The Otto and Fran Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement


Around the world, history is being made at the grassroots. World-changing social innovations and social movements—and the people who lead them—emerge from the community level. That’s why Conn offers you a multitude of ways to get close to the day-to-day challenges, the aspirations, and the nuances of communities around the world.

The Otto and Fran Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement is a vibrant hub for global learning providing a dynamic venue for the entire campus to engage in critical dialogues, presentations, and symposia around themes of global significance. Multidisciplinary and collaborative by design, the Commons integrates technology-enhanced learning, rich faculty resources and interdisciplinary scholarship to infuse our classrooms, campus culture, and off campus programs with diverse world perspectives on the relevant issues of our times.

The Commons houses an upgraded Global Learning Lab, the Office of Study Away, the Center for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity, the Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, and the Office of Global Initiatives. Programming in the Commons promotes understanding of social justice and facilitates deep knowledge of cultures and communities within and beyond the borders of the United States.

Key priorities of the Commons include:

  • Advancing world language studies as a foundation for mutual learning across cultures and communities.
  • Integrating global studies and the critical study of social difference.
  • Supporting globally networked courses that foster critical intercultural awareness through the use of state of the art web conferencing space.
  • Collaborating with academic departments and programs to integrate experiential learning and study away with on-campus coursework in majors and pathways.
  • Building mutually reciprocal institutional partnerships to create opportunities for meaningful scholarly collaborations, exchange programs, and ongoing civic projects.