From the Editor


  • Brian Whalen



From the Editor


This third Special Issue featuring Undergraduate Research offers more compelling examples of study abroad learning. The student articles span several academic disciplines and geographic regions, and together provide us with an understanding of the high-level academic work of which students studying abroad are capable. 

Each of the three Special Issues that we have published have been well received by education abroad colleagues, faculty, and by those interested in the assessment student learning outcomes. The Frontiers Editorial Board continues to believe that these volumes serve an important purpose in raising the bar for quality education abroad programs by showcasing the very best examples of what our students may achieve. Based on the very positive feedback to these Special Issues, we think that these volumes are achieving this goal. 

The collaboration with the Forum on Education Abroad in publishing these volumes has been extremely fruitful. The idea for the Undergraduate Research Awards, from which the student papers are generated, began and continues to be nurtured in the work of the Forum on Education Abroad’s Committee on Outcomes Assessment. A full description of the Committee’s work and the award selection process is available on the Forum web site at

Natalie Mello of Worcester Polytechnic Institute coordinated the Undergraduate Research Awards process and the mentoring of students who presented at the Forum Conference in Austin in March, 2007, and we thank her for her outstanding work. She worked with the faculty selection committee that chose the Award winners and that nominated students who submitted their papers to Frontiers for review. The three winners who presented at the conference were Hannah Arem, Demetri Blanas Hannah Arem, and Jason Nossiter who were all outstanding. Many attendees commented that their presentations were highlights of the conference.

This year’s selection process has been overseen by Bernhard Streitwieser of Northwestern University, and we thank him for his excellent work. Bernhard collaborated with Neal Sobania of Pacific Lutheran University to write an exceptional introductory article that discusses the important topic of institutional oversight of and the role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) in student research conducted abroad. Drawing on the relevant literature, established best practices, and their own experiences in overseeing programs that involve students in conducting research, they offer expert guidance to those of us who are developing and managing education abroad programs that involve student research.

I am pleased to announce that at its most recent meeting the Frontiers Editorial Board decided to continue to publish in future volumes the best examples of undergraduate research. The Board will continue to work with the Forum to identify and highlight student research as part of our ongoing collaboration.

This project would not have been possible without funding from the IFSA Foundation, which saw the value of featuring research abroad as a way to encourage quality academic achievement in the field. The fact that Frontiers will continue to feature undergraduate student research in future volumes is testimony to the successful outcomes of the IFSA grant. The Frontiers Editorial Board thanks the Foundation for making this possible.

As always, we wish to thank our institutional sponsors that continue to support the Frontiers mission.

Brian Whalen, Editor

Dickinson College



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Author Biography

Brian Whalen

Brian Whalen is Director of International Education at Marist College and has taught courses in the Intercultural Relations Program at the Lesley College Graduate School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He spent five years as a resident director in Italy and has published in the areas of philosophical psychology and cultural psychology. 


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How to Cite

Whalen, B. (2008). From the Editor. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 16(1), vii-viii.

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