Hosting a “Goodwill Ambassador”
United Board Fellows, through their short-term placements at colleges and universities outside their home countries, often serve as goodwill ambassadors for their home institutions. During Iven Jose’s placement at the University of Melbourne, his mentor, Anne Steinemann, found that Dr. Jose took his role as a goodwill ambassador a few steps further. “He catalyzed so many relationships among us,” she said in an interview, referring to the ways he connected her with other faculty and administrators throughout the university and Australia. “We knew we would learn about his institution, but he also introduced us to others in our own university.”
At Christ University in Bengalaru, India, Dr. Jose manages a busy schedule as associate professor and associate dean of the College of Electronics and Communication Engineering. The United Board Fellows Program was an opportunity for him to observe the practices of another university and to further develop his leadership skills. “Iven is the quintessential academic leader,” Dr. Steinemann said. “He’s a scholar, a researcher, a teacher, who leads by example.” Dr. Jose was particularly interested in the connection between high quality teaching and research programs. That’s an area of strength for the University of Melbourne. “Teaching and research aren’t separate, they are mutually reinforcing,” Dr. Steinemann finds. “One benefits the other, especially when integrated with outreach.” Starting with introductions from Dr. Steinemann and others, Dr. Jose was able to interview dozens of faculty members and learn about their approaches to teaching in the classroom and laboratory, the ways that university-industry can spark innovation, and how universities can provide input into government policy-making.
“Who else do you recommend that I meet?” Dr. Steinemann suggested that Dr. Jose end every meeting with that question. That helpful advice was a natural fit for his enthusiasm and curiosity.
As Dr. Jose expanded his network, and reported on the meetings he held across the University of Melbourne campus, “he became a catalyst for collaboration, helping our faculty make new connections,” according to Dr. Steinemann. She and her colleagues still marvel at the number of people he met over the course of a couple months and the information he gathered.
She highlights another role he played. “Iven also was a goodwill ambassador for the United Board and its mission of whole person education,” she said. “People at the University of Melbourne became more aware of the United Board because of Iven. That’s an additional benefit of the program.” It’s a style of people-to-people diplomacy that has helped shape the United Board’s network over the course of decades and that continues to add vitality to its leadership and faculty development programs.
For a related story about Dr. Iven Jose and his impressions of the United Board Fellows Program, click here.
Reconnecting with Australia
The United Board resumed placements for its United Board Fellows at Australian universities in 2016-2017 after an absence of several years. We are grateful to Graduate House for making Dr. Iven Jose’s placement so successful. We extend our deepest appreciation to Dr. Kerry Bennett and her staff at Graduate House and The Graduate Union, Dr. Anne Steinemann, and the Department of Infrastructure Engineering at the University of Melbourne for their hospitality to Dr. Iven Jose and for their support of the United Board Fellows Program.Learn More about the United Board Fellows Program