U.S. State Department Officials Leading Cultural Competency Forum at TU

By Megan Bradshaw on July 24, 2017

Seven members of the State Department will meet with various deans and faculty members and host a forum on developing cultural competency on campus.

For the week of July 24–29, Towson University International Initiatives will host seven members of the United States State Department from EducationUSA, in collaboration with Goucher College, University of Baltimore and Community College of Baltimore County, promoting Baltimore and the institutions as premier education destinations for international students.

The advisers represent Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, South Africa and Uzbekistan, and will meet with professors from Fisher College; Janet Delany, the dean of graduate studies; Greg Faller, associate dean of in the College of Fine Arts and Communication; and Maggie Reitz, vice provost.

“Having an international experience as part of your education—whether you’re a U.S. student traveling to Brazil or an Indian student studying in the U.S.—forces you outside of your comfort zone and personal world view bubble. Learning in an environment and from people who are different than you forces you to consider perspectives of people who have a different experience than you do, said Anna Wise, associate director of international recruitment.

Developing these cultural competencies will help you navigate not only a diverse workplace, but diverse communities and experiences. Cultural Competency allows you to relate to so many more people, which opens the whole world up as a possibility for your future.”

As part of the visit, TU will host a forum focused on the benefits of developing cultural competency through a globalized education on July 26 from 4–5:30 p.m. in the Minnegan Room at Unitas Stadium Fieldhouse. 

Topics up for discussion at the forum are:

  • What is cultural competency?
  • Why is cultural competency important?
  • What are the career and life benefits of developing cultural competency?
  • How can it be measured?
  • How can we build it into our curriculum?
  • What are challenges associated with gaining these skills?
  • What are strategies we can all use to improve our cultural competency?

About EducationUSA
EducationUSA is a United States Department of State network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries. The network promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States. EducationUSA also provides services to the U.S. higher education community to help institutional leaders meet their recruitment and campus internationalization goals.

The EducationUSA network's advisers work in U.S. Embassies and Consulates or a variety of partner institutions, including Fulbright commissions, bi-national cultural centers, U.S. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and at international NGOs, universities, and libraries.

Advisers promote all accredited U.S. higher education institutions, assist students with the application process, facilitate pre-departure orientations, and manage advising centers. 

Read more about TU's cultural competency education program

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Campus and Strategic Plan Alignment.