Abigail Adams of the
Anthropology Department and Brandon Vick of the
Economics Department have been awarded a grant from the Appalachian Teaching Project to create a public history trail using geocaching
to promote the history of Downtown Indiana. IUP will partner anthropology majors from the Introduction to Cultural Anthropology class (ANTH 211) with two community organizations, Downtown Indiana and the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana
County, to create an Adventure Learning Trail.
The ALT Project is a collaboration between IUP students from ANTH 211 and two community partners, Downtown Indiana Business Improvement District and the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County. The objective of this collaboration is to link
the intellectual and creative resources of IUP students with community partners to help preserve and promote the charm, quality, and culture of Indiana by creating a sustainable community program that provides educational resources for the larger
public. Students will create a virtual, historic excursion in downtown Indiana that will serve to stimulate tourism, encourage learning, and promote economic revitalization of the town through linking historical knowledge to Global Positioning Systems
(i.e., geocaching) technology.
The Adventure Learning Trail will provide IUP students with an opportunity to collect oral histories and stories from local residents and “memory-keepers” with the end goal of creating a virtual geocaching tour of the town. This student-led research will
enable undergraduates to collaborate with local community members to identify salient historical topics in order to chronicle the cultural heritage of Indiana. This data will then be used to create a geocaching walking tour in conjunction with the
newly launched WalkWorks program in the town. Indiana is one of seven counties in the state of Pennsylvania currently participating in the program funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School
of Public Health Center for Public Health Practice.
This collaboration will be a tool for community building. More specifically, student and community participants will aim to create an inclusive public history project that can help to unify the town and university as they work together to connect the
past to the present and raise historical consciousness.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania has received a second year of funding from the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to continue the International Leaders in Education Program. This year’s funding is for $185,000.
As a recipient of the funds, IUP will, again this year, serve as a host institution for 16 international secondary teachers (Fellows) for an immersive professional development experience.
The ILEP Fellows also will be on site to learn from teachers at Indiana Area High School and Brashear High School in Pittsburgh to gain different contexts and perspectives on the American educational system.
The focus of the program is to promote and develop teacher leadership, technology integration skills, and intercultural exchange. The ILEP Fellows are from Brazil, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, and Senegal.
The ILEP Fellows will participate in two academic courses as well as two semester-long workshops delivered by faculty members in the IUP College of Education and Educational Technology: Educational Seminar, taught by Laura Strong; and Technology Workshop,
led by Lloyd Onyett.
After an orientation in Washington, D.C. starting on January 3, 2017, the Fellows will come to Indiana. From January 15 to March 4, the ILEP Fellows will spend Wednesdays at Indiana Senior High School with selected partner teachers, and will be at Brashear
High School in Pittsburgh from March 18 to May 6.
Lara Luetkehans, dean of IUP’s
College of Education and Communications, and Michele Petrucci, associate vice president for the IUP
Office of International Education and Global Engagement and executive director of the American Language Institute, co-authored
the grant application.
“Last year’s program went beautifully,” Petrucci said. “The Fellows told us that it was an enriching experience for them, and they learned a great deal both in and outside of classroom settings. In turn, it was a beneficial experience for us as hosts
to learn from the Fellows and to gain a better appreciation for their countries and cultures.
“It is truly an honor for IUP to, once again, be selected to host the ILEP Fellows and, through this grassroots, people-to-people diplomacy effort, it is one small step towards increasing awareness and making the world more tolerant,” she said.
The workshops and seminars offered by IUP faculty are designed to enhance the ILEP Fellows’ expertise in their teaching disciplines and equip them with a deeper understanding of best practices in teaching methodologies, lesson planning, and the use of
technology in education, Luetkehans said.