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 and anti-racist 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
- Ficarra, J. & Topacio Long, M. (forthcoming 2022). 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. (forthcoming 2021). Tension, Conflation, and Oversimplification: How White Pre-Service Teachers Made Meaning of Difference on a Short-Term Service Learning Program in Costa Rica. In N. Guler & C. Ullom (Eds.). At School in the World: Developing Globally Engaged Teachers. Rowman & Littlefield.
- 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.
- 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
- Executive Director, International Center of Syracuse (2021 – Present)
- 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 Fellowship, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy Swaziland (2011) Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (2010)
jmf389 [at] cornell.edu