SUNY Cobleskill’s Dr. Diane Dobry, Director of Communications Marketing, Dr. Jason Evans, Assistant Professor in Agriculture and and Natural Resources at SUNY Cobleskill and Dr. Ferenc Baglyas, Professor of Viticulture at Kecskemét College in Hungary, have collaborated to create an online international class in Global Wine and Marketing. The group is among several SUNY academics working to create Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses this year in conjunction with the SUNY Global Center in New York City in an effort to expand learning opportunities and international connections for students.
A boutique one-credit class of students will be taught by Dobry and Evans at SUNY Cobleskill in a blended face-to-face and online format with a similar class taught by Baglyas in Hungary. Lessons for both classes have been designed to incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous online lectures, videos and demonstrations, as well as the opportunity for students from both sides of the Atlantic to communicate, collaborate and discuss the course content.
Professor Evans noted that such a one-credit course could provide a valuable opportunity for students in Agricultural Business, Culinary Arts, Plant Science and Food Systems to learn the management and marketing challenges and opportunities unique to the wine industry. “This is a quickly growing arena within New York State that will undoubtedly yield employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for our graduates,” he added. “The opportunity to collaborate with international entities on curriculum delivery will only enhance the learning experience and we hope that this will be the first of many similar courses on this campus.”
Dobry, who imported Hungarian wines to the U.S. through her company, Kristof Wines, Inc., from 2006 to 2009, also taught at Kecskemét College for a year in 2011-2012. “With my experiences of working in Hungary in both the wine industry and in an academic setting, I saw a wonderful possibility and desire for collaboration between my colleagues and me here at SUNY Cobleskill and my former colleagues at Kecskemét College,” she said. “I am thrilled to bring both schools together for this joint venture.”
Dr. Susan Jagendorf, the Executive Director of International Education at SUNY Cobleskill, noted that COIL courses on campus will support the College’s strategic initiative to promote cultural competence while offering a cost-effective, innovative tool for internationalizing the curriculum.
“COIL also provides an avenue for cross-cultural exploration when physical travel is not an immediate option,” Jagendorf said. “In addition, using technology to reach across cultures can add a new perspective to traditional courses, enliven academic programs, whet students’ appetites to learn about other communities and at the same time provide professional development opportunities for faculty.”
In May, after the online course ends, Dobry and Evans are offering a faculty-led study abroad course to Hungary to include immersion in the culture for those students who are interested in taking the international component one step further.