Barry McNamara  |   Published February 16, 2016

ACM leadership

Three Monmouth faculty members in charge of study abroad programs
  • Two of Amy de Farias’s students in Jordan enjoyed breaking bread at a Yemeni restaurant.
Monmouth College faculty member Amy de Farias had a leadership role in an Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) study abroad program last semester, and two of her faculty colleagues have been appointed to future ACM posts.
  English professor Marlo Belschner will serve as the faculty coordinator for the ACM program in Pune, India, this fall, while assistant professor of theatre Emily Rollie was selected as the visiting faculty director with the ACM London program for the spring of 2018. Rollie’s proposed course, “Performing London: Voices of the City,” will bring together students who come to London with varied backgrounds and experiences in theatre and serve to immerse them in that world.   An associate professor of history, de Farias was the faculty director for “Jordan: Middle East & Arabic Language Studies” last fall. The program is designed to provide students with the distinctive opportunity to study the complex issues which dominate the region, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, contemporary Islamic thought, ethnic and minority relations and Jordan’s experience during the Arab Spring.   “Jordan has a special appeal to me, because I’ve been teaching about food and globalization for seven years, and I just recently designed a World History of Food course,” de Farias said prior to her time abroad. She tweaked the course to focus on Islamic culture and Middle Eastern culture and “how that influences the food, identity, and religion in the Middle East and in Jordan, specifically.”   Added de Farias, “I found that food was really a way to get the students engaged in the culture. I also made the students do restaurant reviews, thus ‘forcing’ them to get out and explore the city of Amman and all the different Middle Eastern cultures represented there.”   In addition to her course on food, de Farias taught about research methods and guided students on their independent projects.   “The ACM Jordan Program was really one of the best teaching experiences of my career,” concluded de Farias. “I was delighted that I could study and explore the region with such curious, smart students. It was just as much an adventure for me as it was for them.”
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