Dr. Grace Pai, Program Coordinator of Global Guttman, has authored an article highlighting the proactive, culturally relevant approach of preparing first-generation, community college students of color for their first study-abroad experiences. Titled “Promoting Well-Being and Safety Abroad: The Role of Continuous Reflection and Peer Education Before, During, and After Travel,” the piece appeared in the Summer 2019 edition of the quarterly Global Impact Exchange. In it, Dr. Pai outlines the need and benefits of orientation and programming specifically focused on racially and ethnically diverse students in the various locations they will visit. By “using a peer-to-peer model alongside …continuous reflection, …any training is naturally grounded in the students themselves, as well as the real experiences of similar peers.” Furthermore, “student engagement in continuous, individual and collective reflection through writing, blogging, videos, and photography” is “central to all three phases” of the Global Guttman model: preparation, immersion, and community education.
Launched in Fall 2014, Global Guttman provides Guttman students the chance to participate in short-term, faculty-led travel programs embedded within credit-bearing courses. Opportunities both in international destinations – Germany, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Chile, Belize, and China – and stateside – New Orleans and Alaska – are designed to foster and develop students’ understanding of themselves in a global, interdependent context; their sense of personal and social responsibility; and their intercultural skills. Global Guttman also offers activities on-campus, such as Global Learning Summit exchange workshops with students from Germany, France, and Haiti.
Prior to joining Guttman as Assistant Professor of Mathematics in 2017, and taking leadership of Global Guttman shortly thereafter, Dr. Pai taught high school math through the NYC Teaching Fellows program. Her experience also includes quantitative analysis and mixed methods for program and impact evaluation as a Senior Research Associate at the New York City Department of Education and international development work in Bangladesh, South Africa, and Sierra Leone. Dr. Pai holds a Ph.D. in International Education from New York University (NYU), an M.Ed. in Secondary School Mathematics from Brooklyn College, CUNY, an Ed.M. in Prevention Science and Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.S. in Management and International Business from the Stern School of Business at NYU. Education policy, math education, college access, social stratification, and international development are among Dr. Pai’s research interests.