Funding Highlight: Global Engagement Grant    

Texas A&M University is on a mission to be a leader globally through its efforts in transformational teaching, discovery, innovation, and impact. In 2017, Texas A&M announced the Abroad: Global Engagement Plan, which outlines their intentions to empower faculty, improve experiential learning, and enhance operations and partnership collaborations through international experiences. As part of the plan, the Global Engagement Grant (GEG) program was established to create innovative initiatives that incorporate a significant international experience for students that includes a high impact experiential learning or research activity. During the application process for the GEG, thirty proposals were submitted, with 110 faculty participants from 14 of the 16 Texas A&M colleges and schools. Only four proposals were selected and funded throughout the entire university.

The Maritime Business Administration-Liberal Studies-School of Law Maritime Global Engagement Initiative is one of the four funded proposals. The following faculty from these departments created this high impact proposal:

Dr. Mileski headshot
Dr. Joan Mileski: Professor and Head of Maritime
Business Administration, Texas A&M at Galveston


Dr. DiGeorgio Headshot
Dr. JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz: Professor
and Head of Liberal Studies, Texas A&M at Galveston


Dr. Charlotte Ku: Professor and Associate Dean
for Global Programs and Graduate Studies, Texas A&M School of Law
Dr. Cassia B. Galvao
Dr. Cassia Bömer Galvão: Assistant Professor,
Department of Maritime Business Administration, Texas A&M at Galveston

These faculty came together based on their disciplines related to the maritime industry, law, policy, and business. Their goal for the MARA-LIST-School of Law Maritime Global Engagement Initiative program is to promote an interdisciplinary collaboration in research across colleges. Through their initiative, they plan to conduct a two-week course to understand the institutional environment of the maritime industry, which consists of studying the United Nations (UN) activities related to maritime transportation. There is both an in-class portion and field trip portion of the course. In class, there are days designated to understanding each of the specialties: business, policy, and law. During the field trip portion, students will travel to three different strategic UN offices. The first stop will be at UN Headquarters in New York; the second will be at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva; and the third stop will be in Malta, where the International Maritime Law Institute is located.

The general objective of this course is to provide the students with a 360 Degree overview of the UN system with specific focus on maritime affairs. After the completion of the three phases, students will be expected to know the set of concepts and context involving the UN and their specialized agencies; the main trends and challenges associated with international trade and its impact on maritime transportation; and, the structure and current debate within the international maritime law. This course is an upper-level undergraduate and graduate course that will take place in the Winter Intersessional of 2020. The class capacity will include seven students from each department, totaling 21 students.

The uniqueness of this program is related to the fact that aside from developing marketable skills in business, law, and policy, students will be working with peers from different backgrounds, forcing them to approach challenges in unique ways.  The international nature of the program will bring students in contact with experts from around the world, further diversifying the students’ skill sets and exposing them to a wealth of cultural experiences. The MARA-LIST-School of Law Maritime Global Engagement Initiative enables more impactful international research, and study abroad potential; as well as, provides students and faculty with a new global perspective. The initiative enhances students’ cultural awareness and skills to succeed in globally competitive careers, as well as enhances a multidisciplinary and globally infused curricular approach for both graduate and undergraduate students.