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
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
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
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,