Globalizing Curriculum Conference

From Classroom to Workplace Flyer

From Classroom to Workplace: Globalizing the Curriculum for the Future of Creative Business and Technology

March 8, 2024
8:30 am–6:30 pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre

This conference will draw on the faculty expertise of FIT, as well as two well-known international curriculum experts, Dr. Namrata Sharma, faculty at SUNY Oswego, and an expert with the United Nations’ Harmony with Nature Knowledge Network, and Dr. Harvey Charles, Vice Provost for International Affairs, University of Minnesota. It will provide an occasion to talk about how faculty, and the administrators who support them, can design globalized courses and curricula to better prepare students for success in the fields of creativity, business and technology. Students equipped with global learning also have the power to create positive social change and help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


8:30am: Breakfast, coffee, juice, pastries, bagels, fruit

9:00am: Welcome from Dr. Helen Gaudette, Assistant Dean for International Education, convener and master of ceremonies

9:10am: Land acknowledgement, Dr. Deirdre Sato, Dean for International Education

9:15am: Welcome address, Dr. Yasemin Jones, FIT Interim VP for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Amy Werbel, FIT Professor of Art History and President of the Faculty Senate 

9:30am: Opening Speaker: Dr. Namrata Sharma, faculty at SUNY Oswego, and an expert with the United Nations’ Harmony with Nature Knowledge Network

10:00am: Panel #1: On creating virtual international experiences in the liberal arts classroom with COIL, Dr. Kyunghee Pyun, Associate Professor of Art History, and Dr. Nurhayat Bilge, Assistant Professor of Communication. Moderated by Hope Windle, Director, SUNY COIL Center, The State University of New York at Oneonta

10:45am: break, coffee

11:00am: Panel #2: On designing global graduate programs, Pamela Ellsworth, Chair of Global Fashion Management, and Cathleen Sheehan, Chair of Fashion Design, FIT School of Graduate Studies. Moderated by Dr. Brooke Carlson, Interim Dean, School of Graduate Studies 

12:00-1:00pm, lunch on own in Chelsea neighborhood

1:15pm: Panel #3: On creating innovative courses at home and faculty-led study abroad programs in sustainability and design, Eric Daniels, Professor of Interior Design and Susanne Goetz, Professor of Textile and Surface Design. Moderated by Kathleen Monich, Assistant Coordinator, International Programs

2:00pm: Panel #4: On the power of career focused study abroad programs featuring, twenty years of providing Summer internship and study abroad programs in Marketing Communications and European Cosmetics and Fragrance Industry, Roberta Elins, Professor of Advertising & Marketing Communications, and Virginia Bonofiglio, Associate Chairperson of Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing. Moderated by Margaux Caniato, Class of 1997 in Advertising & Marketing Communications, Senior Vice President - US for the Bacchus Agency 

2:45pm: break with coffee

3:00pm: Panel #5: On engaging faculty in designing global curriculum. Dr. Brian Fallon, Professor and Director, Faculty Development, Center for Excellence in Teaching, and Dr. Deborah Klesenski, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Zaida Godoy Navarro, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Dept. of Modern Languages and Cultures. Moderated by  Dr. Julian Silverman, Assistant Professor of Science and Mathematics.

4:00pm: Plenary Address: Dr. Harvey Charles, Vice Provost for International Affairs, University of Minnesota.

5:00pm: Closing Reception and presentation by Michael Ferraro and the FIT D-Tech Lab team, with wine and hor d'oeuvres 

6:30pm: end of conference

Funded in part by Association of International Education Administrators, as an AIEA Thematic Forum
2024 AIEA Thematic Forum Evaluation Link


Nurhayat BilgeNurhayat Bilge is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Communication Studies at FIT. She received her Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication from Arizona State University, her M.A. in Interpersonal Communication from Central Michigan University, and her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, Turkey. She has expertise in intercultural communication, cultural adaptation, cultural identity, and ethnicity. Her work primarily focuses on refugees: refugee culture, identity, and adaptation. She conducted studies with and about refugees, utilizing narrative, interpretive, and content analytical methodologies. As a result, she has publications exploring ethnicity and ethnic identity of refugees, cross-cultural adaptation of refugees as newcomers in host culture context, and social media use of refugees in the context of cultural adaptation.  

Virginia BonifigioVirginia Bonofiglio has been a Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology for over 20 years where she spearheaded, in conjunction with Annette Green, President Emeritus of the Fragrance Foundation, the creation of the only Fragrance Studio on a college campus in the United States. This laboratory continues to provide one of a kind, hands on experiences in cosmetic product development and fragrances creation. A specialized curriculum was created to fully utilize the laboratory for the Cosmetic and Fragrance Marketing undergraduate program. Courses in product development, fragrance creation,color cosmetics, and cosmetic science utilize this state-of-the-art facility.

Eric DanielsEric K. Daniels is a graduate of Pratt Institute School of Architecture and London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts (LAMDA). He is a former Chairperson of the Interior Design Department, teaches Design Studio in the ID BFA program, and co-developed and teaches the Minor in Design Thinking in the Jay & Patty Baker School of Business & Technology. His first study abroad experience as a student at Pratt was a 3-month summer semester in Greece, which served as the basis for writing his summer study abroad course entitled: Adaptive Reuse: Community Place Making in France.

Brian FallonBrian Fallon is the director of Faculty Development and the FIT Center for Excellence in Teaching and former founding director of the Writing and Speaking Studio. He has taught courses in basic writing, first-year writing, and undergraduate and graduate research and writing. His scholarly work focuses on peer collaboration and learning, with an interest in the intersection of politics, technology, social justice, and human rights in language and literacy learning.


Roberta ElinsRoberta Elins is a Professor of Advertising & Marketing Communications, with many years of professional PR experience. Roberta Elins has taught at FIT since 1986. Since 1997, she has been the program leader of “Marketing Communications: An International Perspective”. This is a summer study abroad course in London that combines academics with a hands-on internship at some of London’s top advertising and public relations agencies, media conglomerates and global fashion brands. She has placed approximately 700 students in an international internship that has kick started their careers after graduation.

Pamela EllsworthPamela Ellsworth is Assistant Professor and Chairperson of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Global Fashion Management program in the School of Graduate Studies. Global Fashion Management trains managers in the fashion industry for executive positions, through a partnership with schools in Paris, Hong Kong, and Mexico City. Prior to her appointment at FIT, Pamela spent several years in a position within the international textile industry, subsequently consulting for apparel factories in Africa and Asia. Pamela received an MPS degree from FIT, a BS degree from Cornell University in Apparel and Textile Management, studied textile technology at FIT, and received certification in fashion design from The School of Fashion Design in Boston.

Zaida Godoy NavarroZaida Godoy Navarro is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the Fashion Institute of Technology-SUNY. She received her PhD in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages at The Graduate Center-CUNY. Her research focuses on contemporary Latin American/Latinx Theatre and gender studies.


Susanne GoetzSusanne Goetz is an Associate Professor and the chairperson of the Textile/Surface Design and Fabric Styling Department at FIT. She has worked internationally as a textile designer, lecturer, researcher, and project manager. Her expertise is in printed textile design, biotextiles, and artisanship, with a focus on both digital and traditional approaches to design and production. Her research and teaching practice focuses on global sustainable design, manufacturing and business practices, as well as innovative interdisciplinary work within the overlap of design and science. Susanne holds a MSc in Textile and Apparel Technology Management from North Carolina State University and a BA in Textile Design from Hof University of Applied Sciences, Germany. She is a Fulbright Alumna and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Deb KlesinkiDeborah Klesenski-Rispoli, Ed.D., has worked over the last 11 years in different positions within the area of Academic Affairs. She currently works as the Assoc. Vice President for Faculty and Student Academic Support Programs at the Fashion Institute of Technology.    Deborah is a trained commercial photographer who operated a business in NYC for over 20 years. During that time, she also taught photography at NYU, FIT, and the International Center of Photography while working with clients that include Bon Appetit, Newsweek, Random House, and Hearst publications.  

Kyunghee PyunKyunghee Pyun is Associate Professor of art history at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Her scholarship focuses on history of collecting, reception of Asian art, and intersectionality of art and technology, and industrial history. Her research interest ranges from diaspora of Asian artists and Asian American visual culture to image-text relationship in illustrated books of medieval and early modern Europe, cross-cultural exchange of luxury objects, and business history of art and design practitioners.

Cathleen SheehanCathleen Sheehan is Chairperson and Professor of the FIT School of Graduate Studies Fashion Design MFA. Voted “Best Dressed” in her class at Harvard Business School where she earned an MBA, Cathleen is an experienced fashion industry consultant and educator who possesses a rare combination of creative and analytical skills. As a strategy advisor and President of ESP Trendlab for over twenty years, she has successfully advised hundreds of global brands, entrepreneurs and nonprofits on strategies to leverage core strengths and opportunities within the dynamic fashion, beauty, consumer products, tech and retail landscapes. Cathleen got her start in fashion at Escada where she led a corporate strategy program and helped acquire, launch and build several luxury brands. She serves as a director on several fashion industry boards. 

Hope Windle photoHope Windle is the Director of SUNY COIL - State University of New York Collaborative Online International Learning, and leads with 18 years of instructional design acumen. COIL empowers 156 global member institutions, connecting 60,000 students annually in 32 countries on 6 continents. Hope speaks internationally on the value of culturally focused, student team-based projects enacting social change locally and globally.