Her teaching and research focus on intercultural communication and second language learning and teaching. Specifically, her research interests include intercultural and transformative learning in teacher education, intercultural competencies for academic and professional purposes, and ESL pedagogy and assessment with a focus on academic writing.
One strand of Dr. Senyshyn’s research examines the need to prepare both preservice and inservice teachers for working with English language learners in multilingual and multicultural classroom settings. Through community-based scholarship, she investigates the impact of intercultural engagement and learning on different constituents. From the student perspective, she has studied the impact of intercultural learning through engagement of domestic students with their international peers in semester long projects. She has studied this influence through the lens of Mezirow’s transformative learning theory, which encourages critical reflection and examination of personal beliefs and actions to allow for a change in perspectives and behavior. She has also used transformative learning framework in a faculty professional development context as an assessment tool to investigate the impact of professional development on faculty practices surrounding teaching and learning in a linguistically and culturally diverse college classroom.
The other strand of Dr. Senyshyn’s research focuses on intercultural learning and intercultural competence development to aid in the process of adjustment and acculturation of international students. The primary focus for this scholarship has been on identifying challenges that international students experience when adjusting to both academic and social demands in U.S. colleges and universities and assessing academic support to aid these students in their successful transition. In one of her recent projects, she examined the impact of first-year seminar experience and out-of-class engagement with domestic students on international students’ intercultural competence development.
In addition to her experience in academia, Dr. Senyshyn has been a consultant for BGRS Intercultural and Language Training doing training and coaching for inbound and outbound expatriates and their families in the greater Philadelphia area (Pennsylvania, U.S.).
Senyshyn, R.M. (2019). A first-year seminar course that supports the transition of international students to higher education and fosters the development of intercultural communication competence.Journal of Intercultural Communication Research.
Senyshyn, R.M. (2019). Facilitating transformative intercultural learning. TESOL Connections, February 2019.
Senyshyn, R.M. (2018). Teaching for transformation: Converting intercultural experience of preservice teachers into intercultural learning, Intercultural Education, 29(2), 163-184.
Senyshyn, R.M. (2018). Facilitating preservice teachers’ transformation through intercultural learning: Reflections from a self-study. In J. Sharkey & M. M. Peercy (Eds.), Self-study of language and literacy teacher education practices: Culturally and linguistically diverse contexts (pp.167-184). London: Emerald Group Publishing.
Chamberlin-Quinlisk, C. R. & Senyshyn, R. (2012). Language teaching and intercultural education: Making critical connections. Intercultural Education, 23, 15-23.
Senyshyn, R.M. & Chamberlin-Quinlisk, C.R. (2009). Assessing effective partnerships in intercultural education: Transformative learning as a tool for evaluation. Communication Teacher, 23 (4), 167-178.
Senyshyn, R.M. (2001). Learning cross-cultural competencies: Implications for international management education. Perspectives in Higher Education Reform. Proceedings of the 11th Annual International Conference of Alliance of Universities for Democracy, Volume 10, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Senyshyn, R.M., Warford, M., & Zhan, J. (2000). Academic and non-academic issues of adjustment to American higher education. Journal of International Education, 30(1) 17-35.