The Office of International Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Franklin C. Torres Ródenas, ’00 & G-’02, as 91’s first Faculty Administrator for Global Learning for the 2020-2021 academic year. In this new position, Dr. Torres will enhance Gallaudet’s academic mission to internationalize the learning experience of every student, a goal arising from the university’s 2017-2019 Internationalization Laboratory (IZN) effort. He will work closely with Becca AbuRakia-Einhorn, Manager of Education Abroad and International Fellowships (EA), in cooperation with an Education Abroad Advisory Group.

Dr. Torres said that his education abroad experiences as a student were “life-changing,” and that he is eager to help today’s students benefit. “As students navigate through the world, their curiosity, imagination, and awareness will soar as they learn to respect and appreciate other people’s ideas, perspectives, and values in the world,” he said.

Global learning is defined as “the process of diverse people collaboratively analyzing and addressing complex problems that transcend borders of all kinds… [to] demonstrate how institutions can enable all students to determine relationships among diverse perspectives on problems and develop equitable, sustainable solutions for the world’s interconnected human and natural communities [and to] describe how a leadership process–collective impact–can enable all stakeholders across departments and disciplines to align and integrate universal global learning throughout the institution and achieve the aims of inclusive excellence” (Landorf et al, 2018).

Bringing global learning to Gallaudet requires engaging faculty members in the process of enhancing curriculum and learning activities, including overseas and in the Washington, D.C. area. The challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic make this a particularly opportune time for innovative new approaches, such as collaborative online international learning (COIL), which Gallaudet is presently exploring.

“As an accomplished professor, Dr. Torres will surely work steadfastly to support our faculty members’ creativity in internationalizing the learning experience for all students. He will help ensure that every student is enabled to experience the world outside the United States, and to realize the value of our own multicultural American society,” said Gallaudet Senior International Officer Charles B. Reilly. “We are appreciative of the efforts of former Provost Carol J. Erting and faculty chair Dr. William T. Ennis III, ‘01, in enabling this important investment in building a global Gallaudet.”

Dr. Torres has worked at Gallaudet for 18 years, and is an associate professor in the Department of English. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Gallaudet and his doctorate from Capella University.

Congratulations to Dr. Torres!

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