October 14, 2010
Although Rollins is woven into the fabric of Central Florida, the College’s vision is far from parochial. For more than a decade, Rollins has been expanding engagement on a global scale. In 2005, the school embarked on an unprecedented effort to internationalize its faculty—an initiative that President Duncan, now in his seventh year, believes is essential to providing a fully rounded education.
“We’re boldly at the forefront of bringing the outside world into the classroom,” said Duncan. “This helps answer the question that students always ask: ‘How am I going to use this in the real world?’”
These globalization efforts represent a natural progression of the mantra espoused by Rollins’ past leaders: If you understand how the world works, you can affect positive change and better educate students.
To that end, the President’s Internationalization Initiative strives to provide every faculty member with an international experience at least once every three years. Since its launch, more than 75 percent of eligible faculty and staff have used the $3,500 grants to conduct individual research projects or to travel in small groups to destinations like Antarctica, China, Ecuador, Tanzania and most recently, Bali.
The emphasis on internationalization benefits students as well. According to the Open Doors Report published by the Institute of International Education, Rollins ranks among the top 25 colleges and universities for its study-abroad program, with 63 percent of undergraduates participating.
“By experiencing other cultures and engaging in the local community, students don’t see Central Florida and the world as separate entities anymore. Rather, they view Central Florida as part of the world,” said the Office of Community Engagement’s Meyer. “Decisions here affect things globally; nothing happens in a vacuum. By achieving global awareness, you can best affect change locally.”
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