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Darla Moore School of Business

UofSC CIBER center to sponsor an international business conference for minority serving institutions and community colleges

Sept. 21, 2020

The Moore School’s Center for International Business Education and Research is sponsoring a virtual Conference on Intercultural Competence and Communication Sept. 25 for minority serving institutions and community colleges in the U.S. southeast.

USC’s CIBER is sponsoring the conference with the Georgia Institute of Technology CIBER and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College; the International Studies Consortium of Georgia, which includes 11 Georgia higher education institutions, is organizing the event. Since 2014, USC CIBER has organized faculty development programs with the consortium and Georgia Tech CIBER designed for minority serving institutions and community colleges faculty.

Currently on 15 U.S. university campuses, CIBERs were created under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to increase and promote the nation's capacity for international understanding and economic enterprise. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the CIBER program links the manpower and information needs of U.S. businesses with the international education, language training and research capabilities of universities.

Since CIBERs receive grants from the federal government, “part of the mandate as a CIBER grant recipient each year is to outreach to minority serving institutions and community colleges to assist in promoting and expanding international business education,” said Mike Shealy, director of the USC CIBER who has worked for the USC center for 26 years.

For the Sept. 25 Conference on Intercultural Competence and Communication, the two keynote speakers are Tatiana Kostova, a Moore School international business professor, the Buck Mickel Chair and the CIBER research director, and Andrew Spicer, a Moore School international business associate professor. Kostova will discuss developing intercultural competencies for a post-pandemic world and intercultural competence for overseas travel and study abroad. Spicer will present on integrating intercultural competence across disciplines: an educational, social and business imperative and images and text for learning about intercultural competence.

“More than simply keynote speakers, these two Moore School international business faculty members are leading experts in the IB field and volunteered to participate in this event to help promote IB education and faculty development of global education,” Shealy said. 

The conference will also include a panel presentation on intercultural competence and business communication that includes the Georgia Commissioner of Economic Development, Georgia Tech CIBER faculty and executives from the Coca Cola Company and YKK Corporation of America.

In addition to the annual conference, USC CIBER works with other southeast CIBERs to provide other international business professional development opportunities for minority serving institutions and community college faculty throughout the year. These opportunities include supporting faculty to attend conferences in areas like Africa, China, South America, Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia. The CIBERs also issue IB-based grants.

“Since 2018, the USC CIBER has also worked with eight other CIBERs as part of a national-level CIBER Consortium to provide more than $130,000 in award funding for international business research, program development, curriculum development and professional development to more than 30 minority serving institutions and community college faculty members and their distinct institutions,” Shealy said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the professional development opportunities in 2020 have been provided virtually, allowing even more faculty to participate in these programs without having to pay travel expenses.

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