Broadening Horizons

Late last week I had the opportunity to serve on a leadership panel for a Wisconsin conference, “Global Education 2011:  Internationalization Across the Disciplines,” held in Madison.  I was there at the invitation of the chair of our Agriculture department, Randy Tenpas, and had the opportunity to chat with him a bit at the conference.  Randy had spent the last year serving on this conference planning committee along with other representatives of the UW system, the DPI, the technical college system, and the independent colleges and universities in Wisconsin.

It struck me that there are numerous ways to broaden one’s horizons.  Randy and several others at our college have the opportunity to work directly with many international students, lead study abroad efforts, and work with local companies to prepare their people to address both language and culture challenges in doing business throughout the world.  But Randy also suggested that serving on this conference committee took him a bit “out of his comfort zone” and that he learned a great deal by doing so. He shared that his primary role at the college involves working with Agriculture students, and this opportunity gave him the chance to better understand global issues and the impact on our students.

I think it is great when we take those opportunities to interact with people we don’t normally work with day to day, and look at what’s happening outside our specific disciplines.  Have you done anything recently that really changed your perspective or broadened your horizon?

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