FHSU is home of the first national coordinator of the Global Challenges Project

Dr. Shala Mills, chair of the Department of Political Science at Fort Hays State University, has been named the national coordinator for the Global Challenges Project called Global Challenges: Promise and Peril in the 21st Century.

"We are delighted to play such a valuable role in the development of a national blended-learning model course that we believe will not only help to educate globally competent citizens, but will also serve as a model for future American Association of State Colleges and Universities blended-learning courses in other disciplines," said Mills.

The project was made possible by the collaboration of the American Democracy Project, initiated by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities(AASCU); The New York Times Knowledge Network; and teaching faculty from 10 AASCU institutions who serve as the organization's global engagement scholars.

"As the project expanded, it became clear there was a need for a national coordinator to manage the project's scope, support the development of the product, manage internal communications and market the new course," said Dr. Larry Gould, FHSU provost. Gould said he is proud to have FHSU serve the project in this role and designated Mills to lead the project.

The course was inspired by the Seven Revolutions class framework created by a leading bipartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), to examine key trends likely to impact the world over the next 30 years. Those trends are in the areas of population, resource management, technological innovation and diffusion, development and dissemination of information and knowledge, economic integration and globalization, the nature and mode of security, and the challenge of governance.

The course relies on the most recent research in learning environments that combine the best of online and face-to-face learning models. Delivered through the Epsilen eLearning Environment, a resource for sharing course content and networking, students are able to access course materials, The New York Times Digital Content Repository, CSIS content and much more.

FHSU has long supported the project, previously called the Seven Revolutions Project, through the scholarship and teaching of FHSU faculty who have served as AASCU scholars for the project.

Dr. Curt Brungardt, director of the Center for Civic Leadership, in 1981 and 1984; Brett Whitaker, instructor of leadership studies, in 2006 and 2008; and Darrell Hamlin, adjunct professor of leadership studies, have all contributed to the development of the course and were co-authors of the course's Teaching Toolkit.

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