Winter Symposium focuses on Internationalization
Author: Scott Gallagher
Posted: January 27, 2014

More than 200 faculty and staff gathered Monday morning in the Portland State University (PSU) ballroom to discuss Internationalization efforts and goals. PSU officials define Internationalization as “the understanding, belief and commitment that our students will enter the 21st century as leaders in an emerging global community.” President Wim Wiewel, himself an expatriate from the Netherlands, opened the symposium with suggestions on how to more fully integrate Internationalization across the University and utilize existing resources.

“We need to take advantage of our international students and organizations in Portland to increase global awareness and develop learning outcomes,” said President Wiewel. “Today, I hope you will reflect on how we build on what we are already doing in order to make PSU known as a global leader.”

The symposium had three guest speakers: Chris Siems, platform engineering group, Intel; Bill Tung, vice president, international distributors and Asia direct, Columbia Sportswear Company; Dr. Mignon Mazique, chief people officer, Mercy Corps. All three emphasized the benefits of studying abroad and gaining a more global perspective, especially if they are interested in pursuing international careers.

“One of our goals is increasing the engineering international quotient (IQ),” said Siems. “International experiences round out employees and are key differentiators in the job market.” Siems encouraged PSU faculty to put an emphasis on engineering students because only 3 percent of them currently participate in study abroad programs or internships.

The speakers were followed by round table discussions. Highlights of each discussion will be shared with the campus on the Academic website later this quarter.