Spring 2019 International Business Newsletter

In This Issue:

Study.com Recognized School Icon

International Business Major Recognized by Study.com

The B.S. in International Business program at Penn State Behrend was ranked #1 on the list of international business programs in the country by Study.com in its 2019 rankings. The rankings are based on academic and career resources for international business students, the quality of education in international business, and the faculty.

Faculty Spotlight

Christopher Harben

Dr. Chris Harben, Assistant Teaching Professor of Management

Chris has been with the Black School of Business since fall 2017. He joined Behrend after having taught three years at Bowling Green State University and one year at Lourdes University near Toledo, Ohio. At both BGSU and Lourdes, Chris taught courses very similar to MGMT 471W Strategic Management, which is one of his primary teaching assignments here at the Black School. He has a Doctorate of Strategic Leadership from Regent University, an M.B.A. with concentrations in organizational leadership and international business from the University of Findlay, and a B.S. in mass media communication from the University of Akron.

Over the last few semesters, Chris has gotten much more deeply involved in the International Business degree. Under the direction of Dr. Parente, he re-wrote IB 303 International Business Operations and also was assigned as an adviser to International Business students. He has been very involved with Trippe Hall and the Global Boarders program.

Recently, he developed a study abroad course with Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, assistant teaching professor of political science, that will take students to London and Kyiv this May to study Brexit and the European Union. Chris also will be teaching a strategy course for a school in Ghana in July.

Outside the classroom, Chris has an active consulting business focused on leadership and strategy—particularly in small business. He is the coordinator of a nonprofit leadership development program called Fulton Leadership University in Fulton County, Ohio, in cooperation with the Fulton County Economic Development Corporation. He also is involved in community theater and has had leading roles at the Erie Playhouse and the Academy Theatre in Meadville.

Chris is the father of two daughters—Cara, a Behrend first-year student, and Cami, a high school junior in Ohio. He will marry his fiancée, Betsy, this summer in Ohio.

News and Updates

Certified Global Business Professional Option Available

Students will be able to earn a certificate as a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) by completing the CGBP exam. The CGBP designation confirms proficient knowledge in international trade as certified by the North American Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE).

According to Dr. Diane Parente, International Business program chair, “The ability for our students to earn CGBP certification is another example of how the Black School of Business helps set our student up for their future success. NASBITE is a well-respected organization in the logistics world, and the opportunity for our students to differentiate themselves with the CGBP designation is just another example.”

International Logistics Course Introduced

One important component of the CGBP certification is familiarity with international logistics. Coming this fall, International Business majors will have the opportunity to examine the logistics function and the unique requirements of the movement of material internationally. According to Gary Smith, lecturer in management and course developer, “It is not uncommon for a product to be manufactured in the United States with material purchased from China and sold to a customer in Germany. To effectively maneuver in today’s global marketplace, a mastery of the international logistics function has become a critical success factor.”

Before joining the Black School faculty in 2016, Smith most recently served as the Global Logistics Program Manager—Foreign Trades Zones for a Fortune 100 company. The International Logistics course, MGMT 497, will be appearing on the fall 2019 Penn State Behrend schedule. This course will be an option to satisfy an upper level international business course elective.

About the International Business Club

The International Business Club was recognized and awarded as the fastest growing club in the Black School of Business for the 2017–18 academic year. Students have held regular meetings and interacted with representatives from businesses, such as LORD Corporation, that have a large international presence. The International Business Club is making plans to host more events in conjunction with the Global Boarders program. Dr. Chris Harben, assistant teaching professor of management, will take over as club adviser.

Trippe Hall: A Space for Global Engagement

Trippe Hall, a $28.4 million residence hall, opened in fall 2018. The hall features modern double-occupancy rooms, a large community space on each floor, and study lounges in each wing. Amenities aside, the most exciting feature for students is the integrated Global Boarders community. The community is focused on international students, International Business majors, and prospective study-abroad students.

Global Borders Welcomes First Cohort

In fall 2018, the Global Boarders program welcomed its first group of students. Its inaugural semester was devoted to East Asia. There were several events and activities relating to culture in the region, including language, art, and music demonstrations culminating with a dinner featuring East Asian cuisine. This spring, Global Boarders programming is centered on the Mediterranean region. As one of the six-part program, Dr. John Champagne, professor of English and program chair of global languages and cultures, delivered an interactive lecture about the history of Italy. This fall, the program will examine the culture and characteristics of Africa, and next spring it will focus on Latin America. Those students interested in becoming a part of this diverse community of scholars can apply online at the Global Borders website.