A Strong Partnership in India

This summer, through Global Engagement’s India Initiative, six faculty members visited Symbiosis International University (SIU) in Pune, Maharashtra, India. The program, running from July 29th to August 7th, was a chance for faculty to work on projects and create relationships that will eventually become future GLE courses, study abroad, or joint research projects. Zafar Iqbal, Associate Director for Regional Initiatives, led the visit that saw the participation of Scott Paeth (Religious Studies), Kathryn Ibata-Arens (Asian Global Studies), Howard Rosing (Steans Center), John Shanahan (English), and Nila Ginger Hofman (Anthropology ).

LAS Prune Faculty
Nila Hofman, who pioneered the GLE+ approach last year with her Symbiosis partner Shweta Despande, will be working on the second edition of their project this fall. A GLE + is a course in which the collaboration at a distance between faculty and students is enhanced by reciprocal in-person co-teaching visits of the instructors and small group of students of the partner institution. Nila is also in the process of negotiating a new project for the winter quarter with a new Symbiosis partner, Gayatri Nair.

Scott Paeth and his Symbiosis collaborator Gayatri Mendanha designed a GLE+ course for the 2016-2017 academic year and the first half of 2017-2018. They are also collaborating with Shweta Despande on in-person co-teaching both in Chicago and Pune as well as on a research project on religious syncretism in South India.

Kathryn Ibata-Arens and her Symbiosis partners will launch their first GLE+ collaboration at DePaul in Autumn Quarter, as part of AAS 253/PSC 253 Asian Politics. Ibata-Arens will also work jointly with the Dean of Symbiosis Law School. Ibata-Arens says “we will be mentoring junior faculty in an international research collaboration on the theme of traditional medicine: human health, innovation, and intellectual property rights (IPR) regimes.”

John Shanahan is also working on new GLE opportunities with Indian colleagues while Howard Rosing had the opportunity to guide a group of SIU faculty in setting the foundations for a community based service learning program at SIU.

Planting the tree

This successful visit cemented the already solid partnership between DePaul and SIU and we are looking forward to further collaboration. DePaul conducts working visits to SIU on alternate years. If you are interested in participating in the 2018 visit, please contact Zafar Iqbal, Associate Director for Regional Initiatives- India: ziqbal@depaul.edu​​​​​