Research team led by two SDCT faculty members selected for President’s Award for Global Learning


October 23, 2018
Presidents Award for Global Learning

A research team that includes two faculty members from the School of Design and Creative Technologies has been selected as one of seven recipients for the President’s Award for Global Learning at The University of Texas at Austin.

The team, led by Assistant Professor of Design Jiwon Park and Michael Baker, assistant professor of practice in Arts and Entertainment Technologies, will explore whether culturally grounded intervention programs, through the use of a mobile app and in-person workshops, can have an impact on people’s opinions on mental illness and suicide in South Korea. The team also includes faculty advisor and UT Professor Soyoung Park and a team of four undergraduate students: Andrew Chen (biochemistry), Patience Ojionuka (psychology), Elena Ordonez (sociology/government) and Shaina Owens (neuroscience).

After a highly competitive process, the interdisciplinary teams were chosen to receive up to $25,000 and fully funded travel to implement research, social impact and entrepreneurship projects in seven regions across the world during summer 2019.

“All of the UT students and faculty members who submitted proposals should be proud of their work — their innovative approaches to addressing critical problems are outstanding,” said UT President Gregory L. Fenves. “This award program combines experiential learning with interdisciplinary engagement to give our students the opportunity to learn, practice and discover in international settings. I am thankful to the International Board of Advisors for providing the funding to make the President’s Award for Global Learning possible.”

A total of 28 proposals were submitted from teams consisting of 98 students representing 10 colleges and 64 faculty members representing 14 colleges. The program, a signature effort of the International Board of Advisors, included a comprehensive review process that drew on expertise from deans, associate deans and faculty members across 10 colleges and schools.

Fourteen finalist teams, two per region, were ultimately chosen to advance and pitch their projects to a distinguished panel of judges who recommended projects to President Fenves for the award. A second team from the College of Fine Arts, co-led by Professor of Ethnomusicology Robin Moore and Professor of Bassoon Kristin Wolfe Jensen, advanced to the finals with their proposal “Exposure – Diversifying The Classical Music Canon: Giving A Voice To The Silenced Musicians of Cuba.”

Projects were judged on several criteria, including the expertise of the students and faculty members on each team, the interdisciplinary mix, commitment of the international partner and history of collaboration with UT, feasibility, sustainability, and contribution/applicability to the university and Texas. The judges panel included Dean Randy Diehl (College of Liberal Arts); Dean Sharon Wood (Cockrell School of Engineering); Dean Mark Smith (Graduate School); Teri Albrecht, interim executive director of the International Office; and Maria Arrellaga, executive director of global engagement.

Learn more about the other teams selected for the award.

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