Pitzer Spotlights

2006-2007 Spotlight Archives

Betsey Coleman '73 Selected for the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program
Developing Best Practices in Education

Betsey Coleman

Betsey Coleman, a 1973 Pitzer College graduate in English, is headed to Thailand and Vietnam for five weeks this summer to study current challenges through best practices in education at both the elementary and secondary levels as part of the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program. Coleman is currently the chair of the English Department at Colorado Academy and Upper School Global Studies Coordinator, teaching in the Upper School (grades 9-12). A "Master Teacher" and a recipient of the Yoeman Fisher award for Teaching Excellence, she knew she wanted to be an English teacher in grade ten. Her current interests include Global Studies.

After graduating from Pitzer, Coleman earned an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. She was in improvisation with comedian and actor Robin Williams and the dormouse to his Mad Hatter. "What I loved about Pitzer were my friends and that the College allowed me to pick and choose from the menu offered by The Claremont Colleges. Coming to Pitzer from the East sent me on a path that has included teaching in Quebec, professional development including eight weeks in Kunming, China for anthropology and Mandarin, an NEH on the Great War in London, France and Belgium, a peace walk in Japan, an English Speaking Union Scholarship at the Globe theater in London," she said.

A description of Coleman's summer program is as follows:
Increased "interconnectedness" and globalization in education implies a need for deeper transnational and cross-cultural understanding. Highly parochialized views of education are giving way to more integrative approaches of dealing with educational issues. As one of the fastest growing regions in the world, Southeast Asia's relevance on the international stage is likely to increase as well. In this context, global and local needs alike are best served through thoughtful exchange and interaction among educators. This seminar will offer American teachers an "insider's look" at two of Southeast Asia's most prominent countries: Thailand and Vietnam. Participants will gain first-hand experience in exploring the essence of the urban and rural heritage of Thailand and Vietnam in order to gain valuable insight into the cultural, political, and socio-economic dimensions of the education systems in the region.

About: The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program provides opportunities for overseas experience. The program is open to educators and administrators with responsibilities for curriculum development in fields related to humanities, languages, and area studies. Topics and host countries of the seminars vary from year to year. All seminars are in non-western European countries. Seminars are designed to provide a broad and introductory cultural orientation to a particular country(ies). The program is geared towards those educators with little or no experience in the host country (ies) who demonstrate the need to develop and enhance their curriculum through short-term study and travel abroad.

—Susan Andrews