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Bonjour Paris, Au Revoir Cal State Fullerton
by Susan Katsaros


from Dateline (April 10, 2003)

Nancy Fitch and Renae Bredin
Nancy Fitch, professor of history, and Renae M. Bredin, associate professor of women’s studies, are getting ready to spend part of their summer in Paris at the CSU International Faculty Partnership Seminars.

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Nancy Fitch, professor of history, and Renae M. Bredin, associate professor of women’s studies, are packing their bags for a summer sojourn to Paris, thanks to a CSU program.

Bredin is researching the economic side of Martha Stewart in the United States for a book she is writing, and is interested in the domestic doyenne’s popularity in France.

Fitch will study how history is being presented in theme parks in both France and California. “I plan on looking at Euro Disney and Parc Astrix, which is a medieval theme park similar to Disney’s California Adventure,” said Fitch, who has taught on campus since 1986.

The pair will take part in the CSU International Faculty Partnership Seminars sponsored by the California State University Academic Council on International Programs (ACIP), which are designed to provide international experiences for CSU faculty in diverse disciplines.

The mission of the partnership seminars is to provide international experiences for faculty members from throughout the CSU system. Barry A. Pasternack, chair and professor of information systems and decision sciences, was one of 20 CSU faculty members who attended the 2001 inaugural conference, “The New Europe and the New California: Coexistence, Convergence and Collision of Cultural Communities,” held in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

This year’s seminar in France will focus on the world’s perception of Paris and California as the place of dreams. Participants will explore the leading geopolitical roles each city plays and how it highlights the contrast between dream and reality. The 20 CSU faculty members taking part will be joined by 20 of their counterparts from the University of Paris.

“Since opportunities for international academic experience are offered rarely, these faculty seminars will create a synergistic effect where both faculty and students encourage one another to seek out further opportunities for study abroad,” said Bredin, a member of the campus community since 1998.

“This opportunity will have a serious impact on my research, as well as on the work we are doing in the Women’s Studies Program to increase student opportunities for study and research outside of the U.S.”

Faculty participating in ACIP can establish professional connections and contacts with foreign colleagues; have an opportunity to explore issues of international concern with colleagues in their own and in related disciplines; familiarize themselves with foreign educational institutions; and discover and investigate international opportunities available through IP for themselves and for their students.

“I look forward to participating in this international exchange,” said Fitch. “This will give me a needed opportunity for research in Paris and will provide me with fresh international perspectives that I can incorporate into my classes at CSUF.”

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