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Globalization Initiative Expands Learning Opportunities for Students

globeBIG RAPIDS – Knowledge is power. Expanding your knowledge to meet global demand is crucial. Seizing the opportunity to capitalize on the knowledge of faculty, staff, students and the community, a new Globalization Initiative has begun at Ferris State University.

“When people think about globalization, they think about outsourcing and the pressure on the middle class, but that’s just one dimension,” Ferris Chemistry professor Piram Prakasam said. “It’s also about opening up more opportunities for people.”

The key element of the Globalization Initiative at Ferris is capitalizing on university resources such as faculty and staff, and their experiences and knowledge, Prakasam added.

The initiative includes several facets, including Global Reflections – a monthly series of discussions September through March designed to open dialog on the challenges and opportunities of globalization. The first discussion in the series, “Globalization: Opportunity or Threat,” is set for 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 in the Instructional Resource Center Auditorium (room 120).

Other components of the initiative include a bi-annual speaker series, Critical Encounters with Globalization, creation of a Directory of Resources for Globalization and compilation of a White Paper. The speaker series is designed to bring experts from academia and business together to help instructors who want to incorporate globalization into coursework and presentations. The fall session is set for 11 a.m. Nov. 12 in the IRC Auditorium.

The directory will provide a database of community members and faculty researching global topics and those who are experienced in globalization, added Janel Lockwood, International Center student advisor. For example, maybe a student is researching India and looking for an expert to discuss the country or language. The database is an organized system in which expert sources can easily be made available, she said.

The White Paper will include a compilation of research, analysis and reflections to aid projects related to globalization, Lockwood said. Everyone is welcome to contribute to the paper based on their field of expertise.

“At an international conference on chemistry, I asked how I can help my students be competitive in the workforce,” Prakasam said. “The main response was to be competitive at the global level people must have diverse skill set training and a broad understanding of the global market.”

Prakasam added campus support for the project has been strong, and he anticipates the initiative growing.

For more information about the Globalization Initiative, contact Prakasam at (231) 591-5290 or, Lockwood at (231) 591-2809 or [email protected] or Rebecca Sammel at