Six faculty from biology, neuroscience, and physics departments at ACM colleges will travel to the Netherlands in October to visit the new ACM Amsterdam: Sciences, Global Health, & Interdisciplinary Studies at VU Amsterdam program.
ACM’s partner university in the program, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (or VU Amsterdam), has earned an international reputation for its science departments, particularly in areas such as global health and neuroscience, and the program’s curriculum enables students in science disciplines to study internationally while continuing coursework in their majors.
“This site visit is a chance for ACM faculty to get a firsthand view of what VU Amsterdam offers students,” said Joan Gillespie, ACM Vice President and Director of Off-Campus Study Programs. “We’re working to make sure they have opportunities to make connections with colleagues at VU Amsterdam in their disciplines and see the academic level of the courses, taught in English, that students can take on the program.”
The faculty participating in the site visit are:
- Rachel Bergstrom, Assistant Professor of Biology, Beloit College
- Kristine Lang, Professor of Physics and Department Chair, Colorado College
- Clark Lindgren, Patricia A. Johnson Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Biology, Grinnell College
- Judith M. Thorn, Professor of Biology and Chair of Neuroscience Program, Knox College
- Nancy A. Wall, Professor of Biology and Chair of Neuroscience Program, Lawrence University
- Stephanie J.B. Fretham, Assistant Professor of Biology, Luther College
The site visit on October 15-18 is designed to give the visitors a chance to touch on all aspects of the program, according to Gillespie. They will tour the VU Amsterdam campus and academic facilities, talk with students currently on the program, and see where the students are living. Field visits in and around Amsterdam will help them get acquainted with the city and some of its resources for students.
There will also be time to meet with Monmouth College biologist Tim Tibbetts, the program’s fall 2017 visiting faculty director, and to see the classes he’s teaching — American Environmental Thought and a research methods course for program participants who have opted to do independent study projects.
“Planning is underway for the faculty members to contribute to the program while they are in Amsterdam,” Gillespie noted. “That could be by making a presentation in their area of expertise to the students or meeting individually with students to discuss their independent projects.”
Students on the Amsterdam program select elective courses from a wide range of interdisciplinary areas of study, including in the social sciences and humanities. They also take a required course in either Dutch language or the country’s history and culture and have the option of completing an independent study project.
ACM sponsors a site visit to a program site each semester to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and to encourage engagement with consortial off-campus study programs.