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Julie Ficarra

Julie FicarraPh.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Education: Ed.M. International Education Policy, Harvard University
B.A. Anthropology and International Studies, University at Buffalo

What are your research interests? Why?
My research focuses broadly on applying critical theory to the practice of international education leadership and policymaking, curriculum and program development, as well as university/community collaborations both local and global. As a second-generation Italian American I’ve always been interested in issues of multiculturalism, but spending time studying abroad in Tanzania, England and the Czech Republic as an undergraduate student and then working in International Education Policy for the U.S. Government and various American universities really solidified my interest in looking more closely at the relations of power and processes of knowledge and cultural production that are embedded in seemingly progressive policies and programs.

Why did you choose Syracuse University?
Given the type of work I'm interested in I was really attracted to CFE's strength in critical pedagogy and the idea of being able to develop my theoretical analysis skills at the School of Education while also having access to the International expertise at the Maxwell School. As someone who is interested in studying American student mobility, the prominence of SUAbroad and the growth of their physical presence abroad via their nine SU Study Centers around the world also drew me to SU.

What other professional, TA, GA, or community activities are you involved in?
This upcoming Fall (2015) I'll be teaching EDU 221: Education for Transformation as well as a new pilot course I designed that is being introduced as an EDU 300: Special Topics. This one credit seminar course is open to students who have just returned from studying abroad and will challenge them to think critically about their experience, specifically their impact on the community that hosted them as well as global relations of power. I teach ESL to adults on Wednesday nights at the Northside Learning Center (NSLC), a community space that welcomes refugees and new Americans and offers free English language classes. In addition to teaching at the NSLC, I'm also working on an ongoing qualitative research project there focused on university/community relations. The first part of the project culminated in a documentary film that I co-produced, focused on the politics of space, memory and belonging amongst different groups on the Northside of the city.