Learning Communities Culture and Commerce of the Southern Mediterranean
Culture and Commerce of the Southern Mediterranean is a Learning Community (LC) that links 2 business courses that approach the world from very different perspectives and offers students a study of striking contrasts and new horizons, with an adventurous travel component to Egypt.
In 2009 and 2010 students visited both Malta and Tunisia and were plunged into the rich commerce, culture and history of both countries, visiting businesses, public spaces, monuments, government agencies, and, while in Tunisia, attended a lecture on women's rights and roles in the Islamic world.
Egypt is a republic with a long and rich history dating to its unification as a kingdom 5200 years ago. About 90% of its almost 80 million people are Islamic, with 9% Coptic and 1% Christian. As a largely arid country in the northeast corner of the African continent crossed by the verdant Nile River Valley, Egypt faces many opportunities and challenges in a global economy. In 2011 LC 269 students will explore this very intriguing location visiting Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor.
Professors Lee and Swanson emphasize the importance, for our students, of having a tangible experience of culture: culture that you can touch, taste, climb on, and interact with.
Jennifer Swanson, Associate Professor of Business Administration and Director of the International Business Program, co-facilitated the Integrative Seminar with Jim Lee, Professor of Business Administration and Director of the Management Program. Swanson taught International Business and Lee taught Organizational Behavior. In addition, Joe Skaff, Emeritus Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, provided a series of pre-travel lectures on the extensive history of the region, the Quran, and Islam.
- "Being involved in this travel learning community is one of my most rewarding teaching experiences. It is a real privilege to witness students transform and make the connections between the courses and the travel segment." -- Dr. Jennifer Swanson
- "Cultures shape how organizations are designed and how they function. Lecturing about such a complex topic can only set the stage for learning; real learning begins when a student stands in the midst of a very different culture, observes behaviors, breathes the air, eats the food, speaks with a variety of people in different organizations, and seeks to understand the complexities he or she faces through the lens of theory. This process is exciting and immensely rewarding both for the student and for the teacher!" -- Dr. James Lee