When: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022 @12pm
Where: Online via zoom
Speakers: Vinh Nguyen, Anne Kiche, Mallory Petsche, Rocio Lopez Riveros
Across the globe and here in Iowa, education is seen as a ticket to a better future. The knowledge one acquires and the credentials a degree confers have the power to open previously closed doors and lead to opportunities previously not possible. For refugees and immigrants, navigating the complex systems of higher education in the US are overwhelming and promising. In some ways, the realities are akin to most first-generation families. There may be a steep learning curve about school types and the similarities and differences between them, about the FAFSA, applications, and costs for each school, about existing scholarships and other funding sources, and about the resources available to students new to the tertiary landscape. In other ways, there are realities which are unique to first-generation families newer to the US. For example, comparisons are made to higher education systems in home countries, mostly English-only information makes reading about and understanding the many college options and their requirements challenging, and once enrolled, lines might be blurred between home and school life. Attending all first-gen students are aspirations and pressures both intrinsic and those from the hopes and expectations of not just their parents but of the larger communities from which they hail. In this session, the panel will discuss the lived experiences of refugee and immigrant students and their families as they pursue admission to and persist through Iowa’s colleges and universities. They will explain some of the support programs and resources available in the state. And they will share how increasingly diversifying campuses of all types are more vibrant for everyone, particularly in learning spaces, with the inclusion of the voices, ideas, and contributions of students from all cultural and national backgrounds.
Rocio Lopez is currently a sophomore at Kirkwood Community College studying sociology. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, she is now living in Coralville, Iowa. As a work study student for TRIO, Rocio works closely alongside other TRIO students with the goal of making connections and spreading information about how great the program is and what resources are available. For her future, she plans to transfer to the University of Iowa and pursue a career involving student support services.
Mallory Petsche has served alongside refugee and immigrant communities in Iowa for nearly a decade. Her work centers around building innovative, cross-sector partnerships that eliminate barriers for newcomer communities and create space for strategic, community-based solutions in education from pre-k to higher ed. Mallory currently serves as the Director of Kirkwood Community College TRIO Student Support Services - ESL Program. The program provides culturally-specific academic support, social engagement, and career planning for first and second-generation immigrant students who are the first in their families to attend college, low income, or have a documented disability.
Dr. Anne Kiche is adjunct assistant professor in the Global Health Studies Program at The University of Iowa and an adjunct instructor in English Language Acquisition (ELA) at Kirkwood Community College. Her teaching interests include education, immigrant and refugee health, and the connection between migration, diversity, and pandemics on both the physical and mental health of populations. Life experiences living in Kenya and the US have invaluably informed her teaching. She teaches courses such as Health Experiences of Immigrants, Migrants and Refugees; Pandemics and Mental Health; and Mental Health in Diverse Societies. She is the chair of the African Communities Network of Iowa and will be the diversity co-chair of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Linn and Johnson counties starting July 1st, 2022
Vinh Nguyen recently retired from Des Moines Public Schools after thirty-four years of service. He is now Refugee Education Coordinator at Lutheran Services in Iowa. Nguyen earned a secondary math teaching certification from Drake University in 1993, an ELL certification from William Penn University in 2006, and a master's degree in school leadership and supervision from Viterbo University in 2015. As a former refugee, one of the Boat People from Vietnam, he found many difficulties and challenges in adjusting to his new life in 1980s America. With no English language skills, he struggled to communicate and often relied on others to interpret and to help find jobs. He was the recipient of the Passport to Prosperity Award from the Iowa Council for International Understanding in 2004. He was given the Dan Chavez, Beyond the Horizon Award in 2005, a prestigious award given to an individual who demonstrates extraordinary effort on behalf of immigrant, refugee, and non-English speaking populations in Iowa. DMACC honored with the Alumni Award in 2009. In addition, he was presented the Governor's Volunteer Award in 2010; the Special Recognition from Governor Chet Culver in 2010, a Bankers Trust Award for Excellent Volunteers in 2020; and the Impact Award in 2022 from the Iowa Asian Alliance. He is very active in Des Moines's language minority communities and currently serves as the president of the Vietnamese American Community in Iowa. He serves as a storyteller, speaker, and consultant for topics related to Vietnam, Southeast Asia, refugee and immigrant issues, the refugee resettlement process, and second language acquisition.
When: Wednesday,January 26th, @12pm-1:00
Where: Online-via Zoom
Speakers: Erin C. Johnson, Hannah Gorsline, Grace Nelson, Allie Zucker
Podcast Creation as a Mechanism to Explore and Expand UI Students’ Cultural Intelligence
Change is a ubiquitous in the international business environment and reflected in the increasing number of employees embarking on international assignments, and the high-paced flow of information around the globe spurring innovation that connects business partners across national borders.
The increasing complexity and dynamism of the international environment requires that future business leaders develop cultural intelligence (CQ) in order to successfully establish relationships and accomplish their goals. Cultural intelligence is defined as “a person’s ability to function effectively in a variety of contexts – both internationally and domestically” (Cultural Intelligence Center, 2022). Study abroad programs have long been a preferred mechanism by which many university students were able to develop CQ. However, even before the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of study abroad programs, rising costs and other factors prevented a large number of students from pursuing these opportunities. Through a project of creating podcasts in her International Business Environment course (IBE), Professor Erin Johnson fosters the development of her students’ cultural intelligence by leveraging technology to engage students with this experience. Working in small groups, students conducted field research and interviews, analyzed their findings, and crafted a series of persuasive podcasts .In this session, Professor Johnson and her students will share their experiences with this project. Specifically, Professor Johnson describe the structure and goals for the IBE podcast project followed by a student presentation of podcast excerpts. Students will reflect on the process of podcast creation and answer the question of whether participating in this project did, in fact, increase their CQ.
Dr. Erin Johnson is an Associate Professor of Instruction at the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. Dr. Johnson teaches courses on negotiation, leadership and international business. She has a long-standing interest in global business and cross-cultural collaborations. She has partnered with universities in Poland, China, and Kosovo to create global virtual collaborations for her students in the context of their coursework. Most recently, students in her International Business Environment course participated in a short-term global virtual teams projects with students at the University of Business and Technology (UBT) in Pristina, Kosovo. Professor Johnson plans to continue this collaboration in the Spring 2022 semester and is hoping to travel to Kosovo to meet her colleagues later this year.
My name is Hannah Gorsline, and I am a senior at the University of Iowa studying Marketing, with a minor in Rhetoric and an International Business Certificate. I am involved in various student organizations on campus, including Delta Sigma Pi, the Professional Business Fraternity, Women in Business, and the Marketing Institute. I also serve as a Senator within Tippie Senate, alongside a dozen other Tippie students. I am passionate about finding ways to increase my cultural intelligence and am very grateful for the opportunity to share our findings from our podcast in Professor Johnson's course.
My name is Allie Zucker and I am a Marketing Management major at the University of Iowa with a physical activity and nutrition science minor as well as an international business certificate. I am also involved in multiple organizations on campus such as Women in Business, American Marketing Association, and Marketing Institute. I have a love for traveling and enjoyed learning how to enhance my cultural intelligence this past semester!
By Peter Gerlach on Wednesday, April 2020
Since 2004, he has taught a wide variety of courses in English, Education, and interdisciplinary departments. Dr. Gerlach’s work as an international educator and his dissertation, current teaching, and research interests focus on the merits and limits of global citizenship, the need for understanding and empathy across cultures, the internationalization of higher education, and the lived experiences of university students, refugees, and immigrants in a globalized world.
In his talk, Dr. Gerlach describes how his new course, Community Engaged Learning with Refugees and Immigrants in Iowa, fosters students’ international education and benefits a local non-profit through service. The talk focuses on how the course was designed; the relationship between the class and community partner, the Refugee and Immigrant Association; and how the course was adapted midway through the semester to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Lessons learned and broader implications for teaching and learning are also shared.
By Will Coghill-Behrends, Tuesday, September 24, 2019