Rosanne Teniente Micro Grant Award


Rosanne Teniente has been awarded a micro grant for international travel, funded by the Association for Business Communication through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue. The following is her description of herself and the project. You can also read the main article describing all award winners.

I am a Rhode Island native who has been transplanted around the world. As an undergraduate at Simmons College in Boston, MA, I studied economics and international relations, focusing on development economics and Middle Eastern politics.  After my undergraduate studies, I moved to Egypt for several years as a Gilman Scholar at the American University in Cairo studying Arabic and interned with the US Foreign Commercial Service, and then worked as an English instructor at an international school.  I am now a master’s candidate in the public administration program at Northeastern University, while working in the field of social services.  I currently reside in Southwest New Mexico with my husband who is serving in the US Air Force.  I embrace new adventures, foreign languages, and cross-cultural learning experiences.

With the support of the CID grant as well as Northeastern University, I will be traveling to Baar, Switzerland to attend a ten-day conference in August hosted by the Institute for Peace and Dialogue, a nongovernment organization that is dedicated to strengthening institutional dialogue between civil societies, international peace and state institutions. The conference is IPD’s International Summer Academy in Peace-building & Intercultural Dialogue, which will feature experts and practitioners in the field of conflict resolution and peace building. Through different workshops, lectures, interactive group work, and negotiation activities, the knowledge gleaned with help me to build upon my past empirical research on the effect of conflict on GDP per capita in developing countries.

September 2014: This project is now complete, and Teniente’s final report is now available.

Inga Milevica – Micro grant award

MilevicaInga Milevica has been awarded a micro grant for international travel, funded by the Association for Business Communication through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue. The following is her description of herself and the project. You can also read the main article describing all award winners.

Dr. Inga Milevica is a researcher and teacher in Latvia, author of more than 90 scientific papers. Her main research interests are: gender communication, business communication, mass communication and translation problems, in particular, problems of translation in films. Milevica has been working at Alberta College since 2008 in all its fields of study: Legal foundation of the business, Entertainment management and production, Cultural tourism management, Marketing and marketings innovations, Staff work organization, Business accountancy and taxes, Information technology, Game development, Economics and organization of small companies and Public relations. She teaches the following courses: Rhetoric and Presentation Skills, Introduction into Communication Theory, Corporate Culture, Business Communication and professional Ethics, Stylistics and Culture of Latvian Language.

The first and the main scientific-practical task of the project is to participate in the international forum and represent one of the private colleges of Latvia – Alberta College. The international forum “Socio-Cultural and Linguistic Aspects in Educational and Scientific Context” will take place in Kyoto (Japan) in Kyoto Sangyo University, September 25-29, 2014. The paper “Naive Argumentation of Authority” is being prepared for the section Intercultural Aspects in Pedagogical Activity. There will be basic peculiarities of the argumentation and especially of an argument authority discussed in the paper, based on the verbal and written discourse of the students.

The second task deals with methodical planning. The partners of the forum are such famous and respected educational institutions of the world as Kyoto Sangyo University (Kyoto, Japan), Middlebury College (Vermont, USA), University of Bologna (Bologna, Italy), Sangmyung University of South Korea (Cheonan, South Korea), Almaty Institute of Power and Communication (Alamty, Republic of Kazakhstan), International Centre of Scientific-Educational Platform of Interaction of Cultures (Yekaterinburg, Russia), Institute of Foreign Languages and Multimedia at University of Greifswald (Greifswald, Federal Republic of Germany). The author intends to discuss with the representatives of the universities possibilities of the programme Erasmus+, which starting from 2014 will expand both geography of the trips and scientific and educational profiles, both for the students and teaching staff.

In addition, this project will help to perfect practical knowledge about the distinctive culture of Japan. For example, such important categories for successful communication and overcoming potential barriers as time (monochrome or polychrome perception) and place (public or private – and to what extent) should be felt already on the airplane, in the hotel, on the streets, at the university, etc., and such a category as argumentation (linear or holistic) also can and must be experienced in real communication.

ABC Micro Grants Awarded

Three scholars have been awarded micro grants for international travel related to research, funded by the Association for Business Communication, in spring 2014. Brief descriptions of the award winners and their projects are below; click on the name of the grant winners for further details. After each project is completed, a link to a report will be posted to the CID website as well.

MilevicaInga Milevica, who teaches at Alberta College in Latvia, will travel to Kyoto, Japan, to connect with colleagues from the Ukraine as well as Japan, working on the topic of the naive argument of authority.

October 2014: Milevica’s report of her activities is now available.

Olena ZelikovskaOlena Zelikovska, who teaches at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, will travel to California State University of Los Angeles, working on the topic of intercultural competence.

TenienteRosanne Teniente, a graduate student at Northeastern University, will travel to participate in the Institute for Peace and Dialogue, in Switzerland.

September 2014: Teniente’s report of her activities is now available.


Olena Zelikovska Micro Grant Award

Olena ZelikovskaOlena Zelikovska has been awarded a micro grant for international travel, funded by the Association for Business Communication through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue. The following is her description of herself and the project. You can also read the main article describing all award winners.

Dr. Olena Zelikovska is an Associate Professor in the Department of English for Economic Specialties at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine (NULESU). For the last 10 years she has been working as a focal point in developing curriculum of “Business English” and ‘Translation of Commercial Correspondence and Business Communication’ for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in Economics, Management of International Affairs and Linguistics as well as in supervising students’ research projects with the focus on intercultural communication issues.

In 2010, Zelikovska defended the thesis: ‘Developing intercultural competence in the students of higher economic educational institutions’ (adopted by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine). She has been chairing the Student’s Research Group “Business Environment and Intercultural Communication” since 2011.

Zelikovska has been constantly seeking for international cooperation to provide the students with valuable practical experience. She is interested in project-based programs designed to connect American and Ukrainian students in a distance learning opportunity that is grounded in intercultural dialogue and exchange.

Project background: The growing importance of English as an instrument of international communication on the global scale and its increased use in Ukraine has triggered research about improved methods to develop university students’ intercultural competence (ICC). This has promoted changes in both the teaching and learning process. However lack of students’ cross-cultural communication experience has resulted in low sensitivity of intercultural issues. The initial discussion has shown that the NULESU students majoring in Management of International Affairs or in Linguistics have very little idea about intercultural communication (IC). For instance, they are unaware of the privacy zone character of the American culture and can easily use the patterns of direct language imposing their ideas and feelings on the interlocutor as they commonly do in Ukrainian culture with higher power distance and no privacy space. Moreover English classroom communicative behavior of the majority of faculty staff unfortunately does not often correlate with such behavior of their American colleagues. That is why the traditional teaching practice does not achieve the expected results on developing ICC.

The key to the solution may be the application of the 3-component intercultural development model that provides knowledge (cognitive element of the model), foster awareness (affective element of the model) and develop skills (behavioral element of the model). The proposed project seeks to assess the interrelated issues: How to fill each component of the model with the intercultural communication content tailored to the particular needs of the individual student? How do these components correlate with each other? What issues should be submitted for Student’s Research Group? How to launch distant projects between American and Ukrainian students to enrich each other with learning by experience? The development of classroom communicative behavior of the department staff is the issue of special importance. The project will provide the unique opportunity for the grant holder to study all these processes as a system at the Californian State University by classroom observation, students and faculty staff surveying and discussions with further analysis of the data collected. The ultimate goal of the research is to empower Ukrainian students with intercultural awareness enabling them to develop empathy, tolerance and mutual understanding with their American peers.

Santoi Wagner – micro grant

Santoi WagnerDr. Santoi Wagner, Associate Director of TESOL at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, received one of the National Communication Association’s micro grants in Fall 2012 in order to work with Dr. Eun Sung Park, Assistant Professor of TESOL/Applied Linguistics and Director of the General English Education Program at Sogang University, Korea. They share research and professional interests in issues surrounding second language teaching and learning. Through this international and intercultural collaboration, the project will contribute to a deeper understanding of the interactional competencies and expectations of appropriate communicative behaviors for the classroom that non-native English speaking teachers bring to their training, and take home with them. The collaboration will also help ensure that the question of how to best support international students will receive balanced consideration from the perspectives of training in TESOL programs in the United States and teaching in students’ home countries.

Project background: With the spread of English around the globe, and the growing use of English as a lingua franca, there is an increasing demand for English language teachers. A significant proportion of students in many TESOL graduate programs in the United States are non-native English speaking (NNES) international students. While the experience for these students is often a positive one, an under-examined aspect of their training is how well the programs prepare students to teach in their home countries. For researchers interested in the interface of language and social interaction in the classroom, an issue of concern is the potential diversity in culturally appropriate norms of classroom communicative behavior. Although the impact of teacher education on actual teaching practices is an established field of inquiry, there has been much less research with respect to NNES teachers. Much of the work relating to NNES teachers of English has only been completed in the past fifteen years, and is predominantly centered around teacher self-accounts through narratives, interviews, and surveys, rather than investigations of actual teaching practices. This project seeks to explore two related questions: (a) How are NNES teachers’ communicative behaviors in the classroom altered by undergoing a training program outside of their home country? (b) How is this communicative behavior affected when NNES teachers return home to classroom and educational contexts that may be significantly different? Because the focus is the interactional practices of NNES teachers as they engage in their teaching, the study will primarily employ a qualitative micro-analytic approach to analyze the data collected from classroom observations.

Andrew R. Spieldenner – micro grant

Andrew SpieldennerDr. Andrew R. Spieldenner, of the School of Communication at Hofstra University, received one of the National Communication Association’s micro grants in Fall 2012 to travel to London to meet with Dr. Fiona Burns (principal investigator) and Ibidun Fakoya (research fellow), of University College London, to discuss, plan and learn from a community engagement research project started there. Communication methods still have not been used to look at HIV biomedical community engagement. The particular community engagement research project – advancing Migrant Access to health Services in Europe (aMASE) – looks specifically at migrants and immigrants across Europe in health disparity research, with a special focus on HIV/AIDS and gay men. Spieldenner will review research protocols, conduct interviews with Community Advisory Board members and research partners, assess tools for adaptability to the United States framework, and give a presentation on current state and challenges of community engagement in the US.  He hopes that this is the beginning of ensuring that the best practices are developed to engage racial/ethnic minority gay men in life-saving HIV/AIDS services.

Background to the project: Even with the advancement of HIV treatment, African American and Latino gay men in the United States still suffer disproportionately from poor HIV-related health outcomes – including infection, late-stage diagnosis and higher mortality – compared to their White counterparts. With the expansion of HIV biomedical interventions, racial/ethnic minority gay men – as well as their service providers – need to be educated on the science, eligibility, solutions and challenges of these interventions.  HIV biomedical interventions require community acceptance, access and affordability in order to ensure adherence and success. Community engagement is an ongoing communication process that involves community members, key opinion leaders, service providers and researchers in the identification of issues, barriers and solutions. Research has shown that ongoing community engagement can play a critical role in the community acceptance of HIV biomedical interventions, such as vaginal microbicides, but there is a dearth of activities specifically targeting gay men.  In addition, much of this information is framed by clinical practice rather than social science. Communication, as a practice, is ideally situated to provide more relevant theoretical and analytical contributions to community engagement processes.

Renee Cowan – micro grant

Renee CowanDr. Renee Cowan, of the Communication Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio, received one of the National Communication Association’s micro grants in Fall 2012 to travel to Finland and meet with Dr. Denise Salin, of the Hanken School of Economics, to plan collaborative work on investigating conceptions of workplace bullying across nations. How bullying and bullying behaviors are understood is likely influenced by the values and beliefs of the larger culture or nation in which the activity has taken place. What constitutes bullying in one culture likely differs from other cultures because of differing value systems. Salin is an international expert on workplace bullying from an organizational perspective who has theorized several important antecedents to bullying in organizations and organizational responses to bullying from the Finnish organizational perspective. Cowan will begin an intercultural conversation with her in an effort to better understand workplace bullying from the European perspective as well as discuss possible collaborations with her on a large multi-national workplace bullying research project. The research question is: based on the assumption that the violation of national, gendered, or other cultural norms will be perceived as bullying behavior, to what extent will national differences in cultural values and communication norms be associated with differences in behaviors perceived to constitute workplace bullying? 

Louisa Edgerly – micro grant

Louisa EdgerlyDr. Louisa Edgerly, an independent scholar with a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, received one of the National Communication Association’s micro grants in Fall 2012 to travel to Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo, where she will study the work of the International Conservation and Education Fund (INCEF), a non-profit organization that produces and distributes films on the topics of conservation and health in central Africa. INCEF’s main focus is on reaching rural audiences in remote areas, with largely illiterate populations. They bring their films to remote villages, screen them for the entire local population, and then use dialogue and discussion to enhance the learning experience initiated by viewing the films. The Republic of Congo is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic country, and INCEF uses local speakers and local languages in their films, with the aim of connecting with local audiences. This local approach to communication aligns very closely with the approach of the ethnography of communication, and with the aims and interests of the University of Washington’s Center for Local Strategies Research, which is collaborating on the project.

The main goals of this first trip to Congo are to gain familiarity with the region, make closer contacts with INCEF’s staff, and make some initial field observations of INCEF’s dialogues and film screenings. As a pilot project for a longer-term project, this first field trip will allow Dr. Edgerly to build key local contacts, refine her overall research questions, and assess the feasibility of future field projects. In addition, this first trip will reveal what may prove to be some key terms and norms among the community of health and conservation communicators working in Congo. This information will be valuable in the longer term project of studying the communicative norms in the global health and development community.

Sarah Bishop – micro grant

Sarah BishopSarah Bishop, a doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh, received one of the National Communication Association’s micro grants in Fall 2012 to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica. In San Jose, Bishop will work with Dr. Ana Sittenfeld, Director of the Office of International Affairs at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), to gather and analyze the reflections of graduate students who have studied abroad from Costa Rica to the United States for academic credit. Costa Rica boasts an impressive history of successful study abroad programs and strong connections to U.S. universities in particular. As the country’s oldest and largest university, UCR has spearheaded a movement to send graduate students abroad to gain international teaching experience with the belief that this opportunity makes the students better prepared and attractive candidates for teaching careers within Costa Rican universities. Bishop is interested in the ways an academic travel experience affects an individual’s sense of personal and national identity, as well as the intersection between study abroad, intercultural competence, and career preparation. This project will utilize an oral history methodology that entails conducting and recording qualitative, in-depth interviews using open-ended questions, and will work to extend Bishop’s continued efforts to navigate the ways in which international academic travel functions as a mediated, value-laden experience.

NCA Microgrants distributed

Micro Grants for Intercultural Dialogue

Earlier this year, the National Communication Association allocated funds to be distributed as micro grants for intercultural dialogue through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, and the competition occurred throughout the fall of 2012. Far more applications were submitted than could be funded, thus demonstrating demand for this sort of grant, and interest in international travel for research purposes. All proposals went through a process of peer review, and the results are now completed. Grants will be awarded to:

Sarah Bishop
Renee Cowan
Louisa Edgerly
Andrew Spieldenner
Santoi Wagner

Follow their names to see descriptions of their projects, and learn the wide range of countries to which they will now travel and topics they will investigate.

As each project is completed, a final report describing how these scholars made contact with their local hosts, and what they did as a result of their travel, will be provided.

My thanks to all of the applicants. Hopefully that those who we are unable to fund still will be able to take their trips and conduct their research. Further grant possibilities from other sources are listed under grants. In addition, NCA provides several types of information for grant seekers, including additional funding opportunities as well as help with the process.

Thanks to members of the Advisory Board who reviewed proposals on the Center’s behalf: Donal Carbaugh (USA), Janice Hume (USA), Nazan Haydari (Turkey), and Leena Louhiala-Salminen (Finland) for their time and effort in this important effort. Thanks also NCA for providing the funding to support these important projects. This entire process will serve as a valuable pilot for future grants the Center will be pursuing, in order to fund additional projects by other Communication scholars. As further grants are obtained, they will be listed on the Center’s site.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

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