Lisa Childress: Increasing Faculty Engagement in ICC & Internationalization on Campus

Guest Posts

Increasing Faculty Engagement in Intercultural Communication and Internationalization on Campus by Lisa K. Childress.

How can faculty members promote intercultural dialogue on campus? That is what those of us who are advocates for intercultural communication (ICC) and internationalization seek to encourage on a daily basis. Many faculty members on campus may already see interdisciplinary dialogue as an avenue through which to gain a more holistic understanding of their subject matter. In other words, many of our colleagues already believe in the value of looking at research and teaching through more than one disciplinary lens as a way to provide a more complex, comprehensive point of view. The question thus becomes: How can we use the already held value of interdisciplinarity as a springboard to promote the value of ICC and internationalization?

Let’s look at this conundrum through a series of questions:

As faculty members, we seek to develop our students’ global competencies.

(1) What is the foundation for developing our students’ global competencies?
Answer: The internationalization of our curricula.

(2) What is at the heart of internationalizing our curricula?
Answer: Our faculty.

(3) With what do faculty primarily concern themselves?
Answer: Their department’s goals and values and their individual teaching and research agendas.

(4) How can we shift our university’s academic departments towards a more intercultural and international focus?
Answer: Customizing ICC and internationalization to unique disciplinary priorities.

So, how can we move the ball forward? Since faculty members live within their academic disciplines, that is where the conversations and the impetus for increasing faculty engagement in ICC and internationalization need to begin.

Read the full discussion in order to learn the next steps.

Lisa K. Childress Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesLisa K. Childress is a global education consultant, working with universities to engage faculty in international teaching, research, and service.

Dr. Childress previously worked at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business as the international career consultant, where she taught cross-cultural training seminars for faculty and MBA students, co-chaired the Dean’s International Advisory Board, taught a professional development course, and counseled domestic students on their job search overseas and international students on their job search in the U.S. Dr. Childress also served as Duke University School of Law’s director of special international projects, where she created programs to build bridges between international and U.S. students and developed Duke Law programs overseas, such as the Asia-American Institute of Transnational Law in Kyushu, Japan. Dr. Childress holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Harvard University, and George Washington University.

Selected publications:

Childress, L.K. (2018). The twenty-first century university: Developing faculty engagement in internationalization (2nd ed.). New York: Peter Lang.

Childress, L. K. (2017). The role of academic departments in promoting faculty engagement in internationalisation. Internationalisation of Higher Education, 1, 15-34.

Childress, L. K. (2012). The faculty role in internationalizing the curriculum: Findings from a cross-case study. In D. K. Deardorff, H. de Wit, & T. Adams (Eds.), The Sage handbook of international higher education (pp. 257-259). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Childress, L. K. (2010). Interdisciplinarity: A catalyst for faculty engagement win internationalizationJournal of Global Initiatives: Policy, Pedagogy, Perspective4(1), Article 5.

Childress, L. K. (2009). Internationalization plans for higher education institutions. Journal of studies in international education13(3), 289-309.

Childress, L. K. (2009). Planning for internationalization by investing in faculty. Journal of International & Global Studies1(1), 30-49.