Over seven days, from July 8 through July 14, more than 40 participants— students and faculty from several different schools—took part in the 5th Annual Global Citizenship Institute (GCI) at St. Mark's. A collaboration between St. Mark's School and Austria's Salzburg Global Seminar, the Global Citizenship Institute's mission is to educate and support faculty and students from public, private and international secondary schools as they learn ways to become engaged global citizens, actively working to solve problems of global and local significance.
Dr. Laura Appell-Warren, Director of both the Global Citizenship Institute and the Global Citizenship Program at St. Mark's, led a team of seven St. Mark's faculty facilitating the Institute. Guest lecturers during the week included Dr. Sue Stafford, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Boston's Simmons College; and Dr. Rusty Tunnard (SM Class of 1967), Professor of Practice of International Business and former Hitachi Fellow for Technology and International Affairs at Tufts University's Fletcher School.
As he has for previous GCIs, Bruce Wilson (SM Class of 1954) was on hand throughout the week as a program observer. A St. Mark's trustee, Wilson first attended the Salzburg Global Seminar in 1965 and has attended its June Board Meeting annually since 2007. He has chaired the Global Citizenship Committee of the St. Mark's Board and played an essential role in the creation of the Global Citizenship Institute.
St. Mark's faculty involved included Dr. Warren, veteran math teacher Karen Bryant, Dean of Academics Nathaniel Waters, Head Chaplain Barbara Talcott, Senior Associate Director of Admission Elise Morgan, Director of Lion Term Liz McColloch, and Assistant Director of Auxiliary Programs Emily Michelson (SM Class of 2013). In addition to their official positions at the School, many of these current SM faculty members have been involved in the School's global outreach opportunities (like the Haiti Partnership) and/or have taught the required III Form Global Seminar. Ms. Michelson is a GCI veteran, having successfully coordinated the GCI internship program in previous summers. This year she served as Assistant Director of the Global Citizenship Institute under Dr. Warren.
Throughout the week-long GCI, students explored, in large and small settings, global citizenship issues. Faculty worked to develop strategies and lesson plans to infuse global citizenship education into their curriculum. In addition, students and faculty from each school came together to create and present a global citizenship action plan to be implemented in their home school during the 2018-19 academic year.
There were several highlights from this year's Global Citizenship Institute (GCI) at St. Mark's. Dr. Tunnard presented on networks, global networking, and the power to do good through networks. Dr. Stafford presented on "The Ethics of Climate Change" and talked about justice in a changing world. Kristen Boone, Humanities Chair at the Church Farm School, gave a presentation entitled "Japan in the Modern World: A Move Toward Peace Education." Dr. Warren's presentation— "Perspective and Ethnocentrism Through Maps"—gave a valuable focus for the institute, as did a particular emphasis on "Design Thinking," which included exercises in St. Mark's FAB Lab
Throughout the week, participants engaged in reflective journaling, and there were insightful explorations of topics such as "What is Global Citizenship?" and "Understanding Through Empathy". Smaller Global Topics discussion groups examined a variety of issues such as Human Rights in the 21st Century, Water scarcity, Agriculture and food security, resource security/insecurity, and Wealth inequality globally.
On Wednesday, everyone took part in a field trip into Boston, where they walked the Freedom Trail. Back on campus, students and faculty worked on the action plans they will be taking back to their respective schools. It was a week filled with fun and camaraderie, as well as insightful and empowering presentations, conversations and collaborative endeavors.
"Our fifth Global Citizenship Institute was excellent," said Dr. Warren. "The group of students were eager to engage deeply in the topics that were addressed and could be found discussing issues of global significance throughout the day and night! A real highlight for me as director was working with the extraordinarily strong group of counselors, including St . Markers: Assistant Director, Emily Michelson, SM 2013, DeAnna Sandoval, SM 2015, and Reed Andary SM '17." Dr. Warren also recognized the contributions of the faculty, guest presenters, and interns, as well as the administrative support of Lori Karlsson and Mary Ann Ciampa at St. Mark's as instrumental in this year's GCI success. Dr. Warren continues to be "thrilled that we are partnered with the Salzburg Global Seminar, as they are leaders in the field of Global Citizenship education." Founded in 1947, the purpose of the Salzburg Global Seminar is to challenge present and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. To do this, participants are brought together from different cultures and institutions, problem-focused initiatives are organized, and leadership development is supported.
At the close of this year's program, participating students and faculty were challenged to describe their 2018 GCI experience in a single word. "Inspiring/inspirational" and "enlightening" were the two most common responses, while "eye-opening," "interesting," "uplifting," "purposeful," "meaningful," "heartwarming," "staggering," and "amazing" were also among the 2018 participant reflections. Other words used included "friendship," "awareness," "Immersive," "involved," and "community."
In the rapidly changing 21st century world there is a need for individuals who can skillfully and ethically navigate our increasingly complex and interconnected planet. As technology, economics, environmental issues and political events intersect, boundaries blur and engaged citizens must work together without national bias with colleagues from a variety of backgrounds, nationalities, and experiences.
The Global Citizenship Program is one of the three central initiatives of the ongoing St. Mark's 2020 strategic plan.