The UT Global Initiative for Education and Leadership (UTGI) and the South Asia Institute (SAI) hosted Dr. Farida Saleem of Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) as part of an exchange program in the Spring of 2015.
The US Department of State and United States Embassy in Islamabad awarded grants for exchange opportunities between American and Pakistani Universities in 2012. FJWU faculty members have been visiting Austin since 2013 through SAI. This exchange, however, is UTGI’s first involvement. UTGI, which focuses on pedagogy training, facilitated opportunities for Dr. Saleem to collaborate with higher education mentors and programs.
During her visit, Dr. Saleem sat in on classes and was then given the opportunity to discuss with the professors who led each class. She later reviewed how the observed techniques could be applied at her home institution. She also sampled courses covering a wide range of topics and led by distinguished faculty in the College of Liberal Arts.
Dr. Saleem sat in on meetings and discussions with members of various groups. She met frequently with Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali, Dr. Rachel Meyer, and Dr. Elizabeth Leflore of SAI, an organization that promotes the study of topics related to South Asian culture and language. The Center for Teaching and Learning, an organization that uses emerging technologies to help teachers reach their goal, introduced her to their educational strategies and welcomed her at their normally scheduled faculty sessions. UTeach-Liberal Arts, a secondary teacher training program, provided trainers to discuss the program and observed classes. In addition, Dr. Saleem visited the Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy, a program that educates students in a cooperative learning environment and promotes a successful transition to college. She also attended Academic Integrity and the Millennial Generation, a conference centered on the factors leading to academic dishonesty and strategies to strengthen integrity.
In addition to the classes, meetings, and discussions, UTGI director Dr. Richard Flores and instructors Carolyne Creel and Laura Ewing held training sessions for Dr. Saleem, during which she expanded her pedagogical skills. Their workshop content served as a guide to her other activities, assisting in recognition of how many university entities impact the classroom experience.
Due to the success of the visit, UTGI and SAI will host an additional group of visiting scholars from FJWU in Fall 2015 for a similarly structured program.