Dr. John Paulling, professor of mathematics at Tusculum College, recently headed to London, where he will teach a course on the mathematics of political decisions and coordinate the British Life and Culture program as part of the College’s participation in the “London Program” study abroad program.
Paulling joins four other American professors who will manage the student program that allows American students to study in London for a semester. This past spring Tusculum College student Lynnsey Jett, a senior education major from Jefferson City, Tenn., participated in the London Program as a student. Jett is one of nearly 10 students who have participated in the study abroad program since it was initiated by the College.
“I have always been interested in going to other places, whether it be travel or study abroad,” said Paulling. In his past he studied in Germany as a student and has traveled to Europe several times. As a result, he speaks German, Spanish and Norwegian, which provides him the unique ability to converse with international students in their own languages.
Paulling’s opportunity to teach is part of Tusculum College’s participation in the program that is a partnership between International Enrichment and the Private College Consortium for International Study, a partnership of 14 colleges in the Appalachian College Association. The Private College Consortium for International Studies was developed for the promotion of study abroad programs, and for the participating institutions, it is the opportunity to design their own academic programs abroad using their own curriculums, standards and styles.
As part of their agreement to participate with the ACA in the London Program, each year one ACA participant school must send a professor to teach in the program. Tusculum College has provided the professor in the past, but this will be Paulling’s first opportunity.
“My course will focus on social decisions, voting ratios and various voting methods,” said Paulling. Adding, that the math involved in polling, voting, ranking and making choices will be the focus of the curriculum.
In addition to teaching, he will coordinate the British Life and Culture program for the American students, which involves British lectures, trips and excursions in the London area, with a focus on providing the students with hands-on experiences in London life and culture.
“We will have British experts in the lecture series who will talk about William Shakespeare, William Wallace and other historical and cultural leaders from London, and the excursions will include three days in Paris as well,” said Paulling.
The students participating; however, continue their progression towards their degrees even while studying in London. According to Paulling, all courses have been structured so that academic credits earned by students are part of regular authorized course offerings.
Paulling will return to the United States and to Tusculum College next semester and pick up his courses in the mathematics department, but both he and the students he teaches may have just a touch more international pizzazz than was there before.
The London Program and its study abroad components are part of Tusculum College’s efforts to increase the number of students who have an international experience during their college career. As part of this campus wide goal, the College formed the Center for Global Studies in spring 2008, with a mission to “enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local and global challenges through building relationships with communities, institutions of higher learning and organizations globally.”