New Orleans and the CCID 2022 conference! Wow! What a way to reconvene in person after two years of pandemic remote only. This vibrant setting re-energized our commitment to bringing great international experiences to community college students. Let me share a few highlights. Based in New Orleans’ French Quarter, we reveled in a weekend of connection and exchange of ideas, resources, great food, and planning visits.
Nancy and I were stationed at our Gazelle International resource booth, replete with Gazelle swag including pens, flyers, and, of course, clickers!
Mathilde Svab, our partner in crime at Université de Paris Saclay, and I kicked things off with the Friday Faculty Forum, where we spent time discussing our experiences with virtual exchange with folks interested in learning more. I talked with folks about our investment in bringing international experiences into the community college classroom and discussed how we use CLICK training workshops and project implementation to achieve this. Mathilde shared the ample benefits of virtual exchange for faculty, which is often overshadowed by the emphasis on benefits for students.
On Saturday, we heard from our very own founder Nancy Ruther along with Nathalie Fick and Jérôme Diguet all the way from Université de Lorraine. Despite a hiatus during COVID, Lorraine is back in business with Gazelle and Nancy, Nathalie, and Jérôme were able to attest to the program’s success and mutual benefits for faculty and students.
Mathilde and her collaborator Nicolas Liebeaux shared the challenges they faced in implementing virtual exchange at IUT Cachan, Université de Paris Saclay, but left us feeling inspired that hard work and persistence can pay off when the right people are in your corner.
My biggest takeaway from our festive weekend in New Orleans was just how lucky we are to be surrounded by such dedicated educators and campus administrators. We had such robust representation from our partnering institutions and had participating faculty from Université de Lorraine, Université de Paris Saclay, Northern Essex Community College, Waukesha County Technical College, and Harper College. The overwhelming support of what we do here at Gazelle and the countless testimonies to the program’s success were a reminder of the importance of our work: we bring people together. Heartfelt thanks to the wonderful folks at CCID for organizing such a fantastic event and to our partnering institutions for your support and enthusiasm of our programming.