Associate Professor Eddah M. Mutua-Kombo has been awarded a $10,000 St. Cloud University Provost’s Grant 2014 to internationalize communication. In commenting on the significance of her work, Dr. Mutua-Kombo, who resides in St. Cloud, Minnesota in the United States, argues that “The impetus for promoting understanding and co-existence in an increasingly diverse world depends on the participation of students in putting classroom learning into practice.” Toward this pedagogical mission, she seeks to expand the understanding of intercultural communication beyond the U.S. domestic diversity to include international cultural experiences.
Using service learning as a keen vehicle for fostering human relations, Professor Mutua-Kombo’s project brings together public university students, 5 high schools in Central Minnesota and Kenyan, East African high school students in a “value added” process of learning about peace communication in the global community. Students use SKYPE technology and well-developed learning materials to enable them act for the common good in their schools, communities, country and the world. Both synchronous and asynchronous interactions give students the opportunity to participate in developing global intercultural competence—a central feature of practical education for the 21st century.