Graduate Programs Expand Global Initiatives

Graduate Programs Expand Global Initiatives

SESP global initiatives

With new courses, presentations and alumni pursuits, SESP graduate programs are expanding their global perspective. The enhancements reflect the importance of cross-cultural competencies and the interests of students in an increasingly global world.

Master's programs in both Learning and Organizational Change and Higher Education Administration and Policy programs are adding new global-focused courses to prepare their graduates as 21st-centural leaders. Graduates of these programs are making an outstanding impact on the world as more and more alumni take on global roles.

MS in Learning and Organizational Change Program
The MSLOC program, which prepares leaders to be change agents in organizations, is launching a new course in the spring called Leading Global Change. The new course will focus on change leadership in multinational organizations and the competencies that leaders need to develop for successful leadership in complex environments, according to Kimberly Scott, MSLOC director.

Leading Global Change follows up themes discussed at a recent MSLOC showcase on “Building Global Acumen,” which presented a panel of leaders discussing how to improve global expertise and how to create a more globally savvy organization. The panel featured MSLOC faculty and alumni with important global experience — MSLOC instructor Debra Mazloff, who has led change programs for global organizations; Beth Barich (MS04), an organizational development professional who has worked internationally; Jesse Newton (MS12), who has consulted on three continents; and MSLOC lecturer Ghazala Ovaice, director of organizational development for Abbott. "Being global is not just about where you do business. It is also about how you do it,” according to MSLOC.

In November, Scott will deliver a prominent presentation with a global focus when she discusses how Web 2.0 technologies can promote the development of organizational cross-cultural competence. She will present at the 29th Annual Convention of the University Council for Educational Administration, which has the theme "Re-imagining the Frontiers of Education: Leadership with/in Transnational & Transcultural Spaces."

Drawing from the powerful skills that they develop at SESP, many MSLOC alumni now serve in global roles. In fact, 8 percent of MSLOC alumni currently have a global job title. For example, Mary Gardner Burrelle (MS12) is director of global leader strategy and alignment for McDonald’s Corporation, Robert Cabanelas (MS13) is senior vice president and global head of HR for Aon Hewitt, Brynn Harrington (MS08) is global manager for people growth at Facebook, and Katherine Beauchamp (MS11) is global learning and development manager at Boston Consulting Group.

Many alumni are also sharing their global learning with current students. For example, MSLOC instructor Kelly Ross (MS11), who worked abroad for more than six years and did her MSLOC capstone research on characteristics of successful expatriates, is helping to design the new MSLOC course on Leading Global Change.

MS in Higher Education Program
“Higher education is no longer operating on a local level. You have to think of higher education in a global context. We can all learn from each other — from controversies as well as best practices,” says Lois Trautvetter, director of the Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy program (MSHE).

The Higher Education program has added a second global course to its curriculum,  Global Issues and Strategic Partnerships. The course, piloted this summer, joins an existing course in Comparative Higher Education: Impact of Globalization, which explores higher education systems in other countries with an eye toward how each confronts the rapid changes of globalization. Both are taught by faculty member Joan Gillespie, the vice president and director of off-campus study programs for Associated Colleges of the Midwest. The new course was offered in an alternative schedule format, comprised of an intensive, in-person weekend of class and consecutive virtual class meetings.

“Because of the distinctive feature of the master’s project, we see the international and study abroad interests of students play out,” says Trautvetter, who observes a jump in the number of internationally focused master’s projects. All Higher Education students complete a master’s research project where they delve deeply into a topic of interest. For instance, Whitney Bennett, who completed internships at IES, Northwestern Study Abroad and the Buffett Institute, focused her master’s project on study abroad programs at community colleges.

Lucas Xiao Chen (MS15) represents the new face of the Higher Education program. A native of China, he developed a mentoring program at Northwestern for international graduate students, completed his master’s project on getting international students involved, did his internship in the International Office and now holds a newly created position at Ohio State University as residential international student program coordinator.

In various ways, MSHE alumni have pursued their interests in international higher education and the globalization of higher education. For example, as a Fulbright fellow in Hungary, Jamie Hoversen (MS12) advised Hungarian students interested in studying in the U.S/ while also teaching at Eotvos Lorand University. Julia Wysocki (MS08) worked at Northwestern’s Qatar campus from 2008 to 2011. Allison Noble (MS10) works for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Emory Erker-Lynch (MS15) works for Northwestern’s Buffett Institute, which facilitates global engagement and scholarship. They join the growing number of students and alumni taking an international slant on the higher education field.

SESP Global Initiative
For all SESP students and faculty, the Office of Global Initiatives facilitates global connections as SESP prioritizes a more global perspective. Global ties can spark innovation, increase understanding of critical issues, and magnify the School's effectiveness through extended collaboration, according to the office’s director, James Spillane.

Awards through the office support international conference presentations by faculty and students and encourage international efforts of many types. For example, PhD student Debbie Kim was awarded $2,000 to go to Athens, Greece, to give a presentation on her study of a school organization at the European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium.

SESP faculty continue travel worldwide to inform their work and extend their expertise to address critical human development, learning and education issues. For example, recently Spillane gave a keynote address at the National Institute of Education of Singapore’s conference, another keynote to 1,350 principals in Australia and a public education lecture at Universidad Diego Portales in Chile. Assistant professor Michael Horn presented his museum research in Korea, and professor Cynthia Coburn is scheduled to address the British Education Research Association conference in Ireland. Numerous other faculty members have shared their scholarship abroad this summer.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/13/16