¡Adelante! KSU and University of Vallodolid Partnership Takes Off
Linda Shuford Evans and April Munson
“We’re ready!” was the phrase most heard in multiple locations in and around the city of Vallodolid, Spain in late April. Ready for what? Ready to put in motion an active, multi-faceted partnership between Kennesaw State University and the University of Vallodolid (UVa), in Vallodolid, Spain. Conceptualized by Dr. April Munson, College of the Arts, and Dr. Linda Evans, Bagwell College of Education, the partnership is poised to launch exchanges of faculty from across multiple disciplines in both universities, promote interdisciplinary international research initiatives, and facilitate study abroad and student-teach abroad programs in local schools in both countries.
In January 2014, President Dan Papp, Rector D. Marcos Sacristán Represa, and Vice-Rector of International Relations D. José María Marbán Prieto signed into effect a Memorandum of Understanding between KSU and UVa. Linda Evans and April Munson were awarded funding through the Institute for Global Initiatives to travel to Vallodolid and meet with faculty and local school personnel to actualize the MOU.
The University of Valladolid
The University of Valladolid (UVa) is a public university in the city of Valladolid, located in the autonomous region of Castilla y León, Spain, approximately 120 miles northwest of Madrid. UVa, one of the oldest universities in the world, was established in the 13th century, and currently has approximately 28,000 students on its four campuses. As a leading center of higher education in Spain, UVa has 12 colleges offering over 100 degrees, as well as a well-established network of international programs and research centers.
The site visit to UVa took place from April 23 to May 2, 2014 with the purpose of providing UVa with a greater understanding of KSU’s profile and student body, and exploring collaborative efforts and opportunities for students, staff and faculty. UVa’s Dr. Iván Jorrín Abellán facilitated the ever-expanding itinerary as more UVa faculty learned of the visit and requested meetings focused on the MOU as well as Drs. Evans’ and Munson’s areas of expertise.
Trip highlights include the following:
• Fifteen UVa faculty members, representing the Colleges of Education, Nursing, Industrial Engineering, Technical Communication Engineering and Arts & Letters/Humanities, indicated serious interest in active engagement in the MOU.
• Two prestigious research centers—CETIE-UVa and Grupo ACOGE—are ready to provide partnering opportunities to KSU researchers.
• Leaders in Education, Social Work, Nursing and Arts & Letters are eager to provide their candidates with the opportunity to take coursework at KSU and to host KSU candidates in equivalent courses.
• Site visits to two local public schools revealed exceptional opportunities for engagement, student practicum experiences in education, and student teaching abroad in technology- and language-rich classrooms.
• April Munson and Linda Evans were invited to deliver a doctoral seminar based on their research in narrative inquiry.