Following on from the success of the work done with the University of Windsor Inter KT project, Coventry University has embarked on another exciting collaborative project, this time with Arizona State University in the United States. The aim of this project was to develop an international network and a professional partnership that could respond to the needs of different industries and businesses with regards to the practical, moral and legal responses that are raised by equality, diversity and inclusion.
Kusminder Chahal, a senior research assistant within the University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR), travelled to Arizona on a 2 month secondment within the Centre for Violence Prevention and Community Safety at Arizona State University (ASU). ASU is a top 200 global university with over 80,000 students spread over 4 campuses in Phoenix, Arizona. Kusminder was supported by Dean Stephenson from Coventry University’s Enterprise & Innovation group.
Kusminder met, presented and consulted with over 200 people from university and community based organisations and delivered workshops, focus groups and open talks on the matter. Just to add an extra challenge, one of the workshops had to be delivered in Spanish. Kusminder also delivered a presentation on ‘The Challenges of Global Diversity in Higher Education’ to a sold out venue full of ASU staff.
Kusminder said the experience was “an amazing opportunity to represent my University and Research Centre on a global platform; engage with a wide range of people (both academics and non-academics) in a different country, share experiences and develop partnerships and ideas for future projects.”
As a result of the visit, Kusminder set up a working group to research and build a Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit. Partners include ASU, University of Phoenix and Maricopa Community Colleges and three community based organisations. Partnership discussions have also begun with the Faculty of Counselling and Counselling Psychology and the Lead Researcher from the College of Letters to develop a joint research project. Partnership discussions also took place with ASU and a local church/community centre to develop a joint research project.
Dean Stephenson from the University’s Enterprise and Innovation group attended exploratory meetings with the Executive Vice President, Chief Research and Innovation Officer, Associate Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Programs, Vice President of Research, Associate Dean of Student Entrepreneurship and Chief Business Development Manager. Potential synergies around student and faculty exchange, joint research projects and enterprise and innovation collaborations were discussed.
Dean said, “Our engagement with ASU was beneficial in so many ways. After making a significant impact in both the university and the community, we now have an opportunity for open dialogue with a respected US institution.”
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