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Task Force launches webinar series for Ed Dept.

July 23, 2015

Dr. Curran

On the morning of June 30, Jackson School Director of the Center for Global Studies and Professor Sara Curran conducted a Task Force class – but this time it was not for Jackson School undergraduates. Instead, she shared Task Force with other Title VI centers across the United States, at the request of the U.S. Department of Education to launch their new “Grantee Showcase” webinar series.

Mohamed Abdel-Kader, U.S. Department of Education deputy assistant secretary in the Office of International and Foreign Language Education, hosted the one-hour webinar. Participants from other international studies centers could ask questions using twitter or a chat screen. “I’m really excited to launch this first in a series of grantee showcase webinars … it’s an opportunity to showcase fantastic work and exchange ideas on an open forum,” he said.
In introducing the session, Abdel-Kader emphasized how Task Force builds bridges between academics and policymaking, and complimented the programs of the Center for Global Studies and the School’s International Studies program.

Professor Curran spoke about the Task Force approach, content, topics, evaluation process, organizational structure and resources. Her goal, she said to the online, live audience was “to share what works, why Task Force is worth investing in, and why it is a valuable model for students pursuing international careers.”

She shared recent innovations, such as “fact-finding missions” to countries that are Task Force topics, and revealed impact beyond the classroom, including media coverage of student work and presenting of policy recommendations at the state legislative level. She also covered logistics, highlighting the planning cycle needed for teachers and the project-based role of students as coordinators, editors and researchers.

Questions ranged from selection of Task Force topics, process of seeking out partnerships in the private sector, to replication in regional centers.

For over 30 years, Task Force has been a required, hallmark course for undergraduates that aims to bridge the gap between academic research and policymaking.


To view entire webinar, click here.