This past week, Interim Chair of Business, Mr. Benton Jones, was one of six international faculty selected to present at Enactus’ inaugural Academic Leaders Symposium. The Symposium provides faculty with a forum to showcase and share their research with all attendees at Enactus World Cup, a global event that attracts business, student and academic leaders for collaboration and competition. Presenters included individuals from Nigeria, Canada, the United States, and the Philippines.
Mr. Jones presented on Increasing Diversity in Enactus Teams using Simulated Intergroup Social Contact based on his current doctoral work in Human Resource Management.
The presentation served as a recommendation to infuse diversity education with training, using Simulated Intergroup Social Contact in especially homogeneous environment to prepare students to excel in diverse workplaces. Simulated intergroup contact involves acting out scenarios between ‘out-groups’ (i.e., minorities) and ‘in-groups’ that challenge common stereotypes about the out-group. In a rapidly diversifying nation, preparing students to work well in diverse environments is crucial to their success, as noted by Enactus President and CEO Rachel Jarosh: “Get [students] out of their bubble. Provide them with cross-cultural experiences. And, selfishly, I can’t think of any better venue to do that than through Enactus projects in their communities and around the world”.
“Having the opportunity to share and collaborate with Faculty from over 30 nations was incredibly encouraging,” Mr. Jones said in regards to the experience. “In those conversations, I found that there is a common passion for seeing our students grow and learn as human beings and to become better prepared to be business leaders who will not forget about their own communities… it was interesting how much we were able to discuss common challenges and obstacles to our Enactus Teams’ success despite the differences in our various nationalities, economies, and cultures… At Enactus World Cup, I was able to share my vision for using Enactus, which is a perfect venue for Intergroup Social Contact to spread a culture of diversity throughout college campuses. In discussions with Enactus Faculty Mentors from several nations, my observation that Enactus Teams are often more diverse than the student bodies they represent was confirmed.”
In addition to serving as the interim Chair of the Department of Business, Economics, and Communications, Mr. Jones serves as the Faculty Advisor for the Bryan College Enactus Team
and strongly believes in the mission of Enactus to shape students as future leaders.
“Enactus team members benefit from work within their Enactus Teams, projects in their communities and the Global community, and in Enactus Events by being offered experiential learning opportunities that the average college student would not experience until well into their first job….Enactus team members are allowed to fail, regroup and start again- they learn resiliency in a very real way.”
Congratulations to Mr. Jones on this achievement!
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