Emily Zimmerman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management and Global Resource Systems in the Department of Horticulture, has been co-leading study abroad programs to Peru, U.S. Virgin Islands, The Netherlands and Uganda since 2018.
- Why do you lead programs?
- I value providing students with experiential learning opportunities that broaden our understanding of our world and the people that we share it with. Study abroad programs provide opportunities to learn about and experience the value of diverse ecosystems, cultures, and ways of seeing the world. Those experiences can help to inform students’ experiences back on campus, in their communities, and in their future professions.
- What would you say to faculty that are considering leading a program? How would you encourage faculty to lead a program?
- I would encourage faculty to lead programs. Some of my most enriching experiences with students and student learning has been on study abroad programs, where students are able to experience and reflect about life in a different place with a different environment and culture.
- I would encourage faculty members who are considering leading a program to reach out to CALS Study Abroad staff for resources, talk with faculty members in their department who have offered study abroad courses, and to identify potential opportunities to shadow faculty members who are leading programs.
- What have you learned by leading programs?
- I have learned an immense amount about student learning and interests, and I, alongside students, have grown in my understanding of our global community. Study abroad experiences have also informed the content and way in which I teach courses on campus, and have allowed me to develop professional partnerships in other parts of the world.
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- In my free time, I like to be outside, especially with my partner Nick and our two golden retrievers. I am avid runner, and I enjoy baking, refurbishing old furniture, and traveling.
- Why should students study abroad?
- I would highly encourage students to participate in study abroad programs. Study abroad programs are designed to facilitate student learning, and allow students to expand and apply their on-campus learning in diverse locations around the world. Studying abroad helps students to understand the value of other resources and cultures, and increases cross-cultural communication, cultural competency, and empathy. Now, more than ever, food and agricultural careers necessitate a global understanding – and CALS study abroad provides opportunities to gain tangible experience in this context.
- How would you encourage students to study abroad?
- I would encourage students to stop in CALS Study Abroad (0018 Curtiss) to find a program that will work with their academic and professional goals, and to talk about scholarship and funding opportunities. I would also encourage students to talk to faculty members in their departments to identify programs, and to chat with their peers who have participated in study abroad programs.