Professor strives to promote unity

Visiting professor encourages international education

Olivia Storey, Assistant News Editor

Every semester on campus, students from around the world come to study at UW-W while students from UW-W study around the world.

But people may not think about how many professors visit other universities around the world, and how many come here to help enlighten students in areas they may have never considered learning about.

Visiting professor Marc van der Meer hails from the Netherlands, where he specializes in marketing communications and consumer behavior. Van der Meer sees the importance in bridging the gap between students in the U.S. and students internationally.

“Staff exchanges are as important for the students as they are for us,” van der Meer said. “Both [the American and Dutch] governments think that internationalization is important to education, and for us it’s important because [UW-W] is an international business school.”

During his visit to UW-W, van der Meer will be giving several lectures on advertising techniques, public relation tactics/strategies and cross-cultural communication.

“I’ll be focusing more on advertising and PR, which suits my experience,” van der Meer said. “It’s nice because I’m never lost for words during a lecture.”

Although his lectures focus on a few specific areas of business, van der Meer also stresses the importance of learning about new cultures and expanding student’ horizons during college.

“Our promise that [students can have] an international education can start from the moment you step on campus, because you’re in an international environment,” he said. “If you want to be in an international business environment, you have to have that experience.”

Due to so many students at UW-W studying different aspects of business, the importance of obtaining the international experience can be a helpful tool later on.

Currently, about 30 different countries on campus are represented through study abroad programs and professor exchanges similar to van der Meer’s.

“We start with ‘internationalization at home’, that’s what we like to call it,” van der Meer said. “We bring it to the classrooms and do projects together with people from different cultures.”

Being able to bring unity between cultures in the classroom helps students broaden their perspectives and gain insight into the world around them, according to van der Meer.

“[We need] to get to know each other better, to get more insight into each others’ programs and find out if there’s more room for communication,” he said.

During his free time in the United States, van der Meer hopes to visit Milwaukee, as well as Chicago with some coworkers.

“I haven’t been there in almost thirty years,” he said. “I gotta check if it’s still there!”

For more information regarding van der Meer’s lectures and visit, contact him at [email protected].