• SPAN Faculty

    SPAN, the Student Project for Amity among Nations, Minnesota’s longest-running research and travel abroad program, is unlike any ordinary course or study abroad program. SPAN unfolds in multi-phases and over a series of months during which students acquire the skills needed to develop a research proposal, conduct field work abroad, and summarize their findings in a substantive (50-page) paper or combined paper and media/visual art project.

    Students are selected for the program based upon their abilities to initiate, plan and carry out a self-driven research project. The role of the faculty advisor is to mentor and guide the undergraduate researcher throughout the process, introducing the students to the mainstays of research: surveys, literature review, bibliography, library/online research. In essence, the faculty advisor coaches the students toward successful completion of the program’s requirements.

    At the same time, SPAN faculty advisors become more fully acquainted with SPAN and its supporting non-profit organization, the Minnesota SPAN Association.

    As a co-instructor for the research methods course, a SPAN faculty advisor will help the individual students devise appropriate research questions that are feasible to explore during a six-week stay in London, England. As a course instructor, the faculty advisor will also serve as a catalyst and connector to in-country experts whom students can interview for their projects. Prior to departure, the faculty advisor will be asked to introduce the students to politics, religion, history and the arts of the host country.

    • “Syllabus” (forthcoming)
    • Course overview” (forthcoming)

    During the SPAN Summer Session during the month of June, the SPAN faculty advisor will be co-teaching the GLOB 3020 course and instructing the participants in the language, culture and customs of the destination country. This intense pre-departure orientation is designed to further educate the students on their soon-to-be-new surroundings and to equip the outbound SPANners with the practical skills and know-how needed to effectively live and work for six weeks in a foreign country. The goal is to prepare the students so each undergraduate researcher gets off to a quick start upon arrival in his/her host country.

    The SPAN experience in Morocco, summer 2017

    During summer 2017, two dozen SPANners visited Morocco to carry out research on a variety of subjects – immigration patterns, access to health care, attitudes toward climate change, support for underprivileged women, and argan tree ecology, among other topics.

    The group was led by University of Minnesota-Duluth Professors Ryan Goei, Ph. D, and Dana Lindaman, Ph.D. As a Francophone Studies instructor Lindaman said, “We provided students with the interpersonal and cross-cultural training for living and studying in a largely Muslim country with a French colonial legacy.” His counterpart, Honors Program Director Goei maintains the SPAN program “delivers a platform like no other study abroad program in that SPAN allows students to safely step out of their comfort zone which is where learning and growth occurs.”