International Scholars Forum

As part of TEFD’s Teaching & Diversity Professional Development Series, the International Scholars Forum brings together international faculty, post-docs, and graduate students. The group also welcomes all those who are interested in how to best support international students in their classes. This series is co-sponsored with the Graduate School Office of Professional Development (OPD).

The forum, consisting of monthly sessions facilitated by Dr. Kirsten Helmer, provides opportunities for participants to engage in an informal setting with a wide variety of issues particular to the experiences of international faculty and students at UMass. The monthly sessions offer a supportive space where we can explore how our cultural, social, and linguistic identities impact our teaching and our interactions with students. TEFD and OPD provide snacks.

During the first session of spring 2017, participants came together during an International Café, spending their time in collaborative table conversations around questions that matter, such as:

  • What critical issues are you facing as international instructors?
  • What issues are our international students facing?
  • What do we need to know so that our international students feel supported and can learn effectively?
  • What steps might we choose to deal with these issues?

During the second spring session, participants discussed case scenarios to think through teaching challenges. And the last spring session offered participants an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned throughout the year.

Upcoming International Scholars Forum Sessions in Spring 2018

Topics of Previous Sessions

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

  • Event #1: International Café
  • Event #2: Learning from Case Studies
  • Event #3: Lessons Learned as International Instructors

Fall 2016

  • Event #1: Adapting to Teaching at UMass
  • Event #2: How Is It Going? Breaking the Mid-Semester Blues
  • Event #3: Teaching Challenges—The 5 Whys Process 

For more information, contact Kirsten Helmer