three role play activities which I used to illustrate dialogue, facilitation, and consensus building:  “A Student Committee Meeting,” “Organizing a Student Protest,” and “A Dorm Meeting.”  We ended the day looking at curriculum integration, and means of advancing student “self-authorship.”

A resource guide developed for the program is below.


Plans Underway for 2014 National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar, Northern Virginia Community College, October 17-20, 2014

Planning continues for the 2014 National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar to be held October 17-20, 2014 at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.  The seminar is being hosted by the college’s Institute for Public Service and organized by David J. Smith, editor of Peacebuilding in Community Colleges:  A Teaching Resource. This is the second year the seminar has been held.  Last year, it was held at Montgomery College in Germantown, MD.

2013 program visiting the American Red Cross

2013 program visiting the American Red Cross

The overall objective of the seminar is to provide an opportunity for community college faculty and administrators to learn from DC and international experts, scholars, and practitioners about issues related to global conflict, violence, war, and peacebuilding.  The 4-day intensive program will allow for educators to focus on projects, activities, and curricula that they might develop and implement with their students using resources shared by NGOs, think tanks, international organizations, and government entities working on global issues.  No program of its kind exists in Washington, DC that provides an opportunity for community college educators to learn from national and international policymakers and organizations.

The agenda is a rich one (attached) and includes 2-days of visits to organizations that support peacebuilding work and awareness, and are interested in supporting community college efforts.  On Friday, 10/17, the program will spend the day at the U.S. Institute of Peace, a federally funded entity that focuses on global conflict management.  The institute building is located on the National Mall and was designed by Moshe Safdie.

Saturday  (10/18) and Sunday’s (10/19) program will be held at the college and include presentations from representatives of the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, the Student Peace Alliance, the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, the Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative, as well as several experts talking about  specific global conflicts and peacebuilding including Colman McCarthy.

Monday’s program (10/20) will include visits to important organizations that focus on peacebuilding and global conflict: the U.S. Department of State, the Organization of American States, and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

During the weekend program, two films will be screened: Beyond the Divide, produced by Quiet Island Films, which examines the conflict and coming together of the veterans and peace communities in Missoula, MN, and Seeds of Hope, sponsored by the Pulitzer Center, which examines conflict in Africa and role of women.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for groups looking to work with community colleges on issues of global education, civic engagement, and peacebuilding.  At present, The Democracy Commitment will be a sponsor.

Registration information can be found here and closes on September 17, 2014.  For more information on registration contact Linda Rodriguez at If you have questions about the program, including sponsorship, contact David J. Smith at