Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program

Christine Leuenberger

Christine LeuenbergerA 2014 Engaged Faculty Fellow, Christine Leuenberger is a senior lecturer in the Department of Science & Technology Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Read her faculty profile for more information.

The Story

As a Fulbright Specialist since 2011, Christine had assignments to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. It is through those experiences that she learned to appreciate the value of education and cultural exchange as a way to enhance cultural appreciation and understanding. As a Faculty Fellow, Christine’s intention is to help create opportunities to link some of the most rural communities in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the engaged community of scholars and students at Cornell University. The aim of this project entails three aspects: co-developing a source on ‘Sustainable Land Management, Reconciliation and Peace-building in Conflict Regions: The Case of Eastern Africa’s Great Lakes Region’ (with Dr. Lazare Sebitereko Rukundwa, National Director of Florestra Burundi, and chairman of Eben-Ezer University of Minembwe in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; establishing research links between Cornell University, Floresta Burundi, and Eben-Ezer University of Minembwe so as to provide the basis for future collaborative research and publication projects; and set up the possibility for student exchange between these three institutions. The general goals entail: enhancing links between various academics, stakeholders, and students in Burundi, Congo, and at Cornell University; for academics and stakeholders to co-develop conceptual and hands-on tools to establish better governance as well as enhance prospects for peace and reconciliation in post-conflict regions; and provide a platform for cultural exchange and hereby enhance cross-cultural appreciation and understanding.

The Strategy

  • Work with local stakeholders in order to improve policies on the ground so as to provide the economic, political and social basis for a sustainable peace in the region
  • Some of the local stakeholders involved are students (they are themselves teachers, pastors, leaders of women groups, and local chiefs).
  • As the university works closely with churches, NGOs and local political administrators the academic knowledge produced and disseminated will be immediately applied in the local context
  • Include empowering local stakeholders in terms of making decisions that would lead to more equitable land use, and thus provide the economic basis for a more harmonious co-existence between social and ethnic groups.

In The News

Leuenberger engages Palestinians (December 5, 2013, Cornell Chronicle)

Leuenberger leaps genre barriers (September 12, 2013, Cornell Chronicle)

Leuenberger to study Israel/Palestine ‘map wars’ (May 1, 2012, Cornell Chronicle)

Christine Leuenberger to develop interactive course in Israel (October 6, 2011, Cornell Chronicle)


Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program

A yearlong cohort program in which faculty dive deep into the theory and practice of engaged learning; meet monthly to discuss readings, share projects and workshop challenges; and help transform what it means to teach at Cornell

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