Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Dr. Mary Beth Davis

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Dr. Mary Beth Davis

Istanbul Express
Dr. Mary Beth Davis began laying the groundwork in 2008 for the “Discover Istanbul” Study Abroad Program tailor made for the students of the Island University. The Istanbul Program director and visiting assistant professor of English was given the green light to develop the program to create a vision of international education for the 21st century for South Texas. The University’s first group of 25 students and five faculty members spent July 2 through August 7, 2010, in Istanbul, Turkey. During the five-week Core Curriculum program, students took courses throughout the city, using Istanbul as an open-air classroom; they participated in a 10-day academic tour throughout the country, and visited Neolithic sites while also studying classical Roman and Greek settlements. More than half of the University students were first-generation college students, who either receive financial aid or scholarships and had no prior international travel experience. At age 19, Davis first travelled outside the U.S. to Rome, Italy, which sparked her passion in international education. Ever since, she has gathered information to design her own program, and has traveled widely throughout Europe for faculty conferences and academic study tours. Davis first arrived at the Island University in 2000 from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, where she taught Medieval Studies to master/doctoral students. In 2006, Davis left the Island University for Istanbul’s Fatih University. While teaching academic writing and research methods to freshmen in Istanbul, she brought five Turkish graduate students to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in summer 2007 to participate in research at the University’s Writing Center. While abroad, Davis continued to teach summer medieval literature and grammar classes at the Island University. In 2008 she returned full-time to the Island University. Davis has received a Texas A&M University System Teaching Excellence Award.

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