May 2, 2016

The Middle East Center is pleased to announce the Master Teacher Fellows for 2016. Varley S. Paul from, Plymouth Meeting Friends School, and Melanie Manuel, from Science Leadership Academy, are the Master Teacher Fellows for 2016.

The Master Teacher Fellowship in Global Education is awarded to two K-14 teachers in the Delaware Valley who have shown substantial commitment to global studies in their school or classroom.

Each fellow receives a $500 stipend to be used for conference/training registration, travel to a conference/training, classroom materials, etc. The Master Teacher Fellows serve as education ambassadors for the University of Pennsylvania's South Asia and Middle East Centers from April 2015 to April 2016 and lead one public workshop for pre-service and current educators. Upon completion of the fellowship, a brief report will be required.

Learn More About Our 2016 Fellows:

Varley S. Paul is a 6th grade teacher at Plymouth Meeting Friends School. Varley has been teaching for 35 years. She graduated from St. Lawrence University and has a MS in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica from 1980 to 1984 as a teacher of their School Gardens Program. She worked seven summers with the Windsor Mountain International Camp and Global Routes, leading community service and cultural programs for teenagers in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She helped establish two of their programs in Costa Rica and Ecuador, both of which are still running. More recently, she participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks Workshop: Empires of the Wind: Pacific Maritime History, in San Diego, California. Her teaching philosophy is influenced by many amazing experiences in the United States and abroad such as participating in a college semester in Kenya, living in Costa Rica, and working throughout the years with an amazing array of people who dedicate their lives to education. An important component to Varley’s teaching is giving students experiential education opportunities. Aside from teaching, Varley is a writer and artist, is passionate about history, archaeology, and anthropology. She enjoys movies, rock climbing, and snorkeling.

Varley is interested in creating professional development workshops for teachers that

A) Introduce tech tools to connect with classrooms and professionals abroad and how to use the tools to supplement or enrich curriculum

B) Develop exchange, travel or intercultural partner programs whether in the city, across the U.S. or overseas. 

Varley plans to use her $500 award for continuing education. She is interested in courses and conferences focusing on technology, diversity training, and global education in general. She would also like to visit schools and network with peer educators to learn more about best practices and knowledge transfer. She would like to develop a way to share her findings with peer educators for further discussion and/or brainstorming. 

Melanie Manuel is a Spanish teacher at Science Leadership Academy, a partnership high school between the School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute. Melanie is also a lecturer at Penn's Graduate School of Education where she teaches World Language methods courses. Melanie has degrees in International Business and Education (MS). She studied Bilingual Intercultural Education at la Universidad del Valle in Sololá, Guatemala, learning alongside Mayan educators how to teach traditional and cultural literacy in Spanish and indigenous languages. Under the auspices of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she studied 16th century Spanish literature in Spain and Hispanic Caribbean literature at Hunter College in NYC. These opportunities developed her ability to teach Spanish through a more global lens, incorporating both peninsular and Latin American perspectives and resources. Every summer (and occasionally spring breaks) she leads international education programs for high school students from around the world on topics such as global leadership, language & culture, the impact of free trade on border communities, human rights, and environmental sustainability. As the recipient of a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching, Melanie spent the spring semester of 2015 in Chile researching street art and investigating how it can be used to teach language and culture. This summer she will ride her bike through Cuba with a filmmaker to create resources she and other educators can use to teach about Cuba.

Melanie is interested in creating professional development workshops for teachers on

A) How to use Google Maps to support hands-on inquiry and data discovery for research projects 

B) "Cuba through Photography and Film" at educators conferences such as EduCon, Teachers for Social Justice, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the School District of Philadelphia District-Wide PD. 

Melanie plans to use her $500 award to develop curriculum, resources and materials and to support her registration fees to present her work at conferences.