When President Obama announced the re-establishment of US-Cuba diplomatic ties this past July, the path was cleared to develop educational and cultural partnerships in higher education. Ohio University Zanesville Dean Jenifer Cushman and Director of Global Opportunities Catherine Marshall took advantage of the opportunity by participating in the first annual CubaTies workshop October 27-30 in Cienfuegos, Cuba.
Cushman presented a paper on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and under-resourced students with an eye to exploring partnership possibilities with the University of Cienfuegos, and both OHIO representatives were eager to learn more about the situation in Cuba today.
“We experienced a warm Caribbean welcome,” said Cushman, “both with regards to weather and people. I see the University of Cienfuegos as an exciting potential partner for our COIL efforts, which seek to connect OU students with international partners across the world through technology in the classroom.”
Marshall agreed, adding “The opportunities available for student and faculty learning and engagement across a wide variety of academic fields are really exciting.” Other OHIO staff will follow up on Cushman’s and Marshall’s trip in January, as Lori Lammert from the Office of Global Opportunities will travel to Havana with faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, Scripps College of Communication, College of Business and College of Health Sciences and Professions in order to explore the development of new study abroad programs and relationships.
–Ohio University Compass