Developing Capacity for Global Impact: From Skill Sets to Mindsets

Friday and Saturday, June 1-2, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA

The Forum on Global Learning is a new NAFSA Signature Program focused on global learning as it is applied in the classroom and across curriculum. This two-day event was held during the NAFSA 2018 Annual Conference & Expo in Philadelphia and on the nearby Lehigh University campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Participants engaged with practicing experts (faculty, researchers, scholars, senior administrators) to explore strategic integration of global learning across programming while building capacity to further departmental and institutional goals. Critical discussion was complemented by an interactive site visit to a campus using an innovative new approach.


The 2018 Forum on Global Learning showcased a creative model of global learning theory meeting excellence in practice.

The Forum, through the event's theme "Developing Capacity for Global Impact: From Skill Sets to Mindsets", explores how integrating novel global learning practices enriches an education and student learning activity. Participants broadened their understanding of global learning while collaborating with other visionary peers and institutions that are introducing high-impact global learning practices, which prepare students for 21st century work and life experiences.

Throughout this two-day event, participants and practicing expert speakers explored definitions of global learning, scholarly research on why global learning is important in contemporary education, strategies to integrate it into curriculum and co-curricular work, and methods of assessing overall impact.

The event included a day-long visit to Lehigh University's "Mountaintop" campus exploring its work around creative inquiry - a prime networking opportunity to establish partnerships and collaborations with colleagues also interested in global learning.

Participants came away with:

  • A deeper understanding of global learning and how to introduce it in the classroom and across an institution;
  • First-hand experience with the 'Creative Inquiry' process;
  • Opportunities for new global partnerships or collaborative engagement


Day 1 (June 1): Explore definitions of global learning and implications for its integration into both co-curricular and curricular experiences. Work with experts to identify appropriate ways of assessing student learning outcomes. Design strategies to capture data and leverage assessments to build capacity in the classroom and across the curriculum.

Day 2 (June 2): Site visit to Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Initiative campus, a model learning space of creative inquiry where students and faculty mentors pursue answers to open-ended questions while working in and across disciplines. This hands-on site visit provided opportunities to apply the lessons from Day 1 through:

  • The Creative Inquiry model
  • Community and workforce partnerships to develop global competencies
  • Additional assessment opportunities

Forum Agenda

Friday, June 1
Philadelphia Convention Center
9:00 a.m.-9:10 a.m. Welcome and Overview
Cheryl Matherly, EdD, Vice President/Vice Provost for International Affairs, Lehigh University
9:10 a.m.-9:40 a.m. Presentation: Theories & Definitions of Global Learning for Global Impact
Dawn Michele Whitehead, PhD, Senior Director for Global Learning and Curricular Change, Office of Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons, AAC&U
9:40 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Presentation: Introduction to Creative Inquiry Model
Khanjan Mehta, Vice Provost, Creative Inquiry; Director, Mountaintop Initiative, Lehigh University
10:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Coffee Break
10:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Panel Discussion: Global Impact through Global Learning

Facilitated Small Group Discussions: Incorporating global learning for global impact into curriculum

  • Jason Scorza, PhD, Vice Provost, Academic and International Affairs; Professor, Political Science and Philosophy, Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Lisa Getzler, Director, Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Lehigh University
  • Sara E. Farley, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Global Knowledge Initative
11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Travel to Annual Conference Plenary Address
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. NAFSA Annual Conference Plenary Address  
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Networking Lunch
1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Evaluating Global Learning for Global Impact (Part I)
Presentation: Theories & Approaches to Evaluating Global Learning

Larry Braskamp, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Education at Loyola University Chicago and Senior Fellow at the Association of American Colleges and Universities
2:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Evaluating Global Learning for Global Impact (Part II)
Presentation & Discussion: Overview of Strategies: Leveraging Assessment and Accreditation for Global Learning

Facilitated Small Group Discussions: Strategies to assess global learning and incorporate into accreditation and evaluation plans

Richard Kiely, PhD, Senior Fellow, Program Evaluation, Office of Engagement Initiatives, Cornell University; Visioning Committee,
2:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Summary and Conclusion
Kira Mendez, Director, Iacocca Institute, Lehigh University
3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Reception
Saturday, June 2
Lehigh University Innovation Ecosystem
7:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Shuttle from Philadelphia Convention Center to Lehigh University
9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Welcome to campus; breakfast  
9:30 a.m.-9:50 a.m. Welcome & Overview of Agenda
Cheryl Matherly, EdD, Vice President/Vice Provost for International Affairs, Office of International Affairs, International Strategy, Lehigh University
9:50 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Creative Spaces
Brent Stringfellow, University Architect
  • Overview of developments at Mountaintop
  • Use of space to create intentional student interactions
  • Creative space network
10:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Transport to Mountaintop Campus
10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Concurrent Sessions:
  • Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Innovation
  • Mountaintop Initiative
  • Iacocca Institute
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions:
  • Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Innovation
  • Mountaintop Initiative
  • Iacocca Institute
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Networking Lunch
1:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions:
  • Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Innovation
  • Mountaintop Initiative
  • Iacocca Institute
2:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Additional Elements of theInnovation Ecosystem
3:15 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Wrap Up
4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Shuttle from Lehigh University to Philadelphia Convention Center

NAFSA thanks Lehigh University for its generous support of this event.