Transatlantic Scholars Inaugural Event, 2021-2022
On September 11, 2021, CEUTTSS was proud to host several distinguished EU guests for the kickoff event of the Transatlantic Scholars program.
Building on the desire to develop collaborative solutions to common problems and promote active global citizenship, three schools in Ireland are partnering with three similar schools in Virginia to work on a year-long project-based social studies program sponsored by CEUTTSS and the Virginia Council for Social Sciences. The projects focus on various aspects of the European Union priorities for 2019-2024: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/priorities_en
Dr. Dennis Halpin, Associate Professor of History at Virginia Tech, gave a thought-provoking keynote presentation on the Irish-American diaspora in US History, followed by a lively Q&A session. This historical overview set the stage for presentations by three pairs of Virginia and Irish teachers, who outlined their collaborative plans for the upcoming academic year. Their projects will include a comparative study of historical memorials in Richmond and Dublin and the analysis of differences in commemoration and celebration in the different communities; an examination of equality and disparities between men’s and women’s sports in Europe and the US; and exploration of the impact of national and international environmental regulations on local communities. Irish Member of the European Parliament Maria Walsh, alongside Margaret Francois from the European Parliament Liaison Office in Dublin, and Victoria Malcolm, a European Parliament Ambassador School award-winning educator in Dublin, offered their support and access to various EU resources in response to the teachers engaging presentations.
Dr. Esther Bauer, Associate Professor of Modern Languages (German) and member of CEUTTSS, and program co-organizers Colin Baker of CEUTTSS/MCPS and Sam Futrell of the VCSS, chaired the meeting.
CEUTTSS will continue to play an active role supporting the Transatlantic Scholars program throughout the 2021-22 academic year in a variety of ways ranging from administrative support, to providing EU and European expertise for teachers and students as they collaborate across the Atlantic. Smaller projects will be submitted throughout the year, with larger final projects due in April. Plans are in place already to expand the program for the following year, drawing on the lessons learned from this pilot initiative.