Lightning Talks Fall 2022: Educating Global Citizens

The Fall 2022 Lightning Talks speaker event is a reflection and learning forum where Boston University faculty and invited guests identify areas of challenge and opportunity and share strategies for engaging educational experiences in the in-person environment. The speaker series, co-hosted by Digital Learning & Innovation and The Center for Teaching & Learning, is open to BU faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars.

Educating Global Citizens

Boston University has a large international population of students, faculty, and researchers and a large international presence through its extensive global programs. Educating the global citizens of the future, whether on BU’s campuses or abroad, is an exciting opportunity that offers many possibilities and challenges to our instructors.

In this Lightning Talks event, faculty presenters will broadly highlight strategies for integrating international students and their experiences into classes and the BU campus, creating community and appreciation of diversity for all students; and explore ways to help students appreciate cultural diversity when they are studying abroad.

Friday, November 18, 2022

12:15-1:15 PM

Held via Zoom

Register Here
Event lineup:
Building Community with International Students through Classroom Contracts
Presenters: Beth Fincke (Mary Elizabeth),  CELOP Senior Lecturer
Stephanie Ngom, CELOP Lecturer


This talk will focus on how co-authoring a class contract with our students can create a safe and inclusive learning environment that encourages appreciation for diversity. Our presenters will show examples and give tips on how to do this effectively. They will also mention a range of different ways they have created community in our classrooms.

Community, Care, and the Classroom: Ethics and Pedagogy in Study Abroad
Presenter: Marcus Gatto, Lecturer in Law and Ethics, BU Global Programs: Study Abroad

This talk draws inspiration from Professor Gatto’s experience teaching ethics in a healthcare setting to students who are studying abroad through Boston University. More specifically, it will focus on the unique aspects of the study abroad learning environment; Professor Gatto will also discuss how his perception of ethical theory has evolved from not merely what he teaches, to how he teaches. Finally, he will discuss how ethical considerations can suffuse a learning community, and suggest strategies on how to dialogue effectively, care for others, develop a narrative of ourselves, and foster community aboard.

Digital Talks: Bringing the Culture Into the Second Language Classroom
Presenter: Borja Ruiz de Arbulo, Senior Lecturer, BU College of Arts & Sciences Romance Studies

“So students over there don’t have debt?” – This sample question exemplifies a student’s intercultural reflection after speaking to a native speaker online as part of a class assignment. This talk will show how integrating international connections into the classroom can not only help learners thrive in the content of a particular class, but also boost their global citizenship.

“Where Are You From?
Presenter: Amit Sethi, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, BU School of Dental Medicine

“Where are you from actually?”- this was the second time the new Asian American Phd student had told the Professor where she “was from”. Such and many similar interactions happen on our campuses every day and constitute “micro-aggressions”. These are often not overt displays of discrimination and in most cases may be unintentional. International students and scholars often reconcile these incidents as a price of getting to stay and study in the United States.

Linguistic Justice: The Myth that Became a Buzzword
Presenter: Abir Ward, Lecturer, BU College of Arts & Sciences Writing Program

Defining linguistic justice and how to promote it has become an anxiety-inducing question for many educators who are striving to make their classes more equitable and their pedagogical practices more justice oriented for multilingual students (both international and US-based). This talk aims to demystify what linguistic justice is and to provide educators with easy to implement strategies that help promote linguistically just pedagogical approaches and, ultimately, classrooms.

Moderator: Willis Wang, Vice President & Associate Provost for BU Global Programs, Deputy General Counsel

As Vice President and Associate Provost for Global Programs, Willis oversees a team that enrolls 2,400+ students annually in study abroad programs and manages academic centers in 11 cities across 10 countries; provides immigration support to 11,000+ international students and scholars; operates an accredited ESL school; and provides operational and risk management expertise for BU global teaching, research, and service-learning activities. Read more here. 

Register Here

About the Lightning Talk Format

Fast, peer-driven, and information-rich. Lightning Talks showcase four-to-five presenters—each exploring innovations in teaching and technology at BU. All speakers will adhere to a maximum three-slide format for a short, focused, five-minute presentation. After all presentations, the moderator will encourage and facilitate cross-disciplinary conversation on the topic.

Missed a Lightning Talk? Access the Lightning Talks Video Library

Check out the library of recordings and learn how Boston University faculty foster classroom community, build an inclusive classroom, manage long block or large lecture classes, and more. View the Lightning Talk recordings and presentations here.

Learn more about Boston University’s Digital Learning & Innovation and The Center for Teaching & Learning. Questions? Email