Since 2011, the Global Citizenship Project (GCP) has empowered Brookdale students to become active global citizens through the leadership and guidance of faculty members. On April 29, English professor Elana Maloney, communications professor Deborah Mura and environmental science professor Harry Compton were named outstanding educators at this year’s annual GCP Awards ceremony for their passion and commitment to facilitating global learning.
Professor Maloney regularly hosts GCP events and she has led six study abroad trips for students to five countries in Europe, Central and South America throughout her teaching career in the English department at Brookdale. Maloney was recognized for her efforts in fostering empathy in the classroom by incorporating global themes in all of her courses.
Maloney’s desire to encourage students to become global thinkers sparked from her own passion for global studies and the impact it has made on her life. According to Maloney, the GCP allows students to broaden their perspective of the world, an asset that is valuable beyond Brookdale.
“Learning about the world and its people and cultures has always inspired me, so I try to bring that passion and curiosity to my students as well. The GCP is the perfect way to do that, incorporating global themes into my core curriculum to encourage students to think about the world outside of their realm of experience,” Maloney said. “GCP gives students a framework of study that encourages deeper thinking about the world. As teachers, we can accomplish our learning outcome goals for our classes while giving them experience with topics that will impact their lives outside of the classroom.”
Professor Mura has served as an active GCP committee member since the establishment of the program. In 2015, Mura, along with Chemistry professor Thomas Berke, founded The Innovation Network (TIN) at Brookdale, an organization that gives students a platform to work collaboratively through community service and outreach programs to address global issues. In her classroom, Mura motivates her communications students to become engaged global citizens and guides faculty in adding global learning to their curriculum.
“The beauty of GCP is that when you connect students to the global community and teach them about their own voice and power, they become engaged. Human beings intrinsically care about one another. This naturally makes students care more about their own studies and consequently makes my job much easier,” Mura said. “GCP and similar efforts at Brookdale are my passion. It makes me feel as if I am doing my small part and helping change the world.”
Professor Compton’s passion for global citizenship stems from his previous career in environmental engineering for the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He now uses his experiences while traveling to every U.S. state and six developing countries with the EPA to delve into global environmental issues in his coursework.
“I try to bring as much of that into the classroom that I feasibly am able to illustrate,” Compton said. “There are positive and negative aspects of every way of life and more importantly they all have an interesting aspect worth discussing and appreciating.”
While the program has adapted and grown since its establishment, through the work of dedicated faculty members, the GCP continues and will continue to push students to expand their global perspective.
“I think the GCP will continue to tackle the important issues of our time,” Maloney said. “College is a great time of exploration and formation of your ideals. GCP will continue to challenge students to think critically and empathetically about the world beyond the soundbites and hashtags.”