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Dr. Cogburn Speaks about IDPP at NSF PROMISE Institute

Screen shot of Dr. Cogburn's presentation to virtual participantsThe PROMISE Summer Success Institute was both informative and inspiring as graduate and postdoctoral students from surrounding universities gathered in Columbia, MD on 19-20 August 2011. Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), this institute gave Master's and PhD students the opportunity to listen to speakers and participate in workshops that reviewed the skills necessary to be a successful student, encouraging them to be change-agents once the degree is obtained.

Dr. Cogburn gave his presentation in-person with
virtual participation via Blackboard Collaborate.

As one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn gave the address “How to be a Professor, Have a Balanced Life, and Impact the World” to both in-person and virtual participants. The virtual participant, a mobility impaired woman, joined the session via Blackboard Collaborate, allowing her full audio and video access to the presentation and active participation in the question and answer session, as well as providing a clear demonstration of the power of cyberlearning among a geographically-distributed network that Dr. Cogburn highlights in his address and the IDPP exemplifies.

Dr. Cogburn recounted his journey from life as a young boy in Arcadia, Oklahoma to life in Washington, DC as a joint professor at both American and Syracuse Universities, Executive Director of COTELCO, and Executive Director of the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP). As a professor, researcher, traveler, and lover of extreme sports, Dr. Cogburn’s life is far from boring. This summer, he had the opportunity to travel throughout Southeast Asia for the IDPP's inaugural Annual Meeting and Residency Period held July 18-29 in Bangkok, Thailand. This two-week event welcomed the first global cohort of students who will earn a Master's of International Affairs in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP), offered by American University's School of International Service.

The CIDP degree, a centerpiece program of the IDPP, is the world's first virtual Master's program on disability studies and public policy, and began with this face-to-face residency to introduce students to the IDPP, its university and outreach partners, and key foundational concepts of the CIDP degree. Dr. Cogburn spoke proudly on the success of the IDPP, using it as a prime example of how virtual collaboration among geographically-distributed individuals allows one to make a global difference.

In addition to speakers and seminars, retreat and networking events allowed students and speakers to connect and create a supportive atmosphere - an example of Maryland AGEP's aim to provide activities and resources for the support of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.