e-Learning Seminar

Building Virtual Bridges for Cross-Cultural Learning

Date & Time

Thursday, April 19, 2012,

Original Broadcast

Thursday, April 19, 2012,


$69 (member) $109 (nonmember)

Recording Price

$69 (member) $109 (nonmember)

Registration Deadline

Friday, April 13, 2012

Who Should Attend?

Are you a university or college faculty member interested in utilizing virtual tools to support cross-cultural learning environments for your students? Do you work with study abroad students and want to enhance their learning experience through virtual connections? This webinar will provide insights to such groups as university and college faculty, education abroad advisers, senior international officers, teacher educators, and curriculum developers.

Why Should You Attend?

You should attend this webinar if you:

  • Want to explore the use of digital media to bring together students across national boundaries
  • Want to enhance study abroad experiences and learning via digital media
  • Want to increase faculty involvement in cross-cultural teaching and learning activities
  • Are curious about how institutions are using digital media to build cross-cultural awareness

Webinar Content

Many institutions are now using virtual connections to provide opportunities for cross-cultural learning with students and faculty abroad. While these learning opportunities cannot replace the impact of meeting and collaborating with others abroad face to face, they provide important and meaningful connections that can help students learn about their own and other societies, people, communication styles, and cultural norms and beliefs.

Presenters share from their experience using technology, such as video conferencing and online education platforms, to foster cross-cultural learning. They discuss the benefits and challenges of virtual education and how to form overseas partnerships, as well as ways to couple cross-cultural experiences and curriculum.

Dr. Charles Braithwaite shares from his experience using Internet video technology for cross-cultural communication with students in the United States and overseas through the Global Classroom Project at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Dr. Cheryl Matherly and Sarah Phillips talk about a joint program between three U.S. universities that uses live webcasts to enhance a short-term study abroad program. Jon Rubin, director of the Center for Collaborative Online International Learning at the SUNY Global Center, shares insights on why to use virtual education to encourage cross-cultural learning, what media tools are out there, and how to prepare faculty to undertake this kind of teaching.


From this webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the benefits and challenges of cross-cultural learning in a virtual environment
  • Learn about the different types of technology available and how to utilize them
  • Gain insights on how to create overseas partnerships and prepare faculty


Dr. Charles BraithwaiteDr. Charles Braithwaite
Chief Advisor for Great Plains Studies/ Fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies/Director of Global Classroom Project, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Chuck Braithwaite is on the faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he is a fellow in the Center for Great Plains Studies and teaches courses in the Department of Communication Studies, such as intercultural communication, ethnographic research methods, conflict management, interviewing, and nonverbal communication. Dr. Braithwaite also directs the “Global Classroom Project,” which uses Internet video conferencing to conduct live, synchronous classes between Nebraska and universities in Turkey, Pakistan, Yemen, Russia, Spain, and Costa Rica.

Dr. Braithwaite’s international experience includes serving as a North Vietnamese interpreter for U.S. Naval Intelligence and studying international business communication along the U.S./Mexican border. He has a special interest in American Indian and First Nations higher education, and has conducted extensive research on the Navajo Nation, and with the U-Mo'n-Ho'n (Omaha), the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago), and the Ponca tribes of Nebraska.

Dr. Braithwaite earned his BA in communication studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara, and his MA and PhD in communication studies at the University of Washington.

Dr. Cheryl MatherlyDr. Cheryl Matherly
Vice Provost of Global Education, The University of Tulsa

Dr. Cheryl Matherly is vice provost for global education at The University of Tulsa, where she has responsibility for the strategic leadership of the university’s plan for comprehensive internationalization. Dr. Matherly’s special area of interest is with the internationalization of science and engineering education. She codirects the NanoJapan program, funded by the National Science Foundation, in order to expand international research opportunities for students in STEM fields. NanoJapan was recognized by the Institute for International Education in 2008 with the prestigious Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovations in Study Abroad.

She received a second NSF grant for a multiphase conference, Strategic Issues in University Internationalization, that examined comparative approaches in the United States and Japan for the internationalization of science and engineering education. Dr. Matherly is the recipient of two Fulbright grants for international education administrators (Germany and Japan). She has a BA in English and political science from the University of New Mexico, an MS in education from Indiana University, and an EdD in education from the University of Houston.

Sarah PhillipsSarah Phillips
Manager, Education & International Initiatives (PIRE), Rice University

Sarah Phillips manages the educational and international initiatives for the TeraNano PIRE Center, a National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education (NSF-PIRE) funded project headquartered at Rice University. As part of this initiative she manages all aspects of the NanoJapan: International Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, which was awarded an Institute of International Education's (IIE) Heiskell Award in 2008 as a 'Best Practice in Study Abroad' for the expansion of international opportunities for engineering and science students. Since 2006, she has comanaged the INNOVATE: Technology, Globalization and Innovation Conference in Asia and serves as the Rice instructor for the related Topics in Global Leadership spring seminar course; she has taught via live-interactive webcast with other partner institutions in the United States.

Her areas of interest include the development and promotion of international opportunities for engineering, science, and other underrepresented students. Prior to her position at Rice she was a program manager at the IIE office in Doha, Qatar, and senior program coordinator for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship at the IIE Houston office. She is currently pursuing an MLA in international studies at the University of St. Thomas, Houston and completed her undergraduate studies in history, political science, and East Asian studies at Minnesota State University, Moorhead.

Jon RubinJon Rubin
Founder and Director, SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning

Jon Rubin is the founder and has been the director of the SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) since 2006. COIL develops, supports and implements models for cross-national, co-taught online international coursework and in 2010 COIL received the ACE Award to Recognize COIL’s Innovative Use of Technology to Promote Internationalization. COIL is a unit of SUNY’s Office of Global Affairs in New York City.

Jon is also director of the COIL Institute for Globally Networked Learning in the Humanities, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which has engaged 23 U.S. and 28 international universities in developing joint courses based on the innovative use of Information and Communication Technology to create collaborative shared online classrooms.

He was the recipient of a 1999 Fulbright Fellowship to Belarus and received a 2002 Fulbright Alumni Initiative Award to develop a cross-cultural video course, linking SUNY students with students in Belarus, Germany, Turkey, Lithuania, and Mexico. He is also a respected filmmaker and media artist, whose films have been shown at MOMA and the Whitney Museum and who has received Guggenheim and NEA grants for his Media Art work.