CIEE and CMSI Host Second Annual International Faculty Development Seminar in the Dominican Republic

Philadelphia, Pa.,– August 9, 2017 – This week, CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) are hosting 15 faculty members from Minority Serving Institutions across the nation in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic at an International Faculty Development Seminar (IFDS). Faculty members will gain expertise in facilitating faculty-led study abroad experiences for their students.

Throughout the seminar, faculty members will collaborate to devise strategies for intercultural development that they can then use on their respective campuses. In addition, they will learn best practices to address challenges that may arise while planning a successful study abroad program.

Participants were each nominated by their campus president based on their exemplary leadership, research, and teaching. They include Erica Decuir, Albany State University, Albany, GA; Uzoma Okafor, Albany State University, Albany, GA; Latoya Brooks, Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, NC; Nicole McFarlane, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC; Quienton Nichols, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC; Melanie Hernandez, Fresno State University, Fresno, CA; Jessie Adolph, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO; Troy Frank, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO; Phillipe Semenet, Saint Edward’s University, Austin, TX; Eric Butler, Shaw University, Raleigh, NC; Dorothy Browne, Shaw University, Raleigh, NC; Sheena Harris, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL; and Rhonda Collier, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL.

Facilitators for IFDS include Keshia Abraham, Erin Santana, Melissa Sandoval, Stacy Wood and Ryan Bowen, CIEE Portland, ME; Julio González-Ruiz, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA; Daniel Blake and Paola ‘Lola’ Esmieu, Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, Philadelphia, PA.

According to Lola Esmieu, Associate Director of Programs at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, “IFDS not only equips faculty members with essential tools to develop study abroad programs, but it opens doors for students at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to gain global perspectives through programming uniquely curated for their particular experiences.”

Keshia Abraham, Director of Strategic Initiatives at CIEE, added, “Furthering the commitments made by each of the Presidents who nominated faculty to participate, IFDS is the cornerstone of the CIEE/CMSI partnership. It provides a space for exemplary faculty leaders at MSIs to collaborate and develop strategic initiatives to expand international exchange on their respective campuses.”  

About the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions

The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from the nation's Minority Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. Visit

About the Council on International Educational Exchange

 CIEE was founded in 1947 to facilitate international exchange programs that help foster peace and understanding in our world and to open doors to such programs for students from all socio-economic backgrounds.  Today, CIEE serves more than 400 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and facilitates over 40,000 exchanges each year. CIEE serves as the leading sponsor for the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program (the J-1 visa program), promoting exchanges with over 100 countries. Additional CIEE programs include international faculty training, teach abroad, and various specialty and custom programs for secondary, post-secondary, and international students. Visit

Wednesday, August 9, 2017