Spring break for nine faculty and staff members meant traveling to Seoul, South Korea, to visit Grand Valley’s partner institution there.
The trip was sponsored by the Padnos International Center as part of its Partnership Delegation program, which started in 2009 as a way to promote partnerships, increase opportunities for exchange and build interdisciplinary connections on campus.
Rebecca Hambleton, director of study abroad and international partnerships, said choosing locations is as important as selecting participants. “We look for partners that are underutilized and that have an interest in collaborating on new initiatives,” she said.
Gerry Simons, professor of economics, joined the delegation in part, he said, to visit a country that has experienced such rapid economic growth. He enjoyed touring the host institution, Seoul National University of Science and Technology.
“Technology is a big deal at the university, from the hands-on experiences that their engineering students have in manufacturing, to the digital system students use for reserving study space in the library,” Simons said.
It was the first overseas trip for Lisa Surman Haight, executive secretary for the Office of the Provost. “I wanted to learn first-hand the meaning of being a global citizen while immersed in a culture different than my own,” Surman Haight said.
The delegation was led by Hambleton and Hoon Lee, associate professor of art and design. Other participants were Marshall Battani, Connie Dang, Ingrid Johnson, Sue Korzinek and Henry Matthews.
The 2013 destination for the Partnership Delegation is the Universidad del Bio-Bio in Concepcion, Chile. For information about how to apply PIC Partnership Delegation grant, visit www.gvsu.edu/pic and click on “Faculty and Staff.”