Rachel McCulloch just returned from a six week “busman’s holiday” in Bologna, Italy.  She was teaching an accelerated intermediate micro course for entering students in the master’s program in international relations of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).  SAIS is based in Washington, DC, but about half of the master’s students spend their first year of the two-year program at SAIS’s Bologna Center.  The Bologna Center, a small teaching and research facility, is located next to the giant (85,000 students) University of Bologna, founded in 1088.  Many of the Bologna Center courses are taught by moonlighting University of Bologna faculty members, but a few, like Prof. McCulloch, are recruited from abroad.

This was Prof. McCulloch’s third visit to the SAIS Bologna Center.  Her link to the Bologna Center is through its current director, Michael Plummer.  Before marrying an Italian and relocating to Italy, Prof. Plummer was a professor at IBS and director of the Lemberg master’s program, as well as Prof. McCulloch’s occasional collaborator.  Prof. Plummer has also recruited Prof. Peter Petri to teach at the Bologna Center and continues to collaborate with Prof. Petri on work relating to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In addition to the chance to teach micro to highly motivated students, Prof. McCulloch has enjoyed the opportunity to eat plenty of tortellini, mortadella, and gelato, and to improve her Italian.  It’s also a good place to learn more about European political and economic trends.


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