Faculty from Niagara College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport spent mid-term break week globally and culturally engaged while hosting a speaker series in Ecuador, deepening the global reach of Niagara College’s educational impact.
Supported by the Ecuadorian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Guayaquil and in cooperation with NC’s Be World Ready (BWR) program, professors Christine Blane, Lodzia Zaremba, Bradley Tuckwell and Paul Willie, PhD, delivered a series of workshops to Chamber of Commerce members in Ecuador from October 21 to 26. In addition, there were workshops geared to students hosted at a local university, Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena in Salinas, Ecuador, as well as an open session where members from the public were welcome to attend.
The conference and workshops involved the NC professors speaking about their areas of expertise: Blane explored the topic of incentives and events; Willie shared his knowledge of revenue management; Tuckwell focused on entrepreneurship hospitality management; and Zaremba covered social media. NC faculty engaged approximately 100 industry professionals and students during their time in Ecuador, sharing their expertise and love of NC.
“We were honoured to represent NC in Ecuador and to further build and strengthen the relationship with the Chamber and university partners,” said Blane. “The Ecuadorian people, our hosts and students were most welcoming and provided us with many opportunities to participate in the culture while providing our expertise. It was truly both a personal and professionally rewarding experience and we hope to continue this initiative.”
This unique conference and workshops series was initiated by Damian Goulbourne, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport’s associate dean, and was a mutually beneficial global learning experience as faculty had the opportunity to further develop their intercultural competencies and become more world-ready. Presenting a two-way learning opportunity, faculty experienced firsthand how different cultures are learning. It also allowed NC faculty to be able to connect and network with new people in areas of their expertise, gaining a fresh perspective of their passions and further developing professionally.
The initiative in Ecuador aligns with the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport’s internationalization and mobility strategy to contribute to a world-ready Niagara. Being exposed to a new culture will enable faculty to better infuse diversity and global competencies within their program and teachings. This will multiply the reach of the lessons learned in Ecuador and invite more creative, diverse and innovative thinking in the classroom, strengthening student engagement and inclusive learning.
In striving to create work-ready and world-ready workforces around the world, NC also giving its staff and faculty the tools to grow and further develop their own competencies in and outside of the classroom.
“The faculty expertise in tourism and hospitality management is exceptional,” said School of Business, Hospitality and Environment dean, Vivian Kinnaird. “Their contribution to the speaker series in Ecuador speaks to their leadership and commitment to Niagara College’s reputation as a global college and to their support for students as future global leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry.”
The Speaker Series in Ecuador is another solidifying example of how NC faculty and staff are preemptive leaders in learning within Canada and around the world.