The Global Scholars Program Journal is a collection of academic papers co-authored by students who have participated in our program since the 2010-2011 academic year. These papers are the written component of the students’ Research/Action Projects (RAP), a collaborative project that began as an ungraded, voluntary participation requirement in the Global Scholars Program (GSP). In the 2014-15 academic year, the RAP became an integral part of GSP’s courses for first-year participants.
Students joining the Global Scholars Program now enroll in a course during each semester of their first year (Fall Semester – UC270: Defining Critical Global Issues; Winter Semester – UC270: Addressing Critical Global Issues) in which they learn to critically assess urgent issues affecting our world and to take action in pursuit of global justice. As a part of these courses they are required to meet weekly in Collaborative Groups with approximately 10 of their peers. Because our community is strikingly diverse – with members whose backgrounds reflect citizenship in 20 different countries and proficiency in 40 different languages – GSP students establish strong cross-cultural relationships and explore global issues from multiple cultural perspectives.
The RAP is now the capstone project for this course sequence, completed in Collaborative Groups. It is an intensive scholarly undertaking involving a year-long research inquiry, as well as designing tools and implementing strategies to create meaningful change. Each year, GSP students explore many urgent, intersecting issues, including gender inequity, human trafficking, environmental sustainability, global healthcare, economic development, and the rights and well-being of immigrants and refugees. Some Collaborative Groups partner with an interested organization whose mission strongly relates to GSP’s pursuit of global justice. In these cases, partnering organizations identify a year-long project that supports their existing work to become a group’s RAP focus.
This effort culminates in a symposium presentation and a group-authored publication in The Global Scholars Program Journal. Published articles are also deposited into the University of Michigan’s Deep Blue digital archive.