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By Kelly Merchan
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Global Development

A new style of engaged courses in Global Development will allow students to apply classroom-based lessons in real-world development contexts. Launching in the fall semester, Global Development will offer two immersive faculty-led study trips each year. The first two courses will travel to Cameroon and Costa Rica.

Drawing on faculty expertise, the courses will expose students to challenges and solutions in the field. During the second seven weeks of the fall term, students will meet on-campus weekly to learn about the course themes and the historical and cultural context of the off-campus course location. In January, students will spend 8-10 days exploring the course topic through immersive experiences in the field.

“As an engaged major, we encourage our students to step out of the classroom to learn from and with communities both locally and globally,” said Julie Ficarra, associate professor of the practice in Global Development. This course format complements the major’s required eight-week internship and courses designed to prepare students to engage productively with communities and make sense of their experiences.

Based in Cameroon, the course “From Cradle to Grave: Inequalities across the Life Course in sub-Saharan Africa” will examine how inequality manifests across different institutional settings and how program and policy approaches work to mitigate inequality. The trip will be led by Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, professor in Global Development, and Sarah Giroux associate professor of the practice and director of undergraduate studies in Global Development. Both faculty bring a wealth of research experience in population, social change, and sustainable development in Cameroon.

“I am excited for the opportunity to foster global engagement among our students,” said Eloundou-Enyegue. “It is critical for students to witness and learn from local partners at organizations such as PICHNET that are confronting inequalities and empowering youth for transformative change.”

“Exploring Agricultural Development in Costa Rica” will explore the organizations, labor conditions, trade policies, and gender considerations that impact value chains, with a focus on specialty crop production such as flowers, pineapples, bananas, and coffee. The trip will be led by Marvin Pritts, professor in Global Development and the School of Integrative Plant Science, Terry Tucker, professor of the practice in Global Development, and Justine Vanden Heuvel, professor and chair of the Horticulture Section in the School of Integrative Plant Science.

Global Development will offer two faculty-led study trips each year, with new topics and locations that align with the department’s faculty expertise. 


Kelly Merchan is a communications specialist in the Department of Global Development.

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