Associate Professor of the Practice, Department of Global Development
Julie Ficarra is an associate professor of the practice in the Department of Global Development at Cornell University. She specializes in critical approaches to partnership development centered on mutuality, reciprocity, and solidarity-building, particularly in university/community relationships that support engaged learning. Her research focuses on the impact of students on the communities that host them during study, intern, research, and service abroad programs. She is particularly interested in issues of race, gender, class, nationality and language in the development and implementation of North/South partnerships, and challenging unequal relations of power through discourse and program design.
Her teaching focuses on fostering critical consciousness as students prepare for, undertake, and then return from, engaged learning experiences, both domestically and internationally. She is a practitioner of critical pedagogy and is interested in pedagogical and curricular partnerships that allow for relationship building across difference – such as Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). Dr. Ficarra provides mentorship and advisement to students in identifying and curating a set of engaged learning opportunities that help them realize their academic, professional, and personal goals in the Global Development program. She leads the department’s efforts to expand and formalize engaged learning partnerships with public, community, and private partners – domestically and internationally.
Dr. Ficarra comes to Cornell with extensive professional experience in the field of international education and partnership development, having supported internationalization efforts at Harvard, SUNY, and the University of South Florida. Additionally, she has studied in Tanzania, England (Hertford College, Oxford), and the Czech Republic (Univerzita Karlova) and has conducted qualitative field research in San Jose, Costa Rica and Florence, Italy. She served as an Una Chapman Cox Fellow at the U.S Embassy in eSwatini, where she supported the Education USA Advising Center, PEPFAR Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programs, and spearheaded a bi-lateral HIV/AIDS youth advocacy group.
- Ph.D. Cultural Foundations of Education, Syracuse University
- Ed.M. International Education Policy, Harvard University
- B.A. Cultural Anthropology and International Studies, University at Buffalo
International Education & Engaged Learning
Collaborative Online International Learning Courses
GDEV 2105 Critical Global Citizenship with the University of Sarajevo, Bosni (Partner Faculty: Dr. Larisa Kasumagic-Kafedic, 2023 Fulbright Scholar to Cornell) | Spring 2023
Study Abroad Courses
- With Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador – bilateral, faculty-led Spring break program focused on comparative perspectives of community engaged learning (Partner Faculty: Drs. Karla Diaz and Nascira Ramia) | Planned for Spring 2024
Courses in Development
- GDEV 4305: Refugee Pathways (Spring 2024)
- GDEV 2505: Culture, Communities, and Development: From Upstate NY to Ecuador (Spring 2024)
- GDEV 2305: Planning for Change
- GDEV 2105: Critical Global Citizenship: Preparing for Ethical Engagement
- GDEV 3105: Post-Internship Course: Critical Reflection on Engaged Experiences
- GDEV 3106: Professional Preparation for Global Development
- Ficarra, J. & Topacio Long, M. (2023). Centering Local Knowledge: Decolonial Perspectives on Sustainability in Education Abroad. In K. McBride & P.T. Nikula (Eds.). Sustainability in Education Abroad. Forum on Education Abroad.
- Ficarra, J. (2021). Extending Colonial Critiques Beyond International Service-Learning in the Global South: The Case of Florence, Italy. In CAPA Occasional Publications. “Empires of the Mind? (Post)colonialism and Decolonizing Education Abroad. CAPA.
- Ficarra, J. (2020). Move Over Medici! Exploring the Impact of US Student Power in Florence Through Host Perspectives. In G. Malfatti (Ed.). People-Centered Approaches Toward the Internationalization of Higher Education (pp. 75 -90). IGI Global.
- Ficarra, J. (2020). Learning from Critique: How Critical Education Abroad Should Alter the Agenda. NAFSA Trends and Insights. NAFSA.
- Ficarra, J. (2019). Local partners as teachers and learners in education abroad: Introducing a local partner engagement process model. In A. Ogden & E. Brewer (Eds.), Critical Perspectives on Education Abroad and the Undergraduate Experience (pp. 229 - 240). Stylus & NAFSA.
- Ficarra, J. (April, 2017). Curating Cartographies of Knowledge: Reading Institutional Study Abroad Portfolios as Text. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 29(1): 1-14.
- Ficarra, J. (2017). Comparative International Approaches to Better Understanding Refugee Learners. Issues in Teacher Education, 16 (2): 15-31.
- Ficarra, J. (2016). Graduate Student Research Spotlight: “Producing the Global Classroom: Exploring the Impact of Study Abroad on Host Communities”. Comparative International Higher Education, 8:5.
- Ficarra, J., Cottrell, K., Burton S. & Miller, K. (2016). Mapping the Curriculum of the ‘Global’ City: From Bogotá to Berlin. The SoJo Journal: Educational Foundations and Social Justice Education, 1(2):45-61.
- 2023: “Re-imaging Internships through the Lens of Social Justice: Pathways forward for Developing and Sustaining Access for All” with Dr. Lou Berends (CEA Abroad), Samantha Brandauer (Dickinson College), and Dr. Monica Franciosi (CEA Florence). Forum on Education Abroad Annual Conference. Online.
- 2022: “Centering Local Knowledge through Work: Can Internships Facilitate Decoloniality in Global Learning?” with Dr. Omolabake Fakunle of the University of Edinburgh. Forum on Education Abroad’s Career Integrated Global Learning Conference. Milan, Italy.
- 2022: “Applying Research on the Impact of US students on Host Communities in Europe: Towards New Paradigms” with Dr. Jennifer Engel of the University of Indiana, Bloomington. Forum on Education Abroad’s Europe, Africa, and Middle East Conference. Milan, Italy.
- 2022: “Introducing: The Global Collective for Study Abroad Researchers and Administrators (GC-SARA)” with Dr. John Plews of St. Mary's University, Nova Scotia, Canada. Forum on Education Abroad’s Europe, Africa, and Middle East Conference. Milan, Italy.
- 2022: “Toward Achieving Research-Informed Student-Mobility Practice: Exploring Challenges and Opportunities across Scholar-Practitioners Roles” with Dr. Santiago Castiello-Gutiérrez of Seton Hall University, Global Collective for Study Abroad Researchers and Administrators. Online.
- 2022: “Addressing the Hidden Curriculum in Academic–Host Community Relationships” with Dr. Carmen Luca Sugawara of the Indiana University School of Social Work. Forum on Education Abroad. Online.
- 2022: “Decolonizing the Internationalization of Higher Education in the United States" with Dr. Harvey Charles. Association of International Education Administrators. New Orleans, LA.
- 2021: “Post-pandemic future of Collaborative Online International Learning” with Dr. Sara Ross. Conference on University Teaching and Learning. Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT.
- 2021: “The internationalization of Education: Comprehensive internationalization” Keynote Speaker, Costa Rican Universities Association for International Education.
- 2021 “Exploring Careers in International Education” Political Science Department, Bowling Green State University – at the invitation of Dr. Joshua Boston.
- 2020: (Cancelled due to COVID-19) “Institutional Study Abroad Portfolio Analysis: Towards Decolonizing Study Abroad” with Amelia Dietrich. NAFSA: Association of International Educators National Conference and Expo. St. Louis, MO.
- 2020: Rethinking Education Abroad for the Global Generation: Considerations for SIOs” with Anthony Ogden, Elizabeth Brewer, Katherine N. Yngve, and John Lucas. Association of International Education Administrators Conference. Washington, D.C.
- 2019: Keynote Address, November 2019, NAFSA Research Symposium – “Using Critical Discourse Analysis to Locate Hidden Curriculum in Study Abroad”. Washington, D.C. 2019 Invited Speaker, CAPA’s 9th Symposium – Topic: “Empires of the Mind? (Post)colonialism and Decolonizing Education Abroad. Boston, MA.
- 2018: “Critical Institutional Study Abroad Portfolio Analysis”. NAFSA: Association of International Educators National Conference and Expo. Philadelphia, PA.
- 2018: “Study Abroad and Host Communities: Local Partner Engagement Process Model”. NAFSA: Association of International Educators National Conference and Expo. Philadelphia, PA.
- 2018: “We’re So Vain, We Probably Think This Program’s About Us: Decolonizing Study Abroad” with Elizabeth Brewer and Rodger Adkins. Forum on Education Abroad Conference. Boston, MA.
- 2018: “Frontiers Journal Featured Research: Curating Cartographies of Knowledge: Reading Institutional Study Abroad Portfolio as Text” Forum on Education Abroad Conference. Boston, MA.
- 2017: “'Northside': The Politics of Community Inclusion”. International Association of Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement. Galway, Ireland.
- 2017 “Dangerous Discourses: ‘Benevolent Power’ in Domestic Service Learning and International Development”. International Association of Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement. Galway, Ireland.
- 2017: “Tracing the Evolution of Education Abroad Program Models into the Age of the Corporate University: Perils and Possibilities”. Panel Presentation: Historical Perspectives on Critical Internationalization, with Bryan McAllister-Grande and Eduardo Contreras. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX.
- 2017: “Comparative International Approaches to Understanding and Supporting Refugee Learners”. New York State Foundations of Education Conference, Ithaca, NY.
- 2016: “Race, Development, and ‘Benevolent Power’ at Home and Abroad”. New York State Foundations of Education Conference, Cortland, NY.
- 2015 “The Education of Belonging: Exploring the Politics of Space and Memory Using Documentary Film” with Sam Avery. American Educational Studies Association Conference, San Antonio, TX.
- 2014: “14 Days in Africa: Community Collaborative Filmmaking on the Continent” with Sam Avery. New York African Studies Association Meeting, Cortland, NY.
- 2013: “The Affordances of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) at Various Stages of the Study Abroad Cycle” (with Francesca Cichello) NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region X Conference, Atlantic City, NJ.
- 2012: “First Do No Harm: The Effects of Short-Term Study Abroad Programs on Host Communities” with Jeanne D’Arc Gomis and Elaine Acacio. NAFSA: Association of International Educators National Conference and Expo, St. Louis, MO.
- 2012: “Ready, Willing, and Able to Serve: Supporting Students with Disabilities on Internships Abroad” with Amanda Bryant & Ashley Zimmerman. NAFSA: Association of International Educators National Conference and Expo, St. Louis, MO.
- 2012: “First Do No Harm: The Effects of Short-Term Study Abroad Programs on Host Communities” with Jeanne D’Arc Gomis and Elaine Acacio. NAFSA: Association of International Educators Regional Conference and Expo, Puerto Rico.
- 2012: “The Affordances of Online Learning in the Context of Education Abroad. Florida International Education Consortium (FCIE) Conference, Valencia College, Orlando, FL.
- 2011: “Internationalization of Higher Education – Student Success and Experiential Education”. Harvard Graduate School of Education Student Practitioner Conference, Cambridge, MA.
Appointments & Fellowships
- Founding Member, Global Collective for Study Abroad Researchers and Administrators (2021 – Present)
- Core Faculty and Steering Committee member, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell University (2021 - Present)
- Faculty Fellow in Engaged Learning, David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement, Cornell (2021 - 2022)
- Associate Director of Study Abroad, International Programs Office, SUNY Cortland (2017 – 2021)
- Presidential Teaching and Research Fellow, Syracuse University (2014 – 2017)
- Coordinator of International Collaborations, SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (2013)
- Education Abroad Manager, University of South Florida (2011 – 2013)
- Una Chapman Cox Fellow, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy Swaziland (2011) Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (2010)
jmf389 [at] cornell.edu
Julie in the news
- Department of Global Development
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Global Development
- Department of Communication
- Department of Global Development
- School of Integrative Plant Science