International Studies & Programs

IVLP in 2023: VIPP Brings Global Professionals to MSU for Specialized Programs through the International Visitor Leadership Program

It was a successful year for professional exchange through the VIPP and Department of State partnership.

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Published: Wednesday, 13 Dec 2023 Author: James Magee, Rhett Butler, and Teresa Svec, Visiting International Professional Program

Every year, the Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP), in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), hosts professionals from all over the world for specialized programs. The IVLP is the State Department's premier professional exchange program, and gives current and emerging leaders in a variety of professions the opportunity to form lasting connections with their American counterparts through short-term visits in the U.S. These programs, whether lasting weeks or a single day, are critical to VIPP’s mission of international engagement and cultivating a diverse professional global community. VIPP hosted many IVLP programs throughout the year, and here we highlight three of these programs, which welcomed professionals from Japan, the Dominican Republic, and the Middle East and North Africa.

Japan – Women in Leadership and the Workplace

Japan Group.pngOn Wednesday, October 18th, VIPP in partnership with Global Ties Kalamazoo, Global Ties Detroit, and Meridian International Center hosted professionals from Japan about Promoting Diversity in the Workplace. During this program, these professionals participated in lectures and workshops to understand the benefits of diverse workplaces and develop the tools for implementing policies that promote and improve workplace diversity.  Japan DEI session.png

In the morning, ISP’s DEI coordinator, Dr. Anjam Chaudhary, and manager of MSU’s Inclusive Campus Initiative, Dr. Meaghan Kozar led a session on the value, importance, and challenges of diversity in the workplace. They finished their insightful lecture with a detailed analysis of “Best Practices” implemented by Michigan State University. The afternoon session was led by Jaimie Hutchison, Director of Michigan State University’s Work Life Office who led a thorough discussion on gender equality during her presentation on “Women in the Workplace”.

The participants also had the opportunity to explore MSU’s campus and network with staff and faculty from Asia Hub and the Japan Center for Michigan Universities. While lasting only one day, the time spent with these professionals was enlightening, dynamic, and fruitful.

Dominican Republic – Accountability for Nonprofits in the U.S.

From Sunday, October 22nd to Tuesday, October 24th, 2023, VIPP, in partnership with Global Ties Kalamazoo, and Meridian International Center, had the privilege of hosting 10 nonprofit professionals from the Dominican Republic. The three days were focused on examining different policies and best practices to strengthen nonprofit engagement, transparency, and accountability.  

Non profit MNAre.pngDuring the program, the participants were able to have a dynamic Q&A discussion with state representative Emily Dievendorf on nonprofit policy and legislation, who offered their nuanced and expert analysis on the subject. They were then treated to detailed case study and examination on how to engage with and even contribute to nonprofit legislation with former nonprofit policy advisor and current VIPP faculty, Teresa Svec, J.D. The participants’ final workshop was with the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s president, Kelley Kuhn, who did a deep dive into state and federal nonprofit accountability measures and evaluated how to develop and maintain best practices.

These nonprofit professionals also had the opportunity to explore the greater Lansing area, including Michigan State University’s incredible campus, touring the state capitol, and a guided tour of the Michigan Supreme Court with a nonprofit emphasis. Participants also had the opportunity to network with various members of the MSU community, and with other nonprofit leaders in the community like Joseph Enerson, Executive Director at the Allen Neighborhood Center

Middle East and North Africa – Science and Technology Entrepreneurship  

From Friday, October 6th to Tuesday, October 10th, 2023, VIPP, in partnership with Global Ties Detroit and the Institute of International Education, hosted 11 professionals and 3 interpreters for a program titled “Science and Technology Entrepreneurship – A Regional Project for Near East and North Africa”. These professionals were drawn from a wide variety of countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Qatar, and Morocco. Their program was directed toward learning about technology transfer and business development from an academic setting.  Science and Tech Picre.jpg

As part of their programming on October 9th, the participants attended a comprehensive presentation at MSU’s Spartan Innovations, which gave a thorough overview of their organization, its operations, and the services they provide in support of technology transfer and business development in the state of Michigan in conjunction with private businesses. The presenters were Frank Urban, Director of Venture Creation in Life Sciences for Spartan Innovations, Brian Wright, Associate Director of MSU Technologies, and Jeff Smith, Director of the University Corporate Research Park at the MSU Research Foundation. After this event, the group had an opportunity to enjoy lunch at the themed cafeteria in MSU’s Landon Hall, before traveling a short distance to the Fraunhofer USA Center Midwest headquarters. Here they learned about the company’s history and its engagement with MSU. They were also given a guided tour of the facility’s research lab.

In addition, the participating professionals had time to engage in cultural activities in the Lansing area, including a home hospitality stay with local families on October 8th who took them sightseeing near MSU’s historic and very scenic campus, and a trip to the Michigan History Museum on October 7th in downtown Lansing to learn about Michigan’s rich cultural heritage.  After their programing in Lansing, the group traveled to Detroit to attend events organized by the Global Ties Detroit organization. 

As 2023 comes to an end, we are so proud to look back on the exciting IVLP programs we hosted this year. We are very grateful for our partnerships that make these programs possible. The engagement, connections, and learning experiences for international professionals are crucial for their career and leadership development, and more broadly for creating global understanding.

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