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Grant aids globalization efforts

Sept. 18, 2009

KALAMAZOO--The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $175,000 Business and International Education competitive grant to three faculty members in the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University.

The two-year grant will be used to support the activities of Project EDGE--Enhancing and Developing Global Expertise.

Project EDGE co-directors

  • Dr. Mushtaq Luqmani, WMU chair and professor of marketing
  • Dr. Zahir A. Quraeshi, WMU professor of marketing and director of the Haworth College of Business Global Business Center
  • Dr. Roger Tang, WMU professor of accountancy and the Upjohn Chair in Business Administration

Project EDGE is being implemented under the aegis of the Global Business Center. The project builds upon the college's efforts to internationalize its curriculum, faculty and students and to better understand international business practices.

A related project aim is to strengthen the competitive edge of WMU academicians and southwest Michigan businesses through an improved understanding of the complexities of conducting business in Southeast Asia, especially as it relates to exporting, sourcing and supply-chain initiatives.

Project EDGE is primarily interested in the countries represented by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which seeks to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in its 10-member region as well as promote regional peace and stability.

ASEAN was founded in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Vietnam also have joined the association.

With the Department of Education grant money, Project EDGE will specifically focus on:

  • Developing faculty expertise in the ASEAN region through seminars, exchange programs with foreign university partners, specialized study abroad tours and research on contemporary region-specific business issues.

  • Strengthening the international business competence of undergraduate and graduate students through intensive study abroad programs in selected ASEAN countries and an infusion of international supply chain issues and course modules into the curriculum. As part of this focus, an ASEAN-oriented global business lecture series will be developed that will feature prominent speakers from business, government and academia and include some programs targeted at high school students and teachers.

  • Advancing international business knowledge, especially across the University and southwest Michigan business community, through a multidisciplinary international conference on U.S. relations with the ASEAN region as well as the global business lecture series.

The rigorous study abroad programs being planned will center on the countries of Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. They will be open to select businesspersons as well as students and faculty members from WMU.

To accomplish its objectives, Project EDGE will be collaborating with a variety of partner groups. They include the Haworth College of Business Advisory Board, which is composed of representatives of 30 area companies, and overseas institutions such as the Center for American Education in Singapore, Kasetsart University in Bangkok, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia, both in Kuala Lumpur.

For more information, contact Zahir Quraeshi at zahir.quraeshi@wmich.edu or (269) 387-6093.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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