Instructionally Related Activities Funds Request Summary

Project SponsorNitika Parmar
Activity TitleUNIV392- Exploring Biotechnology in India
Activity/Event Date12/26/14 to 01/18/15
Date Funding Needed By06/15/14
Previously Funded?Yes
Semester/YearFall, 2013
Proposal #533B
Report submitted for previously Funded Activity?Yes
Report submitted for previously Funded Activityparmar-ira-report-2014.doc (MS Word, 230KB)
Academic Program or Center NameCIA-UNIV392 International Travel and Biology
Estimated total Course Fee revenue$22,400
Amount Requested from IRA$38,221.90
Estimated Number of Students Participating14
Conditions and ConsiderationsInternational Travel
Brief Activity DescriptionFunds are being requested for student travel to India during the winter break of the 2014-2015 academic year (December 26, 2014- January 18, 2015) as part of a UNIV392 course entitled “Biotechnology in India” which is being proposed for Fall, 2014. This course was recently approved by the Center for International Affairs. The 3-unit course will provide CI students an opportunity to visit India and explore biotechnology advancements A maximum of 14 students will be enrolled in this class and the instructor will accompany the students to India for the international experience field trip. Students will be exposed to applications in the areas of biotechnology and environmental biotechnology from the Indian perspective. Emphasis will be placed on demonstration of research experimentation in the fields of molecular biology, immunology, cell biology, animal husbandry, biomedical research and ecological conservation at top research institutions in three cities- New Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh, as well as an Ecovillage close to Mumbai. Students will learn about the booming biotechnology research in India on one side and the deep emphasis placed on India’s ancient history, cuisine, culture, arts, religion and rich traditions on the other.

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with techniques used in the fields of biotechnology and environmental ecology in India.
Learning Outcomes and Relation to IRA to Course OfferingsThe proposed activity (international travel component) directly relates to the UNIV392 course which was approved by the Center for International Affairs and is to be offered in Fall, 2014. The travel will be from 12/26/14 to 01/18/15.

The proposed activity will provide a real-life experience to the content taught in UNIV392 whereby various elements of classical and modern-day biotechnology will be discussed. Students will be able to observe biotech practices in India from a scientific and cultural context. The travel component is a crucial and a required part of this course which will allow students to experience the dynamic biotechnology research in India along with its traditions and culture. Over a period of three weeks, students will get the opportunity to explore three major cities in India and interact with scientists and students. The course will explore biology in the context of applied research and provide students the opportunity to observe research projects ongoing in India. Thus, the proposed travel component of this course directly aligns with CI’s mission of graduating students with multicultural and international perspectives.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
• Understand the concepts of biotechnology as practiced in India
• Explain the theory and practice of a variety of experimental techniques as practiced in India
• Understand the role of India as a booming biotechnology hub
• Demonstrate their ability to explore and appreciate the diverse nature of India’s traditions
• Understand the vibrant history and culture of India
Description of Assessment ProcessA variety of assessment tools will be utilized in this course before and after the international travel has occurred:
• Pre-trip presentations (20 points): Students will research the biotechnology practices in India as well as its culture, traditions and history and will present their findings in the form of an oral presentation in class.
• Quiz (20 points each): Three quizzes will be administered during the semester as well as after the trip has concluded.
• Reflective journal (50 points): Students will develop a steadily growing document where they are expected to record their reflections and thoughts on what they are learning about India and how it’s changing their belief about preconceived notions and perceptions. Entries into the journal are required for each day spent in India.
• Attendance (30 points): Students are required to attend each event/activity during the time spent in India in order to get full benefit of the international experience. Students are also required to attend all in-class sessions at CI as well as all orientation and workshop sessions.
• Final presentation (40 points): After the conclusion of the trip, each student will be making a presentation about the experiences gained during the international experience in the form of a 20-page report as well as an oral presentation. Report is due within 15 days of returning back to USA and the poster will be presented at the Sage conference which will be held at CI in May, 2015. Details will be provided during the semester.
Activity Budgetparmar-ira-budget-2014.xls (MS Excel, 225KB)
CIA Budgetparmar-univ-392-budget-worksheet-2014-updated.pdf (PDF, 101.9KB)
CIA Proposalparmar-univ-392-international-course-proposal-2014.pdf (PDF, 157.4KB)
Course Syllabusparmar-univ-392-course-syllabus-and-itinerary-fall2014.pdf (PDF, 472.8KB)
CIA CertificationI certify that students attending this trip are not previous or repeat attendees of a prior International UNIV 392 Trip
Other Sources of FundingThe only other source of funding for this course is via the course fee of $1600. The total revenue from this course fee is thus: $1600 x 14 = $22,400.
Target Audience/Student MarketingThe target audience will be undergraduate students of CI. The course will be open to all undergraduate students of all majors. Advertisement of the course will be done through flyers and posters posted across campus, through global e-mails sent to all STEM majors, through information sessions presented at Biology and Chemistry Clubs as well as at the LSAMP meetings. I will also request my colleagues in the non-science fields to make an announcement of this course in their classes. Finally, the course will also be advertized on the SRSC webpage.

Interested students will be required to complete a UNIV392 application form and provide three letters of recommendation from CI faculty (excluding the instructor for this course). The application will provide me insights into students' academic preparation, their level of confidence and expectations as well as their motivation for this course. The recommendation letters will provide useful feedback about students' potential and skills. Based on the analyses of these findings, students will be invited for an interview. Based on information gathered from their application as well as the interview, a final selection of 14 students will be made. A waiting list may also be generated.
Bring Benefit to CampusThe benefit of the activity will be communicated to the campus in the form of presentations made by students at the Sage conference which is typically held in May. The benefit will also be communicated to the Center for International Affairs as a report and a request will be made to CIA to enable us to present our activity at the International week celebrations in the form of photographs, posters and open house session. Finally, the benefit will also be brought back by repeating this course and offering it to students again in the future semesters.

The best benefits brought back are the students themselves who come back with a life-changing experience and advocate for international travel after developing renewed confidence and enthusiasm! Students are the best ambassadors for communicating the benefits of this activity via personal interactions with their friends at school and via social networking sites where pictures can speak a thousand words.
SustainabilityOne of the activities that students will be engaged in is an Educational Retreat at Govardhan Ecovillage (GEV) in India. Govardhan Eco Village is a farm community spread over a scenic landscape of 60 acres north of Mumbai, India. Since its inception in the year 2003, Govardhan Eco Village has made steady progress in Organic farming, Education, Rural development, Alternative energy, Eco friendly constructions and Sustainable living. The purpose behind Govardhan Eco Village is to present a sustainable living model based on community living.
Students in this course will thus get to see sustainable practices in India and will glean valuable information which will be shared with the CI community and could potentially be implemented in a practical sense on our campus.
Program Chair/Directoramy.denton
Academic Affairs AVPkaren.carey
AcknowledgementI acknowledge that I have reviewed and accepted the Conditions and Considerations herein. Please check off boxes as appropriate.

Program Chair/Director Approval

ApprovalI approve the IRA Funds Request described on this page
NameAmy Denton
Date/Time2/25/2014 11:32:41 AM

Academic Affairs AVP Approval

ApprovalI approve the IRA Funds Request described on this page
NameKaren Carey
Date/Time2/25/2014 11:47:35 AM