KALAMAZOO, Mich.—For an impressive second time, Dr. Kuanchin "KC" Chen, professor of business information systems, co-director of the Center for Business Analytics and John W. Snyder faculty fellow at Western Michigan University, has earned a highly competitive Fulbright Specialist Award from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Since the inception of the Fulbright Specialist Program in 2001, faculty from the Haworth College of Business have received this award three times in the business administration category. Chen received his first Fulbright award as an associate professor at the college in 2012.
With this award, Chen will complete a project at Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland that aims to exchange research experiences and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities both in the U.S. and overseas through educational and training activities within business administration.
"I am very humbled to join my fellow awardees, some of whom are also recipients of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize and other prestigious honors," Chen says. "This project will allow me to share my research, teaching and curriculum design experience in analytics and project management, which will help build analytics expertise at the host institution. The immediate impact will be the expansion of faculty interest and proficiency in data analytics disciplines, such as business analytics, data science, business intelligence and machine learning, that are of interest globally in business and other fields."
Chen is a co-director of the college's Center for Business Analytics, overseeing analytics research and industry collaborations. He is an associate editor of the Behaviour & Information Technology Journal, as well as a guest editor and board member of several journals and conferences. Chen championed the development of one of the nation's 28 undergraduate business analytics programs at the Haworth College of Business. He has also received more than 10 research and teaching awards from multiple organizations in his discipline, scholarly journals, WMU and several other institutions. Chen's work has been widely cited by authors from more than 60 disciplines, including business, engineering and science.
Considered the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program, Fulbright is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Chen’s previous Fulbright trip to Taiwan in 2012 helped develop faculty interest in business analysis, project management and analytics through lectures, research and mentorship, resulting in scholarship exchange, as well as research collaboration, which was included in reputable journals.
"As a longtime scholar of international cultures, I am sensitive to the subtleties of cultural differences and how they apply to pedagogy," Chen says. "Bridging differences to set mutual expectations in research and teaching are important to the success of my Fulbright mission."
Chen carries this mission into his teaching at WMU, emphasizing that his Fulbright experiences have had an immediate and long-lasting influence on delivering instruction. "My exchange experiences always impact my teaching," he says. "One area of focus is to facilitate faculty and student collaborations internationally. Observing teaching and learning within different cultures allows me to recognize the nuances that could easily influence the effects of one’s intended instructional strategies."
With international learning taking place largely online, Chen adds that understanding cultural differences in virtual instruction is especially important. "The dynamics of technology-facilitated interaction, such as computer-mediated communication, are quite different when participants come from different cultural backgrounds," he says. "In these instances, it is important to be aware of not just the country’s national culture, but also its relationships with digital norms."
Fulbright Specialist Awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement and demonstrated leadership. The award recognizes Chen’s achievements in these aforementioned areas at the national level. Chen will be eligible for additional awards in the next three years.
ABOUT THE FULBRIGHT SPECIALIST PROGRAM
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and other countries. The program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.
Fulbrighters address critical global issues in all disciplines, while building relationships, knowledge and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists and teachers. They include 60 Nobel Laureates, 86 Pulitzer Prize winners, 74 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors.
More information is available on the Fulbright Program.
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