Monday, June 6, 2011

Associate Professor to Participate in Faculty Development in International Business Program in Brazil

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Business and Industry (SBI) Associate Marketing Professor Roscoe Hightower Jr. will participate in the Faculty Development in International Business Program in Brazil later this month.

The 10-day program will introduce participants to the major emerging economy of Brazil, with a more specific focus on the challenges of long-term sustainability. During the excursion, the 13 faculty members and 10 graduate students from institutions of higher education across the United States will travel to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the country’s two largest urban centers.

“I hope to learn about Brazil... and the Brazilian perspective of doing business, focusing on the economy and the cultural norms,” said Hightower.

According to Shawn Conner, associate director at the Indiana University Institute for International Business, participants were selected based on their specific interest in Brazil, as stated in a series of essays submitted with the program application. A selection committee assessed each applicant’s professional interests and goals, ultimately selecting participants that best matched with the objectives of the program.

Hightower said it is a great feeling to be selected to participate in the prestigious program and to know “that your colleagues from around the country value what you do with respect to teaching, research and service.”

Through the program, sponsored by Indiana University's Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), Hightower will have the opportunity to strengthen his understanding of the country's unique business challenges through a structured itinerary of visits to domestic and multinational companies, tours of cultural and historical sites and presentations by researchers and professionals.

“IU CIBER’s faculty development program to Brazil aims to provide a value-added, short-term international experience for U.S. faculty in order to gain a basic understanding of how business is evolving in this particular emerging economy,” said Conner. “We hope participants will return to their home institutions, incorporate aspects of their experience in the business classroom, and consider expanding the scope of their research to include Brazil. We will also meet with faculty experts, entrepreneurs, and seasoned business professionals to discuss ongoing challenges for women and minorities.”

While in Brazil, Hightower plans to gather data for an ongoing research project dealing with a Green Servicescape instrument that has been tentatively accepted for the Fourth International Congress for Facilities Management in Vienna, Austria in November 2011.

“Right now, FAMU is No. 1 in the world in correctly conceptualizing and measuring the servicescape construct,” he said. “It is up to me to get this message out to the community-at-large, and this trip helps to enable me in accomplishing this by providing opportunities to talk to the public about my research.”

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