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Development of a Faculty-Led Education Abroad Program and the Lessons Learned

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.415.1 - 24.415.15



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Paper Authors


Sushil Acharya Robert Morris University

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Acharya joined RMU in the spring of 2005 after serving 15 years in the software industry. At US Airways, Acharya was responsible for creating a conceptual design for a data warehouse that would integrate the different data servers the company used. With i2 Technologies, he led the work on i2’s data-mining product, “Knowledge Discover Framework,” and at CEERD (Thailand) he was the product manager of three energy software products (MEDEE-S/ENV, EFOM/ENV, and DBA-VOID) which are still used by both governmental and nongovernmental organizations in Asia and Europe. Acharya has a M.Eng. in computer technology and a D.Eng. in computer science and information management with a concentration in knowledge discovery, both from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. His teaching involvement and research interest are in the area of software engineering education, software verification and validation, data mining, neural networks, and enterprise resource planning. He also has interest in learning-objectives-based education material design and development. Acharya is a co-author of “Discrete Mathematics Applications for Information Systems Professionals," 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall. He is a member of the Nepal Engineering Association as well as a member of ASEE and ACM. Acharya is a recipient of the Mahendra Vidya Bhusak, a prestigious medal awarded by the king of Nepal for academic excellence. He is a member of the Program Committee of WMSCI, MEI, and CCCT and also a member of the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics of the International Institute of Informatics and Systemics. Acharya was the principal investigator of the 2007 HP Higher Education Technology for Teaching grant at RMU. In 2013, Acharya received a National Science Foundation grant for developing course materials through an industry-academia partnership in the area of software verification and validation.

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Lisa A. Nutt Robert Morris University


Tony Lee Kerzmann Robert Morris University Orcid 16x16

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Tony Kerzmann received both a bachelor of arts in physics from Duquesne University and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. He enrolled in graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating with an M.S. (2007) and Ph.D. (2010). Currently, he is an assistant professor at Robert Morris University, where his research goals include hybrid concentrating photovoltaic systems, energy-system life cycle assessment, sustainable product development, and active learning.

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Development of a Faculty Led Education Abroad Program and the Lessons LearnedAbstractIn recent years, there has been increasing demand and push for global experience through anacademic setting. For would-be engineers this is even more important in this world of ever-increasing global collaboration and commerce. In an effort to provide students with globaleducation opportunities, our university has developed and enhanced a Faculty Led EducationAbroad Program (FLEAP) which allows interested faculty to work with their school to developstudy abroad courses in their area of expertise. The program is approximately 9 years old andbegan with trips that were organized by the faculty members themselves, by third party vendors,or by the University’s international office. Over the years, successful trips to Germany, France,Switzerland, Aruba, China, Ireland, Belize, and Nicaragua have been conducted. The FLEAP hasproven to be an excellent example of engaged learning and provides students with a globalperspective that is unparalleled in any classroom. The development of the FLEAP proved to bechallenging; and, an advisory committee was established to address the numerous challenges.The committee was tasked with developing program guidelines, site assessment forms, proposalforms, and emergency/safety guidelines, to name a few. In the last two years, every FLEAPconducted has been instrumental in further enhancing the FLEAP process.The development of a FLEAP trip to Germany led to a successful program in the Springsemester that was coupled with an environmental/engineering course on Renewable Resources.The students were able to visit multiple cities and many renewable energy sites throughoutGermany while gaining experiential knowledge of the culture and language. To meet theeducation component of the course, the students were asked to keep a journal log of theirlearning and cultural experiences which was reviewed by the professor at the end of the trip. Thestudents were also asked to present their experience in multiple platforms. This paper describesthe evolution of the FLEAP in our university and uses the Germany trip to discuss what workedand what did not. It is expected that the experiences of the international office, the lead facultyfor the Germany trip, and the advisory committee will assist other universities in establishing asimilar program.

Acharya, S., & Nutt, L. A., & Kerzmann, T. L. (2014, June), Development of a Faculty-Led Education Abroad Program and the Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20306

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