Global Learning Program Development Awards

Global Learning Program Development Award winners announced

Contact: Nicol Tinsley
VCU Global Education Office
(804) 828-6463

Richmond, VA (August 23, 2023) The Global Education Office (GEO) is pleased to announce the recipients of the first 2023-24 Global Learning Program Development Awards. The inaugural awards are granted to eight VCU faculty and groups to develop new and innovative global learning programs including education abroad, domestic study away with a global focus, or virtual exchange.  

Jill Blondin, Ph.D., associate vice provost for global initiatives, expressed excitement about the caliber of programs awarded that will provide new global learning opportunities for students.

“We received many high-quality proposals from different academic units,” she said. “It is clear that VCU is dedicated to providing innovative global learning opportunities to students, and I am excited to see these programs take shape.”

The Global Learning Program Development Award winners and their programs are:

  • Chimene Boone, executive director, TRIO Programs - VCU TRiO Study Abroad Experience
  • Amy Cook, associate professor, chair, criminal justice - The Netherlands: Amsterdam and The Hague; CRJS 491/591: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Drug Policy (study abroad in the Netherlands)
  • Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead, assistant professor and coordinator of Humans of RVA & VCU - Short-term, Faculty-led Study Abroad in London 
  • Hilary Levinson, assistant professor; Carver Weakley, assistant professor; Katy Hanggi, chair, department of Focused Inquiry - Focused Inquiry Short-Term Programs for First-Year Students (domestic and international global learning programs)
  • Andrea Simonelli, associate professor, political science - Pacific Government and Politics: International Security and Local Perspectives of Oceania (study abroad in Australia) 
  • Emily Smith, assistant professor; Sara Desvernine Reed, assistant professor; Camden Whitehead, associate professor, interior design -  Design as Resilience (domestic study away program)
  • Rich Weinstein, associate director, Brandcenter - The Power of Creativity (study abroad in Cannes, France)
  • Benjamin Young, assistant professor, homeland security and emergency preparedness history - Politics and Legacy of the Cuban Revolution (study abroad in Cuba)

Stephanie Tignor, director of global learning, feels the awards will “begin a tradition of offering rich, domestic global learning opportunities for VCU students,” as two award recipients are faculty who will develop new short-term domestic study away programs, including the Department of Focused Inquiry and the Department of Interior Design.

“I am so excited about the potential of these awards to create new opportunities for students to gain global skills and experiences, especially within academic units that have not previously offered global learning programs,” she said. “Also, non-academic units, like the new TRiO program abroad, will create a transformative experience for their students, many of whom are historically underrepresented in education abroad.”

The winners are granted up to $5,000 each, with two domestic global learning programs being granted additional funding from the REAL Challenge Award Program.