2023 BEA On-Location
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Friday, October 20 • 10:15am - 11:15am
Leaving on a Jet Plane: Perspectives from faculty leaders of study abroad

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The confines of the pandemic resulted in immense pent-up demand for our students: a desire to create, a desire to interact, and a desire to explore. Leading media-creating students abroad meets this demand and has to potential to unlock both enthusiasm for and curiosity about the larger world. Logistics are complicated and different institutions have a patchwork of support for willing faculty. Additionally, the form that experiences abroad take are as varied as the destinations. While one group may engage in a detailed study of international media systems, another may explore media history or in client-based media creation. This panel invites a group of faculty leaders of recent study abroad experiences. They will discuss their thought process when developing their trips, the logistical nightmares of navigating their institutional processes, and share the triumphs experienced by their students. Moderated by Dr. Lowery A Woodall, III, this panel will feature leaders of three distinct types of study abroad experiences. In June 2023, James Machado, MFA led a group of 12 undergraduate students to Bologna, Italy to attend the IL Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival. CR2023 is the largest international film festival devoted exclusively to the history, preservation, and restoration of celluloid film. Students attended screenings, panels, and discussions that explore various dimensions of the topic. Additionally, they created a variety of social media posts across platforms to promote film preservation, cross-cultural exchange, and tourism logistics. LaDonna Aiken led a group, in July 2023, of undergraduate students on a month-long visit to Japan, where they studied the media and broadcasting systems of that country and the interplay between the US military, US media, and Japanese media. Tracy Songer led a group to Prague, Czech Republic. Her group had partnered with locals in the Czech Republic to produce commissioned media content. Her student-staffed agency, SMC Creative, traveled with high-end production gear to shoot and produce content for clients. This panel demonstrates the exciting diversity of experiences available to industrious faculty who are willing to do the labor and think outside the box.
Moderator: Lowery Woodall, III, Millersville University
Panelists: James Machado, MFA, Millersville University
LaDonna Aiken, University of Texas Arlington
Robin Canfield, Actuality Abroad


Lowery Woodall

Millersville University of PA

avatar for Robin Canfield

Robin Canfield

Director of International Progrms, Actuality Abroad
I am a writer, photographer, filmmaker and educator who has spent over a decade now guiding students on study abroad programs with Actuality Abroad - primarily focusing on changemaker-centered short documentaries. I build projects for faculty-led university programs and independent... Read More →
avatar for LaDonna Aiken

LaDonna Aiken

Broadcast Specialist, University of Texas - Arlington
BEA's Faculty Fellow for Student Initiatives

Friday October 20, 2023 10:15am - 11:15am EDT
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