Brock International has created a new role that aims to help students bridge their cultural differences.
Earlier this month, the University welcomed Trecia McLennon as its new intercultural communications co-ordinator — a position responsible for implementing intercultural competency and awareness programming at Brock.
“I help people deal across differences,” McLennon said. “That can mean differences in race, language and cultures, the whole spectrum of diversity.”
In the new role, she will work with students to develop and enhance their intercultural skills and knowledge, helping to bridge differences and foster a culture of inclusion and respect.
“It’s about supporting the person, helping them to see things differently,” she said, adding her aim to to help students “be more global in their perspective.”
Among the first of its kind at a Canadian university, the new full-time position stems from the University’s commitment to provide transformative student experiences inside and outside of the classroom while also focusing on creating globally competent graduates.
The position is also integral for maintaining Brock’s strength as a destination for international students, as it creates an environment of belonging, where students feel welcomed and valued for their cultural background.
“Intercultural competency equips students with the tools and skills to succeed in a rapidly changing, highly diverse and competitive education structure and global economy,” said Leigh-Ellen Keating, Director of Brock International. “It increases students’ ability to work together effectively, learn from their diversity and take advantage of the plethora of experience around them.”
Brock sees the world inside its classrooms every day and is actively taking steps to celebrate and take every advantage of the globalized environment the University has created.
As Janet Bennett of the Intercultural Communication Institute and renowned expert, intercultural consultant and co-creator of the developmental model of intercultural sensitivity states, “a more culturally aware community fosters innovation from diversity and will support academic excellence and research.”
Jamie Mandigo, Brock’s Vice-Provost for Enrolment Management and International added that “with the ability to effectively work with culturally different others being consistently rated as a top skill for employees for 2020 and beyond, this enhanced intercultural competency will help students succeed in their professional lives as well.”
McLennon previously worked as an assistant professor in the school of International Studies at the University of Ulsan in South Korea, as well as an instructor of Global Management Studies at Ryerson University.
Brock stakeholders wanting to learn more about how they can improve their capacity to work across differences are encouraged to reach to out to McLennon at firstname.lastname@example.org or x6211.