June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
20.31.1 - 20.31.10
Preparing for global leadership in STEM fields: Working in an international setting In our globalized world, we need professionals who can adapt to the interaction ofcultures and countries. Students interested in pursuing careers in organizations that have a globalor international focus need to be culturally competent. Cultural competence (the ability tointeract effectively with people from other cultures and socio-economic backgrounds) can beachieved through interactions with colleagues and people from other cultures, and throughexperiences abroad. Our university’s Graduate Student Development unit has added workshopson international career opportunities and preparation for working in other countries through ourgraduate student professional development workshop series. The Graduate School, the Office ofPostdoctoral Affairs, and our state’s National Science Foundation’s Alliance for GraduateEducation and the Professoriate (AGEP) co-sponsor these activities for graduate students andpostdoctoral scholars. AGEP is dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of PhDgraduates in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), with a focuson developing a new generation of professors. Our goal for 2014 is to provide students withmore international experiences and to open doors for them to have careers outside of the US. To expose students to international leadership settings, we started with three FocusAreas: 1) Local U.S.-based workshops that discuss globalization; 2) Involving students ininternational conferences; and 3) Providing opportunities for graduate students to have short-term international experiences in laboratories in other parts of the world, and exposure to long-term international careers. To date, Focus Area 1 has included seminars with speakers fromProfessors Beyond Borders (a program that grew out of the International Institute of Education),faculty with projects in other countries, the Peaceworkers Fellows Program (part of the PeaceCorps), the Fulbright program, and advanced graduate students from countries other than theU.S. These seminars, combined with specific workshops on cultural competence, have promotedmentoring and interaction with people from different international institutions. In Focus Area 2,we have involved graduate students in projects in Central and South America through the Latinand Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI) and the World EngineeringEducation Forum (WEEF). Through these organizations, and through connections with theStudent Platform for Engineering Education Development (World SPEED) and their GlobalDevelopment Forum, our students have actively participated in meetings in Panama, Mexico,and Colombia. We are currently planning participation for the 2014 LACCEI conference inEcuador. To facilitate Focus Area 3, our AGEP has been working with STEM faculty to sharecosts to send graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to conferences and to have short-termresearch experiences. Our underrepresented STEM minority and women graduate studentspostdocs are taking advantage of these opportunities. To date, we have funded opportunitiesranging from 1 week to 3 months in Paris, the Czech Republic, and Mexico. In 2014, we willpartner with a College of Engineering in Mexico to facilitate visiting professorships, and willcontinue to partner with the U.S. Department of State and other organizations to expose studentsto global opportunities.
Cortes-Rodriguez, M. N., & Tull, R. G., & Nino, M. A. (2014, June), Preparing for global leadership in STEM fields: Working in an international setting Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/17194
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