In 2002, SUNY Purchase Professor of Film and New Media Jon Rubin, taught the first iteration of his Cross Cultural Video course in collaboration with students and instructors at European Humanities University in MInsk, Belarus, where he had previously been posted on a Fulbright Fellowship. This course, in which SUNY students co-produced videos with students in Belarus by sending scenes back and forth over the Internet, was so inspiring to Rubin and his students, that it led Professor Rubin to campaign for a Center where online international exchange could be developed.
The SUNY COIL Center was launched in 2006, with support from the State University of New York's Office of International Programs and its Office of Learning Environments, with additional support from SUNY Purchase College where the Center was initially housed. Jon Rubin was named Director and he immediately set out to define the COIL Center's mission, to disseminate its core concepts and activities to SUNY campuses and to interested universities abroad, and to raise funds. The following are grants, awards or programs which he initiated or for which he was Principal Investigator.
The J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative (2016-2017)
The COIL Center was one of only ten institutions receiving awards in the first grant round of the Stevens Initiative. Developed in partnership with the Stevens Family, and with significant involvement from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, this is a multilateral public-private partnership designed to increase people-to-people exchange between youth in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa as a lasting tribute to the legacy of Ambassador Chris Stevens. The SUNY program developed three cohorts of SUNY to MENA COIL-enhanced courses with Egyptian, Morroccan and Lebanese partner teachers and institutions. Over 60 instructors and over 1200 students developed and were enrolled in intercultural, interdisciplinary experiences.
USA-Mexico Multistate COIL Program (2015-17)
The SUNY COIL Center, with support and funding from the US Embassy in Mexico City, developed an array of COIL-based collaborative teaching partnerships between SUNY campuses, The University of Washington, The University of Minnesota, Ohio University, Florida International University and 18 higher education institutions across Mexico. The institutions were divided into two project cohorts, with each Mexican institution developing two or three pilot COIL-enhanced courses with one or more partner institutions in the USA. These courses engaged close to 1500 students from the USA and Mexico as they developed meaningful cross-cultural experiences over the two project years. This successful project made clear that the COIL model is scalable, and can be expanded to reach large numbers of university students.
ACE-COIL Technology Award Partnership (2013-15)
COIL partnered with the American Council on Education (ACE) to offer two awards for universities using technology to enhance internationalization. The RFP for these awards was distributed in August, 2013, and winners were announced at the 2014 ACE and COIL annual conferences. One of the awards underwrote Fayetteville State University, NC; Glenville State University, WV; and Xavier University, OH; to receive training from COIL to develop globally networked courses.
SUNY- Québec COIL Course Development Program (2012-13)
Université Laval + SUNY’s College at Old Westbury Major Academic Initiatives Grant Program - Québec Ministère des Relations internationals. The project sought to increase inter-university collaboration between Québec and SUNY academic institutions, contribute to greater understanding of Québec by SUNY students, and encourage cross-border dialogue between faculty and students. A class on entrepreneurship was jointly offered between the two institutions using online tools, followed by a capstone visit to Québec City by the SUNY students.
National Endowment for the Humanities – Digital Humanities – Institute for Globally Networked Learning in the Humanities (2010-13)
The COIL Center developed and implemented a three-year Institute linking 22 American universities with 27 partner universities abroad to create international collaborative courses and develop best practices. These courses were offered during the spring and fall semesters of 2012. In April, 2013, COIL held a two-day Capstone Conference at the SUNY Global Center where Institute Fellows shared their experiences and developed case studies which were made available through the COIL Center website.
American Council on Education – Bringing the World into the Classroom: Award to Recognize Innovative Use of Technology to Promote Internationalization (February, 2010)
The COIL Center was one of three winners of this national competition. COIL then co-developed presentations and training workshops with ACE, while ACE invited COIL’s Director, Jon Rubin, to present the role of technology in advancing curricular internationalization to their Blue Ribbon Evaluation Panel.
National Endowment for the Humanities – Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant (2008-10)
COIL provided support and guidance to three Humanities scholars and their partners abroad as they developed globally networked courses which were offered fall 2009 and spring 2010. A criterion for admittance into this program was that faculty could not have taught online before. This allowed us to address the question of whether faculty without such experience could be trained to successfully teach a globally networked course in one semester. Our positive results showed that this was indeed viable.
Higher Education Support Program – Open Society Institute (2008-12)
COIL worked with faculty, staff and senior administration to assess and enhance the Distance Learning and Low-Residence Programs at European Humanities University in Vilnius, Lithuania, a University-in-Exile, forced out of Belarus but continuing to primarily serve Belarusan students. COIL also worked with EHU to develop and support an array of globally networked courses with SUNY campuses.