Dawn Whitehead headshot

Dawn Michele Whitehead, Lehigh’s First Global Citizenship Scholar-in-Residence, is the vice president of the Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community and Careers at the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Lehigh Welcomes its First Global Citizenship Scholar-in-Residence

Dawn Michele Whitehead will visit the university Nov. 16-18 as part of International Education Week.

Dawn Michele Whitehead, Lehigh’s First Global Citizenship Scholar-in-Residence, will visit campus between Nov. 16 and Nov. 18 as part of International Education Week.

Whitehead is the vice president of the Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community and Careers at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and has expertise in civic engagement, global learning and internationalization.

During the program, she will teach master classes with students in the Global Citizenship Program and meet with staff and faculty across campus.

Whitehead will deliver a keynote address, ”Cultivating a Global Civic Mindset,”  Thursday, Nov. 18, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in UC 308.  Her talk will explore what it means to develop a global civic mindset and, more important, how universities can provide learning opportunities to cultivate this development.

She will later lead a workshop, “Making Global Learning a High-Impact Practice,” from 2 to 4 p.m. in Linderman Library Room 200. High-impact practices are active learning practices that promote deep learning by promoting student engagement. In a high-impact learning experience, students actively pose and solve problems, work collaboratively in a community of peers, experience real-world applications of knowledge, and reflect on their learning processes.  Education abroad programs are considered among the most effective high impact practices.

Whitehead said that visiting Lehigh as the Global Citizenship Scholar-in-Residence will provide an opportunity to discuss how Lehigh is an internationalized institution with international efforts to integrate global learning across disciplines and departments.

“I’m looking forward to speaking with faculty, staff, and students who are doing some really innovative work and then I’m also really excited to share some of the things I have learned from other institutions across the country to positively impact some of the work going forward at Lehigh in the global space,” she said.

Dr. Angelina Rodriguez, director of Global Citizenship, said Whitehead was one of the speakers at Lehigh’s first Global Citizenship Education Conference that she organized last December. Whitehead was part of a panel around diversity and equity issues.

“Global citizenship implies an orientation of care and concern for those we know and don’t know, those with whom we share something in common and those with whom we share nothing in common, and it extends beyond the human to other sentient beings and the planet,” says Rodriguez. “It also implicitly includes action.”

As a Global Citizenship Scholar-in-Residence, Whitehead will “do an exceptional job linking questions of global citizenship to questions of civic engagement, bridging some of the global and the local questions.”

Cheryl Matherly, vice president and vice provost for International Affairs, said Whitehead is recognized as one of the leading practitioners and scholars in the area of global citizenship.

“During International Education Week, we are able to really highlight what good teaching and learning looks like in practice and allows us to bring in someone with the kind of reputation and skill that Dawn has to help us as we think about how we engage faculty who are maybe new to working in this area with us,” Matherly said.

Whitehead said she hopes students are able to build on the concepts and ideas that resonate with their global citizenship work and expand to others in global learning experiences locally and internationally.

She said she wants to see how students see the integration of  diversity, equity and inclusion into global learning experiences and discuss alignment. Another emphasis will be on not just focusing on differences but exploring how different perspectives can be shared civility to prepare students for further work in diverse communities where ideological differences persist.

Whitehead will primarily talk about community-based practices and community-based learning.

She said it’s essential for students to make connections from what they learn in the classroom to experiential learning opportunities. Students need to have the framework to understand what’s happening in the community from intellectual and practical perspectives. This helps them understand the diverse roles community members play.  In this preparation and framing it is important to also include a basic understanding of the historical relationship higher education has had with local communities. It will help students develop a civic global mindset and form connections between different experiences.

As the first scholar-in-residence, Whitehead said she this role will inspire other institutions to follow Lehigh’s lead.

“I think that Lehigh could truly be a leader in higher education with this type of scholar-in-residence program,” she said.  “I think that could really be impactful for other institutions as they’re thinking about making their curriculum, co-curriculum, and entire institutions become more community and globally focused.”

Story by Andrew Isaacson ’22

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