Rafet Aktas has high praise for Niagara.
The accounting professor from Yildirim Beyazit University in Ankara, Turkey, arrived at Brock nearly six months ago with equally high hopes for the time he would spend at the University as a visiting international scholar until March 2013.
After all, a colleague of his in Turkey, who had also been a visiting scholar, told him how great a time he had at Brock expanding his academic experiences.
“He told me lots of great things and that people are friendly. That’s why I came to Brock University first,” Aktas said. “I found lots of strong information (on the website), I contacted the professor and I got this great opportunity.”
Aktas will work with fellow accounting professor Fayaz Elayan doing research on the impact of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform while he’s at Brock.
“Rafet is a hard-working and intelligent individual with good experience in the financial sector and financial performance evaluation,” Elayan said. “His research experience will contribute and enhance the quality of our research.”
Aktas was one of 22 visiting international professors, scholars and mentorship participants from 12 different countries who were honoured along with their academic hosts at a recent ‘We Welcome the World’ reception at Pond Inlet. Program participants stay at Brock from as little as three weeks to up to one year, working with faculty, staff and students on campus.
In addition to helping Elayan with research, Aktas will be spending as much time in undergraduate and graduate studies classes, learning new teaching methods to take home with him.
“I want to improve the education system in my country,” Aktas said. “Observing the teaching methods, especially with the graduate and undergraduate students, I compare my country’s style with this style. I want to improve my teaching style and English.”
About 400 international academics have come to Brock since 2000.
Sheila Young, director of Brock International, said connections are often made between Brock faculty and scholars around the world at conferences.
Some visiting professors come to teach courses here or pursue work with a particular faculty member or department at Brock and are usually invited if there is interest and availability. In many cases, the program participant’s home university or government will support their travels abroad.
“It’s seen as quite prestigious and good for their careers to go to other places,” Young explained. “After spending a year abroad, they may It bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to their courses and campus. Their collaborative research undertaken while here also contributes to the internationalization of Brock.”
The program helps Brock become known elsewhere in the world as well, she added. Participants often return home and promote the experience to their colleagues or encourage their students interested in studying abroad to come here.
“They go back and they’re a Brock ambassador.”
Current visiting international professors (VIP), scholars (VIS) and mentorship participants (UM) and their host departments:
- Mohammed Ayad (VIP), Universite du Littoral, France. Mathematics
- Roman Popovych Omerlyanovych (VIP), Wolfgang Pauli Institute, Austria. Mathematics
- Sergio Alatorre-Santamaria (VIS), Canadian Bureau for International Education, Mexico. Chemistry.
- Rafet Aktas (VIS), Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey. Accounting.
- Lisha Chen (VIS), Beijing Forestry University, China. Faculty of Education.
- Robin Kramer (VIS), Bangor University, Gwynedd, U.K., Psychology.
- Xiaolan Luo (VIS), Xinzhou Teacher’s University, China. Confucius Institute.
- Nicole Nelson (VIS), Boston College, USA. Psychology.
- Takuya Sato (VIS), Chuo University, Japan. Sociology.
- Shuming Wang (VIS), Xinjiang University of Finance and Economics, China. Accounting.
- Minfen Ye (VIS), Minjiang University, China. Confucius Institute.
- Jinshan Zhang (VIS), Jilin University, China. Marketing, International Business and Strategy.
- Iris Broekhuizen (UM), Vrye Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands. Kinesiology.
- Emna Chalouati (UM), University of Manouba, Tunisia. Accounting.
- Rym Frini (UM), University of Manouba, Tunisia. Accounting.
- Yuki Fujiwara (UM), Kobe University, Japan. Computer Science.
- Mariem Khalifa (UM), University of Manouba, Tunisia. Accounting.
- Valentina Proietti (UM), University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. Psychology.
- Tamara Zwaan (UM), Vrye Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands. Kinesiology.
- Yasheng Wulamu (VIS), Xinjiang University of Finance and Economics, China. Accounting
- Emmena Paulus (UM), Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname, Suriname. Political Science
- Masami Asakawa (VIS), Sapporo Gakuin University, Japan, Sociology