Southeast Faculty Travel to Brazil for International Business, Culture and Economic Development Week

pangea-flyerSoutheast Missouri State University Harrison College of Business professors Dr. Peter Gordon and Dr. Willie Redmond recently traveled to the Universidade Federales de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Sept. 26-30 to participate in International Business, Culture and Economic Development Week.

UFMG has been a student exchange partner with Southeast since 2011.  Approximately five UFMG students have studied at Southeast, and five Southeast students have studied at UFMG through exchange programs.

Gordon, professor of marketing, and Redmond, professor of economics, traveled to Brazil to aid in collaboration with various partner universities worldwide.  They taught classes along with Professor Herbert Manfred from the University of Applied Sciences in Schmalkaden, Germany, and Professor Jaime Velázquez from the Mexican Council for Economic and Financial Education.  The trip was funded by a grant to promote multinational education in Brazil.    

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Dr. Peter Gordon

Gordon and Redmond each taught intensive one-credit hour classes to UFMG students covering 12 classroom hours during the week.  Gordon taught “Culture and Globalization,” and Redmond taught “International Trade: Theory and Policy” to classes of approximately 20 graduate and undergraduate students.

Dr. Francisco Vidal Barbosa, professor at UFMG and coordinator of UFMG’s International Business, Culture and Economic Development Week, invited Gordon and Redmond to present.  Gordon and Redmond have taught with Barbosa in the German Summer Program for many years.

Redmond said the goal for this trip was to help with Southeast’s recent strategic plan.

“The goals for this trip align perfectly with Priority I – Objective IV, which states, ‘Continue to globalize the campus by expanding study-abroad experiences, engaging international students, and encouraging students on campus and abroad to explore cultural interaction,’” said Redmond.

UFMG and Southeast’s partnership offer student exchange opportunities.  Redmond said he believes faculty participation in international projects strengthens the relationships with Southeast’s international partners.  UFMG is the largest federal university in Brazil with a student population of 49,200.

“Southeast is embarking on a project to develop a strategy for the comprehensive internationalization of our campus community.  I can see how activities such as this contribute significantly,” Redmond said.

Gordon and Redmond also gave presentations to police cadets from the “Policia Militar” or military police.

On Sept. 27, Redmond presented on the “Strategic Management of (Criminal Justice) Issues” and Gordon presented on the “Cultural Concerns in Law Enforcement” to approximately 400 police cadets and officers.

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Dr. Willie Redmond

“This was especially interesting, because neither of us has any extensive training or education in criminal justice, but we applied the expertise that we do have to this particular area,” said Redmond. “It was quite gratifying to receive very positive responses to the presentations.

On Sept. 29, Redmond and Gordon revisited the police academy for what they had thought to be a courtesy visit.  However, the officers surprised them with a different plan.

“To our surprise, we were honored as dignitaries and treated to a full military parade by 800-plus military police cadets, including a ceremony with speeches from distinguished officers,” said Redmond.  “After the parade and presentation, we were taken inside and treated to three musical pieces by the Symphony Orchestra of the police of Minas Gerais Military.”  The orchestra is the only military orchestra in Latin America.

“From there, we went on to meet the Commander of the Policia Militar, Colonel Eduardo Ceaser Reis. All in all, it was quite a day,” Redmond said.