Professor Receives Fulbright Award
Penn State Great Valley is proud to announce that Daniel Indro, Ph.D., associate professor, finance, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to teach at Soochow University in Taiwan. Sponsored by the State Department, the Fulbright program is the largest international exchange program in the United States that funds graduate study, research or teaching in more than 155 countries in order to promote global understanding.
The official letter Indro received from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board states that "... As a Fulbright grantee, you will join the ranks of distinguished participants in the Program. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors and teachers." Indro felt humbled by the award yet privileged to be chosen. "The Fulbright award is very competitive and my application went through a series of rigorous independent reviews at different levels: the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, the Fulbright Commission in Taiwan, the U.S. Department of State, and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board," recalls Indro. "Even if my application received a favorable first phase recommendation by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, there was no guarantee that it would receive a favorable recommendation at the Fulbright Taiwan and other levels. Given that the award is subject to program priorities and budgets, and with the looming effect of sequestration in the mix, I also felt very lucky to have received it."
The Fulbright Commission in Taiwan matches an applicant with a host university by program priorities, the Fulbright applicant's credentials, and the host university's needs and interests. Indro's connection with Soochow University developed through mutual friends and his appreciation of the university's desire to establish relationships with other universities around the world. Soochow University is known for having its students spend a semester or two studying abroad and as the management division head from 2008 to 2011, Indro had the opportunity to network with academic leaders from business schools around the world at the AACSB meetings. "After learning that I successfully led the management division to maintain its prestigious AACSB International Accreditation, Soochow University invited me to informally mentor its Dean and to teach in the summer of 2012," says Indro.
During his five-month tenure beginning fall 2013, Indro will teach and work alongside Professor Jinshyang Roan, a full professor and director, Global Business Program at the university's School of Business, and a Fulbright alumnus who completed his Fulbright Scholarship at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management in 2003. The School of Business at Soochow University has a partnership with the Thunderbird School of Global Management for a dual-degree program. In 2012, Thunderbird is ranked #1 among International Business Master's programs by the U.S. News and World Report (http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/international-business-rankings).
Given its partnership with Thunderbird, Soochow University provides a natural laboratory to study how to combine the best of the Eastern and Western approaches to management education. Many Taiwanese multinational corporations have relationships with major Asian countries, as well as the United States and other major European countries, either in terms of market presence, supplier relationships, or other forms. Indro acknowledges that learning styles and habits vary across cultures. "Being a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan will give me a great opportunity to immerse myself in its educational culture. Understanding how students from other countries learn in the classroom is important because without it, it would be hard for me to cultivate globally minded future business leaders." And with an emerging international student demographic at Great Valley, Indro understands the significance of teaching to a diverse student base. "With the recent and continuing influx of international students to Penn State Great Valley, I hope my Fulbright experience can help bridge the boundaries between Eastern and Western cultures."
According to Indro, building business relationships in an Asian culture is vastly different from that in a western culture. "Because managing a global business requires relationship building, it is reasonable to expect differences in the Eastern and Western approaches to management, yet I welcome the opportunity." He anticipates this experience will allow him to explore an international, didactic culture, which he hopes will make him a better educator. "My goal is to learn from the Taiwanese students about the local business culture and experiences then share these stories and experiences with my Penn State students and colleagues."
Indro appreciates another advantage this opportunity will bring to his students' classroom experience. "My Penn State students are very much aware of the force of globalization and know that understanding other cultures and overcoming cultural barriers are a key success factor in today's global business."
Additionally Indro hopes to connect with Soochow University colleagues who share similar research interests that can lead to future research collaborations.