New research center aims to build on global ideas, experience

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Emily Skop

Emily Skop, associate professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, is looking for faculty members whose vision does not stop at the campus, state or national border.

Skop, the newly appointed director of the Global Intercultural Research Center, wants to bring together faculty interested in bringing global perspectives to UCCS and working in a cross-disciplinary way to seek funding for research that rethinks human interaction across time and space.

“Whether it is infectious disease, climate change, or capital flows, we live in an interconnected world,” Skop said recently. “By building a community of scholars, I believe we can have a working group that exchanges ideas and works collaboratively to seek external support.”

Skop and Mary Coussons-Read, executive vice chancellor, Academic Affairs, will introduce the concept during the Nov. 16-22 International Education Week. A kick-off event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 17 at Clyde’s in the University Center. The event coincides with GeoQuiz Night.

As an example of what she hopes the new center can accomplish, Skop cited the study of human migration, a subject that might be of interest to faculty in many academic disciplines. By creating an environment where faculty from varied fields can come together, she believes stronger sponsored research proposals are possible and that new ideas can find their way into classrooms.

A recent faculty survey indicated that more than 190 UCCS faculty members have global interests, Skop said. She hopes to bring those faculty members together, and potentially add to the group, with goals of increased sponsored research and giving students an improved global perspective.

“We can no longer separate ‘over there’ and ‘back then’ from what’s going on here and now,” Skop said

While ideas are still being formulated about how to achieve those goals, Skop believes the effort will start with activities such as brown bag lunches, a working paper series, and seed grants to encourage UCCS faculty to try something new.

“We want to involve faculty with current global, intercultural research but also others who want to build in this area,” Skop said. “For example, a faculty member who maybe went to Central America as part of graduate school but  hasn’t been back for years,” Skop said. “There’s an interest but it might be one that needs to be updated and built upon.”

For more information about the Global Intercultural Research Center or to attend the Nov. 17 kickoff, contact Skop at eskop@uccs.edu or 255-3789.

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