Saturday, April 26, 2014

Reflections on Humber's Rich Learning Culture

By: Ted Glenn, Ph.D., Professor of Public Administration and Program Coordinator at The Business School, Humber College
Krems an der Donau, Austria

April 25, 2014: From a teaching perspective, one of the things that is so interesting to observe here at the Krems IMC Master Days is teaching styles. At Humber, I’m used to seeing in my colleagues and using myself a full variety of teaching methodologies—traditional lecture, Q&A, debates, in-class group work and assignments, student presentations, simulations, online supplemented learning, asynchronous and synchronous online learning, etc.

Professionally, I feel fortunate to be immersed in such diversity and feel that it enhances my ability to contribute to learning each and every day. The culture that produces this diversity—which I believe stems from what former President Squee Gordon described as a “hire well and get the hell out of the way” philosophy—encourages and supports both risk-taking and innovation in teaching. That, I am convinced, benefits both teachers and students alike.
What I see at IMC Masters Days is the instructors using mostly traditional teaching methodologies like lecturing and Q&As. But don’t misunderstand the point of my observation here: the presenters at the IMC Masters Days are very, very knowledgeable in their fields and do a very, very good job of delivering material to students using traditional methods. And students are receptive and engaged with the presenters—they are used to traditional delivery styles and respond well to them. My experience watching my colleagues present here, though, leaves me with more respect for the culture of teaching and learning that exists at Humber and how much that culture has contributed to my own development as a trainer and educator. It is a sense of that legacy that I will seek to impart to the participants in my session on leadership this afternoon.
Humber professor Alain Londes at IMC Master Days in Krems.

Friday, April 25, 2014

"Edelweiss": A Night of Cultural Exchange at IMC FH Krems (Austria)

By: Ted Glenn, Ph.D., Professor of Public Administration and Program Coordinator at The Business School, Humber College

April 25, 2014: After yesterday’s proceedings finished, we presenters went out for dinner en masse. Luckily, management had an inkling of what was coming their way and stuck us in a large room in the back of the restaurant. As staid and stuffy and academic as we all may be during the day, those coils seem to shuffle off quickly as we sit back relax and celebrate a day well done. 
On offer was the ubiquitous schnitzel, risotto, and potatoes, topped off with local beverage offerings.
One of the highlights of the evening was the IMC Masters Days “Oscars,” a customized certificate of appreciation which our host Max handed out – after a gentle roasting – to each and every one of us up on the raised dais. Max and Regina are such warm, gracious and efficient hosts. It is amazing just how smoothly such a large event has gone and how welcome each of us has felt.
Another of the “highlights” of the evening was a – shall we say – “unique” rendering of Edelweiss as post-dinner entertainment. Yes, that’s our very own Alain Londes up there with Moses Koh from Singapore’s Nanying Polytechnic and Gabriel Lopez Gutierrez from Mexico’s Escuala Bancaria y Comercial.  Not quite Christopher Plummer/Julie Andrews quality, but you have to admire the gumption of these three, especially in the YouTube/Twitter era. Wouldn’t catch me…

Take a look at the video here:

Krems 2.0

By: Ted Glenn, Ph.D., Professor of Public Administration and Program Coordinator at The Business School, Humber College

Humber Professor Ted Glenn, currently at IMC FH Krems in Austria, shares further thoughts from IMC Master Days.

April 24, 2014: There seems to be a bit of a disconnect (sorry for the pun) between blogging at this event and the use of social media among participating students. Like almost everywhere else in the world, everyone here has a smartphone and is constantly on it snapping selfies, texting, looking stuff up and more. But the apparent low usage of social media here is striking.

I was alerted to it earlier today during a conversation with Wesley Put-van ben Beemt, a colleague from NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. She observed that the level of usage of online portals for things like tourism shopping is five to ten years behind that in North America. People use the Internet to research travel options, but conduct the actual purchase live and in-person. 

I got a sense of the disconnect again during Alain Londes' session. When he asked how many would tweet the ongoing session, the response was none. What's interesting is when he asked how many of them even had Twitter accounts, the response was also none. 

Although these are only two examples of an apparent lack of web activity, it appears that the social media culture is still quite nascent here compared to North America. I would love to hear theories on why!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Humber View: IMC Master Days in Krems, Austria

By: Ted Glenn, Ph.D., Professor of Public Administration and Program Coordinator at The Business School, Humber College

April 23, 2014: Krems at last! After a long flight to Vienna, and a remarkable day wandering through that city of refined contentment, we arrived in what has to be one of the most charming small cities in all of Austria. At the heart is a medieval walled city that dates to at least the tenth century. It is bounded on the south by the Danube River and to the hilly north vineyards that are just about to come into bloom. And at the western edge lies the IMC Krems campus – an architectural marriage of modernity and history.

Our hosts at IMC FH Krems threw a welcome reception for the impressive array of speakers gathered from IMC partner institutions around the world – France, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Canada, Mexico, the USA, and of course Alain Londes and Ted Glenn from Humber College in Toronto Canada – here to speak as part of the IMC Masters Days.

April 24, 2014:  beautiful start to the day in Krems this morning. I went for a run in the orchards up above Krems and tried very hard not to have a heart attack. The hills are soooo steep!

Got back to the hotel and had breakfast with some of the presenters. A very international conversation, I have to say. I got a preview from Moses Koh from Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic on his presentation, “What finance textbooks don’t teach us…lessons learned from 50 countries travelled.” Philippe Daudi from Sweden’s Linnaeus University and I discussed some of the ideas he will tackle in his presentation, “On the art of leading others through the art of leading oneself.” And I eavesdropped on a conversation in which Gabriel Lopez Gutierrez from Mexico’s Escuela Bancaria y Comercial talked about some of the themes he will discuss in, “Strategies for intergenerational engagement in Mexico and Latin America.” It will be a very interesting and engaging day.
After breakfast, I sat in on Alain Londes’s presentation, “The state of business ethics following the global financial crisis.” Very interesting to sit in on this conversation. Alain started with what he called a distinctly North American perspective on the state of business. That sparked a wide-ranging conversation about what is happening in Austria specifically and Europe in general in terms of ethics and trust. For me, one of the most interesting parts of Alain’s presentation was the “multi-linguality” of it – Alain switching effortlessly between English (used for most of the presentation) and French, German, Russian and Italian as per participants’ backgrounds. I’m of course very envious as I have a very difficult time communicating in just one language effectively. Language, for Alain, seems to be much like playing jazz.

Tomorrow, I will deliver a workshop called "Lead from wherever you are: The leader-as-coach approach.” Alain and I will also meet with a couple of students who intend on studying at Humber in the fall. We will show them pictures of Casa Loma and the CN Tower - quite a contrast to this magical medieval city!

Gangham Style Gyeranbbang on my Mind

Gyeranbbang. Do you know what on earth that is?

After some research we found that it is something very delicious, mouth-watering and exotic from Asia. A popular street food from South Korea, Gyeranbbang is basically an egg bread, or egg on bread or bread on egg. Oh well, you can decide!
Gyeranbbang: GyeRan is Egg and Bbang is Bread (courtesy: Aeris Kitchen).

Tightly secure inside a sweet succulent muffin, the egg peeps through a fresh and hot slice. The peculiar thing about Gyeranbbang is that a savory egg is held in between layers of batter that bake together into a very soft, steaming muffin.

Why are we talking about Gyeranbbang anyway? We are very envious of our team member, Linda Chao, who got to experience this wonder muffin on a recent recruitment trip to the Gangham District in South Korea and left much for us to imagine.

One of my favourite street foods in South Korea was Gyeranbbang. The egg was cooked perfectly, not too hard, not too soft, it was just right. I found this at nighttime but it would be great for breakfast too with a cup of coffee! Why don't we have this in Toronto?”

If you can show us the way to a yummilicious Gyeranbbang in Toronto, please connect with us - we promise to share! Finding Gyeranbbang
If you are confident of your Gyeranbbang-making skills, that’s good. If not, we recommend that you first check the recipe before you do so.

About Linda
Linda Chao is Manager, International Recruitment & Market Development for East & South East Asia. She frequently travels to meet prospective students and promote Humber internationally.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet Our New Staff

Hello Friends,
The International Centre is always booming with a growing team that adds to the global flavour at Humber. What's new now, you may wonder?
Well, please put your hands together (if you can leave your gadget or keyboard just for a few seconds) to welcome our new team members.
Let's get to know these friendly faces!

Meet Natasha Haniff, International Enrolment Officer 

Year I joined Humber: 2000

The countries that have seen me
: British Virgin Islands, Greece, Guyana, Jamaica, United States

I can’t go without these cuisines
: Japanese, Indian, Thai.

What human qualities does Humber represent? Humber is friendly, forward thinking and connected.

Take my word
: Graduation day approaches quickly. Appreciate every day in the classroom and soak up the knowledge and experience you receive. It’s a time in your life when your mind is open to new ideas and you question everything. Education changes your life profoundly.

Meet Clarissa Scarelli-Wuertz, International Enrolment Officer

Year I joined Humber: 2013

The countries that have seen me:
USA, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, England, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, Poland, Indonesia.

I can’t do without these cuisines:

What human qualities does Humber College represent?

Humber College is very supportive. It does not matter what kind of challenge you have, there is always someone willing to help.

Take my word: Be prepared for the longest and coldest winter of your life in Toronto! Canadians help you take it as it is, not as hard as it seems to be. Enjoy as much as you can the opportunity to live in one of the most multicultural cities in the world and be open to make friends from other cultures and with different beliefs.

Meet Matthew McDonald, International Student Advisor

Year I joined Humber: 2013

The countries that have seen me:
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

I can’t do without these cuisines: Korean, Thai, and Macedonian

What human qualities does Humber College represent?

Warmth and friendliness. As a recent newcomer to Humber, I can attest to how kind people have been and how quickly I was treated as “part of the family.”

Take my word:
Get outside of your comfort zone—socially, academically, culturally, geographically… Challenging yourself it the only way to grow. It won’t take long for you to get comfortable in your new Canadian home; that’s exactly when you need to resist the urge to get to comfortable and stop growing. 

Meet Daniella Cross, Manager, International Marketing & Communications

Year I joined Humber: 2014 (I was also a student at the University of Guelph-Humber from 2003-2007 in the Media Studies program)

The countries that have seen me:
I have travelled to almost 40 countries (on every continent except Antarctica and Australia): the USA, Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, St Maarten, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Domica, Martinique, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, Mexico, Venezuela, Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Canary Islands, Greece, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Turkey, Dubai, Morocco, Taiwan, and Japan.

I can’t go without these cuisines: I love Japanese, Mexican, and Italian but I’m always up for trying new things!

What human qualities does Humber College represent?

Drive, ambition, and innovation. I am inspired by the students at Humber and their desire to succeed and become leaders as global citizens.

Take my word
: Enjoy your adventure at Humber and make the most of your post-secondary experience! You will cherish the memories of the activities you participate in and the friendships you make could last a lifetime. Take risks, study hard, and enjoy the ride!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Work-a-Frolic - My Work and its Secrets

By: Madhur Prashant, Humber Student & International Centre Student Ambassador

Books are your best friend because these don't complain!

Making money anywhere in the world is no cakewalk. However, making money when you are a student can be a cakewalk, a gooey but smooth cakewalk. 

Really? How?

Part-time on-campus work and full-time studies make an excellent combination of earning, learning and application. To put our skills, intelligence and experience to use is itself an incentive. The primary purpose of working on campus is to bring home precious notes to pay off undesirable, pending, painful bills. All other motivations to work follow later, once our monetary affairs are in control. We also love to be challenged and take control of matters that are not always ours.

As students we have the advantage of choosing from a variety of jobs. We have the option to apply for jobs we have never known and jobs that may not be part of our career path. With on-campus jobs, we have flexible work hours, reduced commute times, and friends who double as colleagues or vice-versa. Also, owing to the nature these jobs, there is limited responsibility on us. Trust me: when in college, we may want money desperately but definitely not a nagging boss tracking us down every minute.

During my undergraduate era, I performed a whole gamut of roles on various campuses. Each one came with its own set of responsibilities, rules, sensitivities, secrets and people. The money part was always consistent - minimum wage. You see, such are the trials of being an impoverished and a highly ambitious student abroad.
For you my readers, I have decided to revisit all those years I ran between study- and work desks. Interesting now, but it was exhausting then. 

In between books – The Library

Aisles and rows of books and more
I once lived in the land of Pharaohs, Egyptians and the Nile. During my undergraduate program at the American University in Cairo, I was surrounded by peoples, systems and cultures that seemed like a mixed fruit punch: American, Egyptian, and everything else mixed together, with some dominant tastes and after-tastes. 
My various work profiles in the library were interesting, considering I was in the aisles, between towers of and tunnels walled with books, and more books, and much silence. Since at that early, tender age (indeed) I hadn’t yet developed a love for books, I busied myself with only pertinent tasks at hand. My contribution to this learning hub was a significant one – returning books to their spots, arranging them neatly, ensuring that barcode stickers were pasted on the correct side of these books and dusting off pollutants from spines and covers. Interesting. Maybe. 

The same experience can be joyful if books are your best friend. If you are fascinated by these leaf-full beings, this is an ideal workplace to cultivate your love. In between sorting and shelving, you can easily read blurbs, periodicals and testimonials and create your own wish list. You can keep track of the latest and archived collections and enjoy the company of a hundred worlds in that little space. What else? This noble deed will keep addictive office gossip and rugged politics at bay.  

Working in a library can make you feel isolated from people and conversations. ‘Maintain Silence’ is the mantra, the incontestable truth and effect of being inside literary premises. Conversations, if any, seem louder amid this engulfing silence, and may not always be appetizing to a sensitive heart. Trust me. Cozy corners hidden behind rows of brainpower, warm seats holding on to glass walls with a sound-free world moving about outside are an ideal locale for raw conversations and unpalatable details. You are privy to so much detail and are sometimes compelled into eavesdropping, or being a peeping Tom. Couples often forget to ensure privacy in this hideout and make those hidden in-between the aisles victims of their gory details. In between shelving, sorting, dusting and browsing books, you either are drawn into paying attention quietly or to putting a stop to it through occasional and random throat-clearing.

That’s the library.

If you get a chance to work at a library, do take it up, even if books are not your cup of tea. It’ll eventually turn you into a reader. In between a million words, ten thousand worlds, a hundred thousand stories, a hundred dozen characters and uncountable interpretations, you’ll never be lonely. You may get lost in there, or you may end up finding yourself!

 The library is not the only place I have worked at on campus. Wait for my next post, as I write about the job that gave me no silence or solace, just tummy aches, slurps, illusions, frustrations and many rules. Can you guess what it was?!