Academic Affairs Office of the Provost
1201 S. State Street
Timme Center, CSS 310
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Tracy Busch, Associate Professor of Humanities, has been chosen as the 2019 recipient of the International Educator Award for her significant contributions in international education (IE) in student-oriented, curricular, and scholarly areas, as well as with other IE initiatives.
“We learn best by doing,” Busch writes in her philosophy of international education. “The classroom provides vital foundational information, but I find that students do their best when they can demonstrate what they know outside the classroom.” For this reason, Busch involves her students in many campus activities. “I have Global Women’s Activism students present their research to the campus community, encourage our history majors to present papers at regional and national conferences, and involve students in public history events such as the award-winning “BEYOND: The Silk Road” initiative.”
Including students in large projects takes more work, both in preparation and in mentoring, Busch explains, “but it certainly contributes to the Ferris core values of ‘Excellence,’ ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Opportunity.’ Their pride in their work and my pride in their accomplishments is a great reward. It is Ferris at its best.”
In furthering IE at Ferris, Busch wrote that she has been involved with the “Globalization Initiative, developed a number of internationally-oriented history classes, worked with the Center for Global Studies and Engagement to bring experts to campus, took the lead in the inaugural “Beyond” initiative in 2012, collaborated with another faculty member to develop a study abroad program for Russia in 2018, facilitated a relationship with an Archangel university so Ferris students can do graduate work in Russia, and applied and won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to conduct a Summer Institute at Ferris State in 2016 for middle and high school teachers.”
Other international activities that Busch has involved her students with include using the “Deliberative Dialogue” model in discussing immigration issues, encouraging use of the Shoah archive for research, and bringing students to events such as the International Affairs Forum and the World Affairs Council. She has partnered with the Office of International Education (OIE) to enable students to meet diplomats such as former U.S Consul General, Jack Segal, and former Ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle. She also produced the documentary “Globalization in the Classroom,” to promote global knowledge and its benefit to Ferris students.
Busch’s scholarly activities include visiting Russia in 2013 on a Ferris Research Scholar Grant, publishing several scholarly articles in leading journals, and conducting research at the National Archives (College Park) and the Summer Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne (UIUC). She is an expert on Russia and is frequently invited to present on international affairs, global women’s issues, and the history of the post-Soviet space (including Ukraine). She has presented at the International Affairs Forum, the Big Rapids General Federation of Women Councils on human trafficking, and at the Ferris Human Trafficking Conference.
Busch and other recipients of the 2019 Academic Affairs Awards were recognized on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Employee Service Awards in the David L. Eisler Center.