Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness - Mark Twain

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sample Application, Florence

No prerequisites are required for the six psychology classes below
1.             Identify the three courses you propose to teach in addition to the Life & Culture course.
Psychology 101:  Introduction to Psychology  (CSU area D9, IGETC, AA, AA.PSYT.D)*
Psychology 160:  Psychology of Women         (CSU areas D9 & E, IGETC, AA, AA.PSYT.D)
Psychology 220:  Psychology of Personality    (CSU area D9, IGETC, AA, AA.PSYT.D)

See question #4 below for rationale and course curriculum

2.             Identify three alternate courses that you are qualified to teach and how the foreign locale will be incorporated in my instruction.
Psychology 200:  Life Span Development       (CSU areas D9 & E, IGETC, AA, AA.PSYT.D)
Psychology 225:  Social Psychology               (CSU area D9, IGETC, AA, AA.PSYT.D)
Psychology 122:  Psychology of Modern Life   (CSU areas D9 & E, IGETC, AA, AA.PSYT.D)

*(The list of courses required to earn this popular Associates of Arts in Psychology for Transfer Degree was sent via inter district mail along with a hard copy of the signature page.  Note: 78 psychology degrees were granted in 2011-2012)    

      Psychology 200:  Life Span Development
This course examines the developmental changes and sociocultural events that take place during an individual’s life span from infancy to old age.  The effects of early childhood education on later development could be explored from the perspective of Dr. Maria Montessori, born in Anacona and educated in Rome. Montessori believed that all children are born with potentials and the caregiver is there to create the environment to stimulate the child’s growth and development.  
·       Montessori theory on child rearing and the effects on adult development could be contrasted to an American theorist such as Mary Ainsworth, who studied how children’s attachment patterns with caregivers’ impact adult attachment patterns with romantic partners.  A possible field trip to a Montessori preschool to observe children at play.  Interview the preschool director regarding how Italian children are raised (i.e. discipline) and the role of children in the family.
·       Field trip to a museum to analyze the representation of children in Italian art and culture.
Fulfills Course Objective/SLOs:
A. Describe physical, social, and cognitive changes from the prenatal period throughout the lifespan.
B. Examine the nature of change over the lifespan.
C. Identify the complex cognitive structures found in the early development of infants and young children.

Psychology 225:  Social Psychology
Social Psychology studies the way people think, feel and behave in social situations.  This course lends itself to the application of social psychological theories to everyday life experiences. 
·       Social experiments could be set up in everyday settings in Florence to record local’s reactions to a given situation.  For example students could test the bystander effect in a public area where a student drops their books and another student records the response of people in the immediate vicinity to come to their aid, noting the ethnicity, age, gender, and number of people present in the assisting and bystander groups.
·       Observe interactions among Italians and interview them to better understand cultural differences in linguistics, prejudice, conformity, obedience, and group process.
·       A benefit to traveling with a “program,” as opposed to traveling independently, is the shared experience.  It becomes its own social psychology experiment. The group experience provides the participants with an opportunity to process their collective journey in an altogether different way.  Weekly class discussions about student’s reactions to being in small and large groups for the majority of the program would allow them to reflect on how this has influenced the way they think, feel and behave.  
Fulfills Course Objective/SLOs:
G. Evaluate the applicability of social-psychological research to everyday life experiences.
H. Identify how factors such as race, gender, social class, sexual orientation and culture interact with social psychological phenomena.  

Psychology 122:  Psychology of Modern Life
This course applies many of the topics addressed in Introduction to Psychology to one’s own life.  Students reflect on their own experience in relation to topics such as perception, states of consciousness, motivation, emotion, stress and health, to name a few.
·       Assign a personal application exercise regarding the multidimensional effects of stress on an individual. Students would be asked to recall a recent event that required them to adjust to some change necessitated by the foreign environment they are now living in.  Was this a major stressor or a minor hassle?  What was their stress response physiologically, emotionally, cognitively and behaviorally?  
·       Students will keep a journal noting daily stressors throughout the semester.  They will compare what was stressful for them in the beginning versus the end of their stay.  Noting coping strategies used and areas of growth.  Journal content also provides daily reflections that can be used in a classroom discussion to process events and tie them back to theory.
Fulfills Course Objective/SLOs:
C. Describe the nature and operation of personality and interpersonal relationships in everyday life and apply principles to new situations.
D. Critically analyze the relationship of social processes in everyday life to the basic concepts of psychology, such as motivation, emotion, perception, learning, cognitive processes and physiological processes.

3.             Organizing, coordinating and developing course, programs and other learning experiences will be required.   What have you done that demonstrates your ability to organize or initiate programs or activities?

  • I assisted with the development of the first Psychology Degree, analyzing the top 5 transfer institutions lower division Psychology requirements.  I ushered this new degree through the curriculum committee.
  • I developed, and was the first to teach, Psychology 200 – Lifespan Development.  This was in response to a demand by Pre-Nursing students, as it is a prerequisite to get into most nursing programs.  I have since created an online version of this course to meet the needs of the many students that are out of the area.
  • I revised the course Psychology 115 - Resiliency & Student Success and the course outline and moved these changes through the Curriculum Committee.  I also created a new edition of the workbook used as the primary text for this course in both the Psychology and Counseling departments.  (See campus Resiliency Symposium below)*
  • I created a speaker’s bureau for my Psychology 160 – Women’s Psychology class, including representatives from STAND, Planned Parenthood, Komen Foundation (breast cancer), Community Violence Solutions, Casa Serena Eating Disorder Center and local authors of books on the course reading list.
  • Took a class of psychology students on a field trip to tour Napa State Mental Hospital and to observe patients inside the facility.
  • I evaluate and submit course rewrites for PSYCH courses.
  • I reviewed multiple textbooks for several different publishers for Women’s Psychology and Personality Theory courses.
  • I developed the curriculum for a Career Development course CARER130 - Careers in Social Services while I was part time faculty.  Students enrolled in this course while working in the Re-Entry Center on campus.
  • The first community college course I ever taught was at Ohlone College in Fremont while I was working full time as a buyer for Macy’s San Francisco.  I was approached by the business dean to create a class, the curriculum, and course reader for Careers in Fashion Merchandising

  • I currently chair the Psychology department (titular head), responsible for the evaluations of PT, FT, and Tenure Track faculty, SLO’s, Program Review, Title V re-writes, Course Substitution Petitions, and department budget oversight.  As the titular head, I hear student complaints and work with faculty to mediate issues.  I am the department liaison to the Division Dean.
  • I recruit and hire part time faculty. I communicate with district HR to post job openings.  I organize the hiring committee, screen applications, set up interviews, interview candidates and do reference checks.
  • I chaired and was a member of the paper screening committee for a FT faculty hire for fall 2012.  As the chair, I insured that proper procedure was followed in the screening process and that all deadlines were met in order to forward the top candidates on to the interview committee.
  • I organize the department’s annual All Faculty (PT & FT) Department Gathering.

  • Serve on the Social Science Division Council
  • Represented the Social Science Division for the Student Services Committee
  • Attend all Dean/Department Chair meetings

  • Organized an all campus Resiliency Symposium*, recruiting Andrew Shatte, author of The Resilience Factor originally from University of Pennsylvania, to present his current findings on cognitive resilience, student success and retention.
  • Developed curriculum for a Learn Community linking Psychology 115 Resiliency & Student Success with English 116 College Reading Development.  I collaborated with Patrick Leong to create this learning community, coupled with a cohort, to encourage basic skills, student success and retention.
  • Facilitator for College Success Workshops and the Brown Bag Lecture Series
  • Presenter for flex workshops, Nexus training and Social Science Division retreat
  • Evaluator for numerous administrative deans
  • Faculty representative on several Student Disciplinary Reviews
  • I worked as hourly staff in an advising capacity for the Re-Entry Center and the One-Stop Student Services Center while teaching as a part time Psychology instructor.  (see more details on my role in this student support position in #2 under Recruitment)

Organized a district wide Resiliency Program and facilitated trainings for both classified staff and faculty on Resiliency Life Skills at DVC, LMC and CCC.  I presented the materials I learned from Andrew Shatte during an extensive training at DVC when I was first hired as a part time instructor.

4.             Write a description of each course and describe how you will incorporate the foreign locale in your instruction.  Provide examples of field trips and other supplemental educational activities you would provide for students during the semester abroad.  Demonstrate their understanding of the potential for cultural enrichment of the curriculum.
Overview of Proposed Courses:
The wonderful thing about the study of Psychology is that teaching and learning moments surround us on a daily basis. In the following courses, students will be challenged to be introspective while also playing the role of observer in this foreign environment.  I believe it is important to shift our focus from a cross cultural experience to an intercultural education which is a wider, more complex view of the world when understanding differences among people, cultures, and countries.

Psychology 101:  Introduction to Psychology  (CSU area D9, IGETC, AA, AA.PSYT.D)
Psychology 160:  Psychology of Women        (CSU areas D9 & E, IGETC, AA, AA.PSYT.D)
Psychology 220:  Psychology of Personality    (CSU area D9, IGETC, AA, AA.PSYT.D)

Psychology 101:  Introduction to Psychology
This course is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.  As a survey course, it covers such areas as: the history and theories of psychology, the biological foundations of behavior, perception, learning, motivation, mate selection, abnormal psychology and therapies.

Introduction to Psychology is the most popular class in the department for psychology majors and non-majors. This course is the broadest in content and will appeal to the largest number of students in the study abroad program.  Many of the assignments and activities outlined in the other proposed courses can cross over and apply to this multi-topic course.

Assignments, field work:
1.    Topic: Sociocultural Behavior  and Mate Selection
Students will perform a field study of gender differences in non-verbal communication patterns.  They will observe two mixed gendered groups from afar and record non-verbal gestures by gender.  They will conduct this research while observing members within the study abroad program from the US, and then replicate it while observing several Italian groups. They will write a paper on the similarities and differences that they observed while reflecting on the sociocultural explanation for sex differences outlined in the textbook.
Fulfills Course Objective/SLOs:
C. Apply psychological concepts and principles to everyday life.
H. Describe theories concerning human behavior in a social context.

2.    Topic: Visual Perception
Attention is the first step in perception.  Through selective attention, we limit our attention to certain stimuli while filtering out others.  In this visual awareness assignment, I will have students look for the Medici family crest on buildings in and around Florence.  They will take pictures of the crest that will include the street name and address.  And then identify what the building houses and hypothesize why it is adorned with the Medici sign.
Fulfills Course Objective/SLOs:
E. Discuss the biological bases of behavior.
F. Summarize the processes involved in perception, learning and cognition.

3. Write a research paper on a famous Italian Psychologist and their contribution to the field.  I will begin with a lecture on two historical Italian psychologists famous for their study of optical illusions.  The Kanizsa Triangle is named after Gaetano Kanizsa which is an illusion that involves the visual closure of space without complete boundaries.  Mario Ponzo discovered that depth and distance cues are read by the size of an object and its placement within a picture.  Take a field trip to a museum to identify the differences in depth perception (2 dimensions vs. 3 dimensions) in art based on the historical era.

Psychology 160:  Psychology of Women
Women’s lives are examined from the early stages of prenatal development to the last years of life.  Factors that influence the development of gender identity are explored from social, cultural and psychological perspectives.

This course will take a comparative view by providing a short history of Italian feminism.  In arguably the most Catholic country in the world, Italy remains a country structurally grounded in male patriarchal power.  We will explore issues of divorce, labor, and family law in Italy and compare them to the US.  (Women’s right to suffrage in Italy didn’t become a law until 1945 and after 100 years of effort, divorce became legal in 1970) Contemporary issues abound in regards to reproductive and gay rights in relation to the Italian Catholic Church.
Assignments, field trips, speakers:
1.    Conduct research on key historical moments and people in the feminist movement for the past 100 years in Italy.  Contrast that to the three waves of feminism in the US.

2.    Visit the Uffizi Gallery as a class to analyze women’s body images portrayed in art from the Renaissance period.  Identify women’s roles as demonstrated in paintings from three different periods, noting clothing and adornment.  Present findings to the class in the form of group presentations.
Fulfills Course Objective/SLOs:
B. identify social, cultural, and physiological factors in gender identity formation and gender-related behavior.

3.    Visit the Medici Chapels and find the reclining statues sculpted by Michelangelo named Night and Day in the tomb of Lorenzo II.  Write an analysis of Michelangelo’s depiction of the male versus the female body based on these two sculptures.
4.    Research female artists whose work is featured in the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace.  Visit these locations and note the subject, date and title of their work. Reflect on reasons why so few historical female artists’ works are on display.  Read the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first female painter elected to the Accademia dell’ Arte, which tells of her struggle to reconcile painting and motherhood in a patriarchal post-Renaissance Italy.  This book will facilitate a lively discussion on gender roles then and now.
Fulfills Course Objective/SLOs:
A. compare and contrast theories of gender development.

5.    Invite guest speaker Jamie Marie Lezzara, an American ex-patriot violin maker, to speak about her experience living and working as a woman in Florence.

Psychology 220:  Psychology of Personality                   
This course probes into the dynamics of personality development, psychological adjustment and personal growth.  Emphasis is placed on contrasting theories and methodologies of the different schools of psychology, such as psychoanalysis, cognitive behaviorism, personality trait theory to name a few.

The development of personality and what constitutes psychological health in an individual is approached from contrasting theoretical views.  Many of the theorists discussed are the historical European forefathers of psychology.
1.    Psychoanalysis - Students will analyze Erik Erikson’s original Psychosocial Stages of Development and update the stages to meet contemporary social struggles that impact young adults in the “emerging adulthood” stage in the US and Italy.  For example, the term “twixster” is used in the US to describe the young adult that isn’t financially able to leave home when Erikson deemed appropriate several generations ago.  In Italy this failure to launch group is affectionately called “Mammones,” and isn’t judged as harshly as in the US.  (Ninety-four percent of Italians ages 15-24 live with their parents, the highest percent in the European Union, few view this arrangement as a problem, some will stay home into their early 30’s). What are the different cultural norms at play here?  Is one group in fact more psychologically healthy than another due to the country's social clock?
B. analyze and integrate the genetic and socio-cultural variables which shape and mold a personality.
E. identify different theorists' views of personality development and growth.

2.    Personality Trait Theory - Several personality tests will be given to the students to take to determine their own personality type.  Once they understand the collection of traits that make up a type, they will “type” famous Italian figures based on their behaviorsVasari’s Lives of the Artists would be an excellent historical reference for students to read to gain insight into the personality of the following Italian artists: Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo, Titian.
Fulfills Course Objective/SLOs:
C. apply principles of various models of personality to behavior change and maintenance of psychological health.

3.    Cognitive Behaviorism - I will use this topic to introduce Resiliency skills which are based on building an awareness of a one’s cognitive (thought) processes and the emotional and behavioral effects of those thoughts.  Students will keep a daily journal recording their thoughts, emotions and behaviors based on one event from the day.  Their final day’s entry will be something they are grateful for. I will provide students with a Resiliency Workbook that has worksheets to assist them with this process. This self reflection journal could double as a travel log and gratitude journal for their study abroad experience.
Fulfills Course Objective/SLOs:
A. demonstrate an understanding of factors contributing to personality development.

In general, I see these three psychology courses providing a broad, but coherent view on gender roles, personality development and the sociocultural similarities versus differences between people in the US and Italy.  However, I remain open to teaching other courses within the psychology discipline.

5.             Please list all subject areas (FSA) which you are qualified to teach.




Faculty selected for Study Abroad Programs must attend all information sessions, plan and implement recruitment activities, participate in other recruitment efforts, including program promotion, student recruitment and student orientation.

1.            What experiences do you have with regards to these activities, and what specific activities would you propose and execute for successful student recruitment?
As a long time member of the Student Services Committee, I have volunteered to work during College Orientation in the fall.  I have manned tables and met with eager incoming students and their parents to answer questions and alleviate concerns.

Additionally, I was instrumental in the development of the Resiliency Project which led to the development of a 1 unit Psychology class, centering on the recognition and modification of faulty cognitive (thinking) patterns in one’s own mind.  Each semester I began promoting the next semester’s section with my current Psychology students.  It didn’t fulfill any UC or CSU requirements so it was a tough sellI created flyers that outlined the advantages of taking this short term course and distributed them to my colleagues in the department, division and campus wide to share with students.  I facilitated College Success Workshops and Brown Bag Lectures on the topic of Resiliency a couple of weeks prior to the start of the short term class to promote enrollmentOnce enrolled, students would receive a welcome email reminding them of the date of the first class meeting and required course materials.  Not one section was ever cancelled due to low enrollment.  (Unfortunately due to budget cuts, this low capped course (20 student maximum) is not currently being offered). My skills recruiting for the Resiliency course would be some of the same skills that I would use to promote the Florence Study Abroad Program.

More specific recruitment efforts will include the follow:
  • I will meet with Chrisanne Knox to explore Marketing opportunities, both in print and electronic; for example, the e-connect email blast to students and the weekly email calendar of events.  (I’ve met with her staff and created a trifold brochure to promote our recently developed Psychology major)
  • I will pitch a story to the student newspapers at CCCCD campuses.
  • I will contact ASDVC and representatives of student government CCC and LMC and ask for a few minutes at a meeting to promote the program.
  • I will identify all DVC Psychology majors, contact them and provide them with an informational flyer about the Florence program and specifically the psychology courses that will be offered, stressing the personal growth that can come from experiencing daily life in a different culture.
  • I will meet with the financial aid and scholarship offices to become aware of possible financial assistance available to students.  I imagine that the monetary cost associated with the program is a common question of students.
  • I will contact my colleagues in other disciplines at DVC and SRC and ask to visit their classes for 5-15 minutes to inform students of this exciting growth opportunity.  A target audience would be students enrolled in specific Art, Humanities and Italian Language courses.
  • I will contact instructors at SRC, CCC and LMC to provide them with posters, flyers and materials to promote the program on their campuses.
  • I have already spoken to 6 different DVC faculty that have participated in the Study Abroad Program and have been gathering flyers and ideas for recruitment from them since I became a full time faculty member in 2002.  I would like to create a forum for a panel discussion with them, as well as past study abroad students.

I am enthusiastic about Italy and education abroad programs and already do what I can to promote the programs in my own classes; I am confident that I can convey to students the academic and personal benefits of studying abroad.  Much like my students, I was a young twenty something woman from a small Northern California town when I experienced Europe for the first time, far from home and totally on my own.  I can bring to the recruitment process my own personal and relatable story about my 3 month European adventure. I am thrilled at the possibility of teaching abroad in Florence, as this will be my fifth trip to the city if selected.  My passion for travel, teaching and Italy will be contagious.  I will attend all information sessions so I am better equipped to serve my students and the program.

2.            Approximately 35 students may apply locally for the program.  Are you prepared and willing to provide informal educational and personal advising and support services for these students? 
If selected for this program, students will benefit from my skills in two ways, first from my passion for teaching psychology and second from my counseling skills. 
I consider my personal work with students one of the benefits of being a community college instructor.  I have the privilege of sharing my love for Psychology with large groups of people inside the classroom and then utilize my counseling skills with individual students outside of class.  My Masters in Counseling Psychology is what afforded me the opportunity to work in the One-Stop Student Service Center while teaching part time when I first came to DVC in 1999.  I met with academically at risk students, that were part of a grant program, twice a semester to provide educational and personal advising.  Program participants were also invited to attend a weekly group counseling session that I facilitated.

I recognize that while travel can be exciting, it can also be stressful.  Many of the students in this program will be further away from home, for a longer period of time than ever before in their lives.  Everything will be new, different….foreign.  This new terrain may provoke anxieties and present challenges for students that will require compassion and understanding on my part.  I take great pride in my ability to mentor and encourage students, and I look forward to exercising my counseling skills and sharing resiliency techniques.  A benefit to traveling with a “program,” as opposed to traveling independently, is the shared experience.  I am excited about being a part of this adventure; making connections with individual students and helping them connect with each other.

Other Details

1.            Have you been a Study Abroad participant during the last ten (10) years?   No

2.            Write a personal statement expressing why you desire to participate in the Study Abroad Program.
To date the greatest growth experience in my life was the summer I spent backpacking through Europe when I was 22 years old.  I want to facilitate, and be witness to, the growth of my students as they experience a new culture, stretch their boundaries in an unfamiliar environment and broaden their awareness.
Those ten weeks were transformative for me and from them I have developed a lifelong love for art and culture.  To this day, I still remember the first time I saw Michelangelo’s sculpture of David and Bottechelli’s painting The Birth of Venus, both in Florence.

As a psychology instructor I hope to make student’s aware of how they see the world and themselves within it.  I will challenge them to notice gender interaction, as well as social dynamics within Italian culture.  Students will be encouraged to witness and compare these social dynamics both on the street, and as it is reflected in art within the museums.  

3.            What special qualifications do you have that make you well suited to serve as a semester abroad faculty member?
·       I am an seasoned traveler and educator
·       I have stayed in Florence many times and I am familiar with the layout of the city as well as its cultural and historical sites
·       I love teaching and I love Italy therefore my passions will be shared with my students
·       I view life, travel and culture as a psychological study and will create teaching moments from daily experiences
·       I have the professional counseling and resiliency skills to provide personal advising and support services to students far from home
·       I understand the mind and needs of the twenty-something students that will be participants in this program, as my son is member of the millennial generation and is away at college, experiencing what it is like to be on his own for the first time
·       I believe that I can enthusiastically and successfully promote this program
·       I am flexible and able to adapt easily to events as they present themselves
·       I work well with others in a teaching community

4.            Please feel free to add further information that will assist both the local faculty selection committee and the college consortium committee in making a final decision on the faculty/curriculum for the upcoming programs.
As I have been working on this application, it has become clear to me that this opportunity has been years in the making.  Unconsciously I have been planning on teaching in Italy for quite some time now.  I have made 4 pilgrimages to Florence in particular, at very different times in my life.  I’m looking at a Tuscan calendar on my office wall and a bookshelf full of Italian travel guides.  Next to the guides are books that read like an Italian Art History bibliography.  Vasari’s Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari, My Life by Benvenuto Cellini, Michelangelo & the Pope’s Ceiling and Brunelleschi’s Dome both by Ross King, and The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland to name a few.  I have read all of these books with a secret hope to weave them into the content of particular classes that I would love to teach in Italy. 
Utilizing the first four books we would analyze the personalities of the great Renaissance artists and architects of Florence in the Psychology of Personality course.  The story of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first female painter elected to the Accademia dell’ Arte, tells of her struggle to reconcile painting and motherhood in a patriarchal post-Renaissance Italy.  This book is currently on my Psychology of Women’s reading list and would facilitate a lively discussion on gender roles then and now.

I bring with me professional counseling and resiliency skills to assist students far away from all things familiar.  I have a keen understanding of the undergraduate young adult mind; my son is a college sophomore currently away at school. I have an unbridled passion for the field of psychology and would be thrilled to share that with my students, finding teaching moments in everyday life in one of my favorite cities.  I ask that you give my application your most serious consideration.  If selected, I will value this gift afforded to tenured faculty by honoring the student's educational and psychological needs.

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