Ebeid in China: Creating the “Global Classroom”
There had to be a very good reason for Fred Ebeid to miss spring commencement. During his years as business dean and now as provost, Dr. Ebeid had never been absent from a UW-Parkside graduation until the May's spring semester ceremonies.
Several days before commencement, Dr. Ebeid left southeastern Wisconsin to fly to China. His mission was to help honor an important educational partner, the Beijing Information Science and Technology University (BISTU) and speak at its International Forum "Training Excellent Talent and Enhancing Social Contribution." He would also talk with students who could be part of what he calls the "global classroom."
Dr. Ebeid was invited to the Chinese capital to help celebrate the five year anniversary of the merger between the Beijing Institute of Machinery and the Beijing Information Technology Institute that created BISTU. And although missing graduation gave him pause, he headed for the airport at Chancellor Debbie Ford's urging.
"They contacted me and asked if I would attend the forum and serve as an invited speaker which I was honored to do. Yes, initially my concern was missing commencement because the forum was literally the day before commencement here. But after consulting with the chancellor, she suggested it was a nice honor not only for me but for the university as well to be a part of this conference and suggested that I go. So, I did," Dr. Ebeid said.
His address, titled "Developing Global Partnerships: Preparing Students for the 21st Century Economy" focused on the importance of students understanding the global economy and its importance to their careers. He later served as host of one of the discussions within the forum.
Educating & Recruiting
Following the forum, Dr. Ebeid was invited to the BISTU campus to address a group of business students. Speaking with accounting and finance majors, he emphasized the importance of global experience, especially at a campus in Wisconsin that is familiar with BISTU students.
"It was energizing, it was fun, and it was very interesting. The students were very attentive and asked some good questions," Ebeid said of the students he spoke with. "During a part of the presentation I talked about UW-Parkside and about our M.B.A. program. I also talked about the number of the BISTU students who have studied at our campus and have been very successful doing so."
Spring UW-Parkside graduates included the first group of Chinese students who earned their Master of Business Administration degrees under the UW-Parkside/BISTU 3+1+1 agreement. More information about this inaugural group is available online.
The students who might enroll at UW-Parkside from BISTU would be part of Dr. Ebeid's goal to internationalize the education students acquire here.
"What I want to create here is a 'global classroom.' By that I mean I want the classroom to consist of people from a number of different countries," Ebeid said, pointing to the number of students already here from India, Germany, Italy, and other nations. "I truly believe students learn not only from the professor at the front of the class but also from each other. They'll obtain a better understanding of the global marketplace when they can hear the views and comments of students from around the world."After teaching the class, Dr. Ebeid was named an honorary BISTU faculty member. He may also have gotten a few students closer to creating his global classroom.