Christine Cress, professor of educational leadership and policy (ELP), served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Turkey in fall 2013. In this role, she offered expertise and consultation to Turkish public and private universities and to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on pedagogical strategies for diverse learners, techniques for assessing programmatic and educational outcomes, and methodologies for connecting campuses and communities through civic engagement and service-learning.
Dr. Cress’ primary location was Middle East Technical University (METU) (Orta Doğu Technik Üniversitesi) in Ankara, where she was sponsored by the Office of Student Learning and Faculty Professional Development (Öğrenme ve Öğrenci Gelişim Birimi) and by Assistant Professor Serap Emil, METU School of Education, and former doctoral graduate of the GSE (2011).
Dr. Cress conducted multiple on-campus workshops, served as adviser to the university-wide strategic planning committee, and provided individualized consultation to faculty and staff on curricular and programmatic development in both academic and student affairs. She also conducted workshops for TED University’s* Center for Teaching and Learning and for K-12 teachers at the ODTÜ Gelistirme Vakfi Okullari School. As well, she was invited by the U.S. Embassy to provide consultation on youth leadership projects in Turkey that engage young people in local community service and service-learning activities.
The relationship between PSU and METU was first established by Professor Dannelle Stevens, in the GSE Curriculum and Instruction Department. Through her initiation and follow-up by Dr. Cress and other PSU colleagues, PSU and METU formally signed a memorandum of understanding in April 2014, to facilitate faculty and student research and professional exchange. As such, Dr. Emil will be visiting PSU this summer (July 2014) to begin discussions with GSE faculty and students regarding future scholarly collaborations.
Dr. Cress has been in the GSE since 1999, and is a faculty member in the Postsecondary, Adult, and Continuing Education (PACE) program. From 2008-2013 she served as the chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. Currently, she is the coordinator of the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement master’s specialization and graduate certificate. An accomplished scholar, Dr. Cress has over 50 publications and 200+ presentations, including the internationally best-selling text book, Learning through Serving: A Student Guidebook for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement across Academic Disciplines and Cultural Communities.
*TED University was founded by the Turkish Education Association – Higher Education Foundation