Kent State Graduate Student Explores Educational Opportunities With Cuba
Kevin J. Spence, a Kent State University higher education administration doctoral student, visited Cienfuegos, Cuba, to help bridge Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services’ past to the present.
In October, Spence discussed the Visiting Scholar program at the Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education during the second Workshop of Strategic Alliances for the Internationalization of Higher Education at the University of Cienfuegos.
“The College of Education, Health and Human Services has had ties with Cuba that dates back 68 years with Dr. Gerald Read’s interest with Cuban education,” says Linda Robertson, director of the center.
Read, a faculty member in the College of Education, Health and Human Services from 1948-1976, started the center in 1987 to help initiate educational exchanges in formerly closed societies.
Spence, a research assistant for international initiatives in Kent State’s School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration, is helping the center and the School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration explore more educational opportunities and connections with Cuba. The center hopes to host a professional advisory board meeting on the island in 2018. In 2001, Spence interviewed Cuban residents in Havana and wrote his master’s thesis as a student at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. At Kent State, he is exploring a dissertation about Cuban higher education under the direction of Associate Professor Martha Merrill, Ph.D., In March, Spence will present his early findings about Cuban higher education at the Comparative and International Education Society Conference in Atlanta.
“I am delighted that Kevin is serving as a bridge between the School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration and the tremendous work of the center to help expand our global footprint and create more exciting international opportunities for students,” says Kimberly Schimmel, Ph.D., director of the School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration.
The Read Center will host its first visiting scholar from Cuba next semester. Mayda Ramos Alemán, a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, is the national advisor for English language teaching at the Ministry of Education in Cuba, and will visit Kent State in February.