The SUNY COIL Center has completed the professional development phase for the 3rd and final cohort in the Stevens Initiative project to internationalize the curricula and build international partnerships between SUNY campuses and institutions in the Middle East and North Africa. The Steven’s Initiative is a private-public partnership to build career and global competence skills for young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa. The four-day workshop, following the Eid Holiday, and hosted at American University of Technology in Halat, Lebanon allows professors from these regions to plan the collaborative online international courses that they will co-teach in fall 2017. Some 30 professors, working together in 15 COIL partnerships from 11 SUNY and 3 MENA institutions participated in the workshop. The president of the American University of Technology Ghada Hinain inaugurated the event with a message about the critical place of international collaboration in 21st century education and representatives from the Lebanese Ministry of Education and the Steven’s Initiative attended the workshop lending support and encouragement to the professors. The COIL-enhanced modules that professors developed at the Stevens workshop were shaped over the 6 previous weeks during the online COIL Academy course delivered through COIL professional trainers. Professor Sanaa Makhlouf from the American University of Cairo commented at the end of the workshop that:
the main conclusion I can draw from this very simple, yet touching, situation is that there are no real boundaries between people once they are allowed to spend time together and interact together. The differences and divide between people is all due to political leaders and the biased media. When people meet and put aside such thoughts, they come to realize that it is easy to bridge any divides between nations.
Professor Makhlouf and her colleagues will embed their COIL-enhanced modules into a variety of credit-bearing course subjects including academic and interdisciplinary work in Nutrition, IT, Marketing, Media, Kinesiology, Anthropology, Hospitality Management, Accounting, and Engineering in fall 2017.