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NOVA-Alexandria Faculty Visit Abertay University in Scotland

Professor Meredith Aquila speaks to Abertay University faculty and students about overcoming fear of public speaking.
NOVA Professors Lynette Garrett and Meredith Aquila visited Abertay University, Dundee & Angus College and local schools in Dundee, Scotland, the sister city to the City of Alexandria.

Some of NOVA-Alexandria’s faculty spent some of their spring break lecturing at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland. Professor Meredith Aquila and Dr. Lynette Garrett met with Abertay staff and students – strengthening the partnership between the university and NOVA’s Alexandria Campus.

Alexandria Campus faculty and staff visit Dundee every year where they give lectures and meet with faculty and students at Abertay University and Dundee & Angus College. The partnership between the schools also provides the opportunity for NOVA students to travel to Scotland to study at one of the colleges for six weeks. NOVA-Alexandria also welcomes a number of students from Scotland every year and faculty from Scotland who guest lecture at NOVA.

During their recent visit, Aquila, who teaches communication studies at NOVA, gave a lecture to more than 30 staff and students entitled “I’d Rather Die Than Give a Speech.” Aquila took them back to her younger years when she was terrified of public speaking even though she had a number of ideas she would have liked to share with others. Aquila eventually got over her fear of public speaking after a bet from one of her teachers.

“My teacher bet us that none of the students would teach the class for a day – and I was pig-headed enough to take that on,” Aquila said. “When I got home, I realized what I had done, but I loved it and didn’t want to give that class back.”

Aquila and Garrett also had the opportunity to visit the City Chambers to meet the deputy provost, Dundee & Angus College and Morgan Academy. Garrett, who teaches history, said they had a great visit with faculty and students in Dundee and emphasized the importance of the partnership between the higher education institutions.

“The relationship between Abertay and NOVA is extremely important. Over the course of our conversations it is clear that the student body here has real similarities to ours and this partnership can continue to bring real benefits,” Garrett said. “Students can benefit from attending partner institutions. They need to find the right fit for themselves, research the campus and the area, speak to other students and get their perspective. It’s a brave move to make, but there’s so much to be gained.”

NOVA-Alexandria hosts the Dundee-Alexandria Twinning Association. In October 2016, NOVA-Alexandria welcomed Dr. Adrienne McLaughlin from Abertay University who gave a presentation to NOVA students about the recent Brexit vote and how it affects countries in the European Union. Liberal Arts Dean Jimmie McClellan has also visited NOVA’s sister schools in Scotland in previous years, most recently to discuss the 2016 presidential election. NOVA and Abertay are proud to work with the Twinning Association to strengthen the ties between the U.S. and Scotland, particularly through higher education collaboration.

Media Contact: Raytevia Evans | revans@nvcc.edu

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.