Boston College will host the third Boston Intercultural Skills Conference on March 1, an annual gathering of faculty, international education professionals, and others focused on the internationalization of campus communities and the promotion of inclusion. This year’s BISC will explore generational differences and their impact on international education, and how colleges and universities should appreciate and respond to the ever-changing needs, expectations, and characteristics of incoming students.
Presenting the keynote address and workshop, “The Cross-Generational Higher Education Environment: Generational Awareness as an Intercultural Skill,” will be Rachel Reiser, assistant dean for undergraduate student experience and services at the Boston University Undergraduate Academic and Career Development Center.
As organizers note, the current college-age generation has been shaped in part by greater access to, and use of, the Internet and social media, as well as post-9/11 attitudes and practices regarding safety and security. Breakout sessions at BISC—such as “Making Technology Work for First-Generation College Students in an International Context” and “Preparing Students for a Changing Workforce by Leveraging Intercultural and International Learning”—will touch on these and other generational characteristics and features, and what they portend for higher education programming and practices.
“BISC continues to serve as one of the few opportunities in the country for faculty and staff to gain intercultural knowledge and skills, which allow them to be better mentors to students,” said Nick Gozik, director of BC’s Office of International Programs and the McGillycuddy-Logue Center for Undergraduate Global Studies, who will offer concluding remarks with Reiser. “While BISC will benefit participants from a number of institutions around the country, it will also do much to feed into internationalization efforts at Boston College, which have taken off over the past several years and which are featured in the University’s most recent Strategic Plan.
“The conference likewise reflects Boston College’s mission of fostering intentionality and reflection among its students, in line with the University’s Jesuit history and values.”
Other Boston College speakers at BISC will be: Director of University Counseling Services Craig Burns; Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literature and African and African Diaspora Studies Régine Michelle Jean-Charles; Lynch School of Education and Human Development Associate Dean for Faculty Ana M. Martínez Alemán; Assistant Dean/Director of the Office of International Students and Scholars Adrienne Nussbaum; International Studies Program Director Erik Owens, an associate professor of the practice in the Theology Department; Lynch School Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Higher Education Heather Rowan-Kenyon; and Associate Professor of the Practice in Communication Celeste Wells.
BISC is free for all BC staff, faculty, and graduate students. Information and registration is available on the International Programs website; the registration deadline is Feb. 20.
—University Communications | February 2019