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Instilling a global perspective in the minds of our students is a core strategic initiative of Auburn University, and nowhere is that commitment more visibly embraced than in the Harbert College of Business, where helping our students develop a global mindset and gain directly applicable international skills is a key component of our education platform.
Research has shown that is more important now than it has ever been for our students to recognize the value of embracing diverse cultural views and the importance of developing the specific skills required to effectively participate in today’s economy. The COVID-19 pandemic served to remind us that we all live and work in a globally connected world, bringing to the forefront issues and circumstances that virtually every Harbert College of Business student will encounter as they enter the workforce post-graduation.
Research also shows that graduates who are well-prepared to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by a globally intertwined world find themselves in particularly high demand. Our most recent data tells us that Harbert students who have been through our focused Study Abroad Programs earn roughly $10,000 more in their first jobs than students who do not participate in any of our international programs.
On April 25, the Office of International Programs hosted an induction ceremony to honor Garry Adams, associate professor in Harbert’s Department of Management, and Dan Padgett associate professor in the Department of Marketing, along with Kelly Krawczyk, associate professor & PhD Program Director in Political Science in Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts. Auburn’s interim provost Vini Nathan, assistant provost for International Programs Andrew Gillespie, and members of the Academy attended the ceremony to congratulate and celebrate our newest members.
Created in 2014, the Global Teaching Academy recognizes and celebrates exceptional teaching and scholarship in progressing the value of adopting an international perspective at Auburn. Since its inception, the Academy has recognized the efforts of some two dozen colleagues in helping to internationalize Auburn University’s curricula and student experience. This prestigious honor celebrates these individuals’ records of sustained scholarly achievement and dedication to international education initiatives and study abroad programs at Auburn.
The three faculty members honored this year were selected for their accomplishments in international research, teaching and commitment to internationalizing the curriculum in their respective disciplines. As new members of the Academy, these individuals will participate in Auburn’s biannual International Perspectives on University Teaching and Learning Symposium, scheduled for May 28-30, 2023, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
Harbert recently sat down with Daniel Butler, assistant dean of International Programs at Harbert, to discuss Auburn’s mission to internationalize the student education experience at Harbert and why these two faculty members deserve the recognition that has been bestowed upon them by Auburn’s Global Teaching Academy.
|Harbert:||When it comes to the internationalization of the Auburn student experience, we’re not just talking about faculty and students who actively participate in Study Abroad, right? Isn’t that’s simply the most visual example of Harbert’s international curriculum?|
|Butler:||That’s correct, our international initiatives aren’t limited to those who actually travel abroad, although that is a critical component of our strategy. While Study Abroad serves as one way for individual students to amass international business skills, we have developed and rolled out other resources and programs to facilitate the internationalization of our classrooms, curricula and the full student experience.|
|Harbert:||Can you expand on this – how does Harbert incorporate a global mindset into classroom curriculum and other international initiatives here at Auburn beyond Study Abroad?|
One of the first steps identified at the launch of the university’s internationalization commitment back in 2019 was to engage faculty in instilling a more global perspective into their classroom instruction. It has to begin with our faculty and courses – these are at the front lines of student learning. The growth of study abroad courses and overseas exchange programs at Auburn generated robust student interest and engagement, but we needed to expand international course offerings on campus to match the promise of those initiatives for all Harbert students. This includes incorporating global learning outcomes in a given course to emphasize the importance of the international topics covered.
|Harbert:||Let’s talk a bit about what that process entails – how did Harbert meet this internationalization challenge?|
The most effective way to internationalize any curriculum is to make it real and relevant to students. A specific international business course was created that was open to all business and university majors. That course helps find a link to a student’s everyday life and the world around them. In addition, faculty are encouraged to add an international component to their regular courses. This may be as simple as looking up news for a city outside the United States and then sharing in class what is happening abroad on any topic from weather to politics to health care to sports and beyond.
|Harbert:||Which brings us to Garry and Dan. They both went above and beyond their own coursework to reflect a more international perspective, right?|
Well above and well beyond.
When they began their tenure at Harbert, there was no strategic support for international programs or internationalizing the curriculum. In spite of that, both Dan and Garry stepped up to develop and present international programs that brought consulting projects and courses to students in international settings. They helped usher in committees and projects on international curriculum design and study abroad programs. This led directly to supporting the 2019 Auburn University Internationalization Plan.
All the while, they led by example, and still do. They continued writing research articles, innovating programs, presenting seminars, and developing partnerships across Auburn University and abroad. Notably, they had the unenviable task of canceling programs and returning funds to students and paying faculty during the COVID 19 pandemic to make sure nobody lost money.
Overall, their extraordinary efforts often went unnoticed compared to the recognition bestowed on other types of more traditional faculty accomplishments.
Perhaps most telling is their own answer to the question of why they do it during a meeting with students a month ago: “We don’t do it for the money. We do it because we know the influence it's going to have on your life.”
And that's the part that I will want to get across on these three candidates – they are exemplary. They are exceptional.
Paul Harris, Department Chair & Professor in Political Science at the College of Liberal Arts, echoed Butler’s praise when describing why he nominated Kelly Krawczyk for induction into the Global Teaching Academy.
|Harris:||Kelly’s research is in good governance and nonprofit management accountability with a focus on Africa. Her research is stands on its own, but she also helps students apply the findings of that research. She brings that research into our classrooms and brings students along with her on trips abroad. Since I've been the department chair, she’s taken a group of students to West Africa in 2019. And then of course, everything was called off in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID. But now that things have opened up a bit, she's already taken a group of students in South Africa and she's taking another group of students to Liberia. These students are learning firsthand what grassroots organizations are like and how democracy is practiced outside of the U.S.|
For more information on the Global Teaching Academy, please visit the Office of International Programs’ website.