For Faculty

Mentoring SPAN researchers

The SPAN, (Student Project for Amity among Nations), academic program is unlike a conventional classroom or course. The advisor has unique responsibilities to the program as well as to the students. S/he should always remember that SPAN is a student-driven program and whenever possible, students should initiate, plan, and carry out many of the activities. The advisor should assist students in developing skills and attitudes to enable the undergraduates to take responsibility for themselves and their own learning. It is important for the advisor to be enthusiastic about his/her chosen overseas destination so that s/he may share this enthusiasm and international understanding with the students.

For more information about the role of advisors please contact the SPAN office at 612-626-1083 or Theofanis Stavrou, Ph.D., University of Minnesota professor of history at 612-624-5734, whose experience with the program can provide answers to your questions.

Return to this webpage in the not-to-distant future where you will find further information about how, as an instructor or faculty member at any one of Minnesota’s colleges and universities, may qualify you to lead a group of SPANners beyond U.S. border for travel and research.
SEE: Visit the “For Students” tab on this website ( obtain a more complete overview of how the SPAN coursework and travel&research experience will unfold later this year at Hamline University, St. Paul. Hamline is the new institutional host for the program. For more than seven decades SPAN courses have been offered at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Preparation for departure

The period of preparation before going abroad is the most difficult, and in many ways, the most important, for both the students and the advisor. SPAN prides itself on the rigorous training it requires of students before going abroad — approximately 40 hours of outbound education. The most successful groups are those whose students have contact with the advisor prior to the group’s first meeting. Recruitment is most successful among students the advisor teaches, advises, or otherwise has regular contact with. The SPAN office will publicize the summer 2020 destination through posters, classroom visits, and emails, but it is the advisor’s responsibility to create a viable group.

Return to this webpage in the future to learn more about how to be considered for the role of SPAN Faculty Advisor, an instructor who is eager to lead a group of undergraduates overseas to conduct research and to complete a substantive(50-page)research paper