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Olivia Gusmano

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Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
2016
Home Institution: 
Temple University
Heinz Programming Area: 
Education
Study Abroad Country: 
Denmark
International Experience

Olivia Gusmano traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark through the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in mid-June this past summer. Her overseas flight, a red-eye, landed her in Europe two days before the program-assigned arrival. She pounced on the opportunity to explore Denmark alone before the rest of the program's students showed up. Live music, disorientation, and good food characterized Olivia's adventures around the small but curious city. Throughout the program, she worked with a diverse group of professors and faculty to surround herself with Danish culture and education. Along the way, Olivia found herself peeking into the educational systems of Turkey and Finland, each for a week, to contrast the ideology in Denmark. She was shocked to discover not only the similarities between Turkey and the United States, but also her U.S. colleagues' harsh criticism and negative reactions while she was traveling in Istanbul. With a rich, fulfilling trip around Europe in Olivia's arsenal of experiences, she will be pursuing a large research study to further investigate educational systems in the U.S.

Community Engagement Experience
CEE Title: 
Addressing the Three C’s: Culture, Community and Collaboration

Addressing the Three C’s: Culture, Community and Collaboration, was a panel and roundtable discussion community engagement experience with Temple University and the surrounding communities. At this event, the Vira I Heinz Temple University Cohort hosted a panel of educators from both the university and the Philadelphia community to share their experiences with accessibility through culture, community and/or collaboration. Solomon Jones, the keynote speaker of the event, spoke about his experiences growing up near Temple University as compared to how the community is changing due to the school’s expansion. He illuminated many of the issues surrounding accessibility that are being raised by Temple’s growth. The panelists spoke of their experiences with accessibility, the creation or the lack thereof, as teachers and administrators. After the speakers, the VIH cohort tied these local topics into the global issues of accessibility that were observed abroad. The conversation was then turned to the audience in the form of roundtable discussions, where the panelists joined the conversation. Here, the event served to open a conversation about how individuals can work tangibly and immediately within their own lives to create a more accessible workplace, classroom, campus, and beyond. Connections were made and contacts were shared, as this event itself served as a way for community members and Temple University personnel to have access to each other.

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