Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vermont Professor of the Year

Champlain College professor honored as Vermont's best
Free Press Staff Report • Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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Del.icio.us Facebook Digg Reddit Newsvine Twitter FarkIt Type Size A A A A Champlain College faculty member has been named Vermont professor of the year on the strength of his work in Global Modules, an unusual international discussion forum that's part of the college's interdisciplinary core curriculum.

Gary Scudder, 50, assistant dean for global engagement, was among more than 300 professors nominated for the annual award issued by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Winners are named for each state and for the nation at large.

Scudder conceived of Global Modules, in which Champlain students exchange ideas with their counterparts at colleges overseas, about eight years ago. The discussions — via electronic bulletin-board postings — take place over four-week intervals around various themes in each of the Champlain students’ first three years. The third-year theme, for example, is human rights.

“We don’t do videoconferencing,” Scudder said in an e-mail, “because it is expensive and often doesn’t work ... and only a few people talk. Instead, we created a system where everyone is required to participate.” He described the discussion as an “asynchronous dialogue.”

“My dream was to embed these online discussions with international partners as part of the required curriculum,” he said, adding: “No one else does this.”

The list of international partners has grown to 17 countries, including Jordan, Russia and India.

“Gary is an outstanding professor,” Elizabeth Beaulieu, dean of the core division, said in a college news release. “He has an amazing gift, and our students are lucky to have him.”

President David Finney called the award “an extraordinary honor.”

“This is an important first for our college,” he said.

Scudder and other award winners were honored at a special luncheon in Washington, D.C., last month.

“They emphasize learning, not just teaching; inspiring, not just profession; and exploring, not just explaining,” said John Lippincott, president of CASE, in his ceremonial remarks. “In short, they are exceptional representatives of a noble profession.”

Honorees were selected, in part, based on criteria that considered their impact on students and their scholarly approach to teaching.

Scudder, in his 11th year at Champlain, said he was humbled by the award and the recognition “makes me want to work even harder for my students in the future.”

Previous Vermont winners have included John Elder, professor of English and environmental studies at Middlebury College (2008); David Mindich, professor of journalism at St. Michael’s College (2006); Sunhee Choi, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Middlebury (2005); and Susan Dinitz, lecturer in English at the University of Vermont (2004).
This story appeared on page B1 of Tuesday's Burlington Free Press


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The Global Modules project has recently received the Community Contribution Award from the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. This is a tremendous honor and one that we share with our international partners, without whom we would not have a program. Congratulations to everyone involved.

Gary Scudder

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Higher School of Economics

In March a team of Champlain professors - Dr. Betsy Beaulieu (the Dean of the Core Division, where the Global Modules are housed), Dr. Kerry Noonan, Dr. Jennifer Vincent, Dr. David Kite, and Dr. Gary Scudder (the Assistant Dean for Global Engagement) visited the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia. In the space of less than a year the Higher School of Economics has grown to be one of our most important Global Module partners, and, in fact, we ran more GMs with HSE than any other school this semester. In addition to running a number of workshops for both faculty and students, the team also discussed ways that our two institutions can have even greater collaboration. The trip was amazing. In turn, two professors and five students from the Higher School of Economics visited Champlain in April. It's just this sort of increased face-to-face collaboration that we're hoping grow out of the Global Module experience.