alert Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Rectangle 9 Group 4 email out facebook fax flickr grid instagram LINK linkedin location Group 47 Group 9 Group 9 Group 47 PHONE play Group 4 " Search twitter video face_white youtube

      Story Ideas

       Send story and noteworthy ideas to Jessica Reyes,

      Students Share Research Globally

      Undergraduate Students Participate in International Conference in Amsterdam

      Widener Students Present in Amsterdam

      Megan Cullison, a junior civil engineering major, presents at the International Honours Conference.

      Three undergraduate students accompanied Associate Provost and Dean of Students Denise Gifford on a trip to Windesheim University, a new International partner university in the city of Zwolle in the Netherlands. It was the first trip by Widener students to help encourage others to study abroad. Students from Windesheim will also be coming to Main Campus for a semester as part of the partnership in the spring.

      “Windesheim, located in the Eastern part of the Netherlands, is one of the Netherlands' top universities of applied sciences and is known for working closely with the business community and public institutes. This partnership will open up a number of opportunities for our students,” Gifford said.

      As part of the trip, Widener students lived in residence halls alongside students from Windesheim, presented at the International Honours Conference, toured Amsterdam, and participated in Hanseatic City Challenge.

      Megan Cullison, a junior civil engineering major; Iman ElKhashab, a junior biology major; and Ryan Yost, a sophomore in the School of Business Administration attended the International Honours Conference at Windesheim along with 100 students from throughout the European Union.

      It was a life changing experience for Cullison. Not only was it the first time she traveled out of the country, but it was also her first time on an airplane. “It really didn’t set in that I was traveling abroad until I was in the Netherlands,” she said. “The environment was much different at Windesheim University. There is a major focus on collaboration and interdisciplinary learning; all of their learning spaces support it.”

      The students each individually submitted a poster into the research project competition at the Honours Conference, sponsored by Glocality, Windesheim’s online academic journal for undergraduates. The students presented a short pitch describing their research project to the faculty jury members prior to the poster session.

      Cullison presented a poster on a green storm water infrastructure. “It was a great experience to present internationally,” she said. “I was the only engineering student there, so my research was very different than most of the other presentations.”

      Cullison’s work was also shared during the Hanseatic City Challenge, in which students were put on teams with students from Windesheim to help solve problems for five different cities developed by the Hanseatic League. Cullison and ElKhashab were on Team Kampen, and Yost was on Team Zwoelle. The first two days were used for researching and investigating the problem. Once that research investigation was completed, different solutions were proposed and evaluated.

      students present

      Students present at International Honours Conference

      This was the first Widener student trip to the Netherlands to visit with Widener's new international partner Windesheim University.

      “Our students were a part of a pilot program to determine whether this type of involvement in a conference, research competition and group International problem solving was an appropriate learning experience for our students,” Gifford said. “After the second place finish by our students in the international competition, their competitiveness in the poster research competition and their excitement about the Netherlands and the educational opportunities at Windesheim, I am absolutely sure that students will be returning to Windesheim. Both the School of Engineering and the School of Business Administration have plans in place to send students to Windesheim for a full semester abroad this upcoming year, and Windesheim has committed to sending students to Widener for spring semester.”

      Cullison was able to incorporate her work with the green stormwater infrastructure, as the problem they were given to solve was regarding the flooding throughout the city of Kampen. “The purpose of the green stormwater approach is to collect rainwater when it falls and hold it to reduce flooding,” Cullison said. “We suggested community gardens, flow-through planters, and rain barrels as a start for this community. We also recommended that a bioswale playground or water retention pond, which are much larger projects, could also be included by Kampen to create a large impact.”

      Their proposal received a lot of positive feedback, and not only came in second place, but was also offered funding by the CEO of Rabobank, a Dutch multinational banking and financial services company.

      “I was really proud of this work,” Cullison said. The event was aired on Facebook Live, so her parents were even able to watch her presentation, which took place during the International Hanseatic Days Festival in Kampen, Netherlands in front of 250 people.

      While abroad, students wrote daily assessments of their experience, and will make a promotional video encouraging students to participate in global learning opportunities this summer.

      Among the highlights of the trip for Cullison was getting to know the students, and of course, as a civil engineer, she was captivated by the public transportation system. “It’s so impressive, and makes it so easy to travel around Europe. I would love to go back.”

      Explore global opportunities at Widener.


      whats up widener tags

      Share on