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Two Faculty Members Chosen For International Online Learning Project

Angela Martin and Amber Gilewski with SUNY colleagues in Egypt
Amber Gilewski (far right) and Angela Martin (second from right) with SUNY colleagues in Egypt

September 13, 2017

Two Tompkins Cortland Community College faculty members traveled to Egypt and Lebanon this summer as part of a unique SUNY program designed to expose more students to international experiences. Associate Professor Amber Gilewski and Instructor Angela Martin were among 15 faculty members from across all of SUNY to participate in the SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) summer workshop at the American University of Technology in Lebanon.

COIL provides faculty with the opportunity to partner with faculty members from other countries to bring the world into their classrooms. As a result of the COIL relationship, both Martin and Gilewski are partnering with colleagues in Egypt to co-teach courses in Dryden and Cairo using online and blended learning environments emphasizing on experiential student collaboration.

“We are always looking for ways to globalize our curriculum,” said Martin, who serves as the COIL coordinator at Tompkins Cortland. “Not everyone can leave the country for the traditional study abroad experience, so this is a great way to offer an international experience to our students.”  

Collaborating with the American University of Cairo in Egypt, Tompkins Cortland students will work with the Egyptian students on group projects. “Part of what makes the project so great is that it gives students from different parts of the world a chance to get to know each other and realize they have more similarities than differences,” said Martin, noting that international communications skills and the ability to look at things objectively are the strengths of the COIL partnership.  

COIL was founded by Professor Jon Rubin as a faculty-led initiative at SUNY's Purchase College with support from SUNY System Administration's Office of International Programs and the SUNY Learning Network. Now based in Albany, COIL has been a unit of SUNY Office of Global Affairs since 2010.