Team for Interdisciplinary Global Research


Our Partnerships


IIUI UNCW Partnership Banner

The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) and the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) are partnering to design and implement a collaborative model of professional development in teaching, research, and community engagement, primarily in Political Science/International Relations and English. The teaching component of the IIUI-UNCW collaborative model expands faculty teaching expertise at both institutions through in-person and virtual workshops, mentoring, and pedagogical collaborations. Our model also supports the bi-directional exchange of IIUI and UNCW graduate students. The IIUI-UNCW research component facilitates faculty exchanges, collaborations, and mentoring to increase individual faculty and departmental research capacities, while the community engagement component fosters student, campus and regional engagement through internships, public lecture series, and community dialogues.

IIUI and UNCW: "A Collaborative Model for Enhanced Teaching, Research, and Community Engagement" is an initial, three-year grant in which UNCW will partner with the International Islamic University Islamabad toimplement a collaborative model of professional development in teaching, research, and community engagement. There is a focus on Political Science/ International Relations and English, with IIUI´s expressed desire to also learn from our leadership in curriculum and faculty development.

For more information about our partnership or the grant that supports it, check our our IIUI and UNCW Partnership page here.

Team Bios

Cara Cilano

Cara CilanoCara Cilano, Professor of English, is PI of this grant. She serves as Program Director and English Department Liaison. Of the many positives associated with this award, Cara views the person-to-person interactions the grant will facilitate as its most valuable outcome. And, as faculty in a humanities department, Cara supports the US Department of State's emphasis on the importance of mutual understanding and cooperation through the study of literature and writing.

Jess Boersma

Jess BoersmaJess Boersma directs UNCW´s applied learning program, ETEAL,and the Team for Interdisciplinary Research (TIGR). The combination ofcomparatist training andworking in three different continents indelibly frame Jess´passion and commitment toward promoting greater dialogue between and respect for our global society's diverse cultures and peoples. Jess looks forward to the many opportunities to share with and learn from our Pakistani colleagues in the areas of research, teaching and civic engagement.

Dan Masters

Dan MastersDaniel Masters, Associate Professor of Political Science and the Assistant Chair for the Department of Public and International Affairs. He serves as the Political Science/International Liaison. Dan sees value in the one-on-one research collaboration, the chance to work on two -way curricular development between IIUI and UNCW, and the opportunity for UNCW students to gain exposure to graduate students and faculty from IIUI. The experience will broaden our horizons.

Diana Ashe

Diana AsheDiana Ashe, Interim Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Center for Faculty Leadership, is a co-PI of this grant. Diana looks forward to taking part in faculty development partnerships between the two universities and seeing the enhancements in professional development, teaching, and global learning and understanding that will result. As an Associate Professor in the Department of English, Diana also anticipates the possibilities for profound impact upon her own writing classes provided by this opportunity.

Carrie Clements

Carrie ClementsCaroline Clements, Professor of Psychology, was the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence for the last ten years and the Director of the Center for Faculty Leadership for the past four years. She is an expert in faculty development and in fostering leadership qualities. An important part of her job at the Center was encouraging faculty to emphasize global citizenry in their classes so that students and faculty alike develop broad understandings of very diverse cultures. Dr. Clements is the author of numerous articles and books on faculty development and strongly supports the importance of cultural competence and understanding in faculty teaching and practice.

Karl Ricanek Jr.

Karl Ricanek Jr.Dr. Karl Ricanek Jr, Professor of Computer Science, is a co-PI on this grant. Dr. Ricanek leads an interdisciplinary research group at UNC Wilmington that focuses on engaging US government agencies and activities on advanced technology for identity science and geostrategic cultural initiatives. He brings more than a decade of experience executing high quality research for the US Government with more than 22 awards with several entities. He will utilize his experience in program management to assist in the execution of the goals of this body of work along with his vast experience in graduate monitorship.

Program Evaluator

James Devita

James DeVitaJames DeVita, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the M.Ed. in Higher Education, is the Lead Evaluator on the grant. James joined the Watson College of Education at UNCW in 2012, and brings his expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods to assist the project's collaborators in measuring the project's success. His prior experiences as a Research Associate on a National Science Foundation grant and scholarly work related to issues of access and success of marginalized populations in higher education will help frame his work on the project.