Alexandria Liberal Arts Dean Jimmie McClellan and Communications and Theatre Instructor Araceli “Shelly” Bachner recently traveled to Dundee, Scotland. During their week-long stay, McClellan signed a memorandum of understanding, solidifying an ongoing partnership between NOVA, Dundee and Angus College.
McClellan explained that the City of Alexandria and Dundee, Scotland are sister cities, linked culturally and economically, and this connection gives them the opportunity to build a collaboration. Since McClellan’s initial visit to Dundee in 2012 to establish ties with institutions of higher education, NOVA has exchanged faculty with Dundee and Angus College, Abertay University and University of Dundee. The colleges and universities have also arranged joint classes taught using electronic media between NOVA and Dundee’s colleges.
“For two summers in a row, we have sent NOVA students to complete courses in Scottish literature and Scottish history at Dundee and we’ve been hosted by Dundee and Angus College,” McClellan explained. “We wanted to continue to strengthen that relationship and finalize the memorandum.”
McClellan and Bachner visited Dundee to represent NOVA’s Alexandria Campus and the City of Alexandria, where their main campus is located, and to continue the collaboration with higher education institutions in Dundee in an effort to continue to improve Dundee and NOVA students’ educational opportunities.
During their recent visit, McClellan and Bachner lectured at all three higher education institutions in the city and also spoke to high school students at Morgan Academy and Grove Academy.
“I would say one of the lectures I thought was the most insightful was the lecture I gave at Abertay University about promoting diversity on the college campus and in the classroom,” Bachner said. “I think that’s something very new to them, and a new objective for them is to promote diversity and inclusion. Our common theme is to make our students into global citizens. Within the classroom, even if you’re a biology or math professor, there’s a way to use examples from the global community and make your students a little more aware of their outside world. I think that’s a challenge we share with Dundee and Angus College and we continue to try to make improvements in that area.”
The signed memorandum solidified the continued and combined efforts of faculty and administrators at NOVA and the higher education institutions in Dundee as they move forward in creating opportunities for students to experience culture, community and education outside of their individual comfort zones. In October, the Alexandria Campus and the City of Alexandria will host students from the Dundee high schools to continue to strengthen the bond between the two cities and the higher education institutions.