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Nov 15, 2014

The Business Of Thankfulness

Sponsored Content provided by Robert Burrus - Dean , Cameron School of Business - University of North Carolina Wilmington

During this time of reflection and gratitude, the Cameron School of Business reflects on our students who come from all over the world to study business and we give thanks for the key part they play in the Cameron experience.

At Cameron, we recognize the importance of exposing students to diverse, multicultural perspectives in a global business environment, and we offer a variety of summer, semester, yearlong and exchange programs as options for international study. The Transatlantic Business School Alliance (TABSA) at the undergraduate level and the International Business School Alliance (IBSA) at the graduate level are unique dual-degree programs that require students to spend a portion of their academic career at UNC Wilmington and a portion at a partner school abroad, earning degrees from both universities.

Cameron’s participation in these programs plays an integral role in the internationalization of students, faculty and staff. This year, Cameron welcomed 18 new TABSA students, making a total of 40 TABSA students currently studying at UNCW. Since 1999, more than 200 international TABSA students have graduated from UNCW. These students show up in our classes, in study groups, and sometimes on our NCAA athletic teams.

In addition to the dual-degree programs, the CSB has active summer study abroad programs. These programs facilitate summer study abroad opportunities with our TABSA partners and include at least one business core course taught by a CSB faculty person. The trips are in high demand with our students; last summer the total participation in summer study abroad trips to our partner schools was more than 125 students. The CSB also hosts faculty-led study abroad trips to various other locations including Brazil and Australia. One course provides business valuation and marketing experience through an annual consulting project in Prague, Czech Republic.

UNCW and the Cameron School of Business are committed to the internationalization of our campus. Faculty and staff go out of their way to make students feel at home in a new country, with many of them volunteering to be “liaisons” for international students and programs. These faculty members assist incoming and outgoing international students with all of their needs - from advising them on class registration, to picking them up from the airport and hosting year-end celebrations.

One of the best examples of embracing international diversity on campus occurs every Thanksgiving at the home of Cameron faculty member, Tom Simpson, and his wife, Cindy. Hundreds of international students are able to enjoy an American tradition and have a sense of belonging around the holidays. This year’s celebration will mark seven years of the tradition. The turnout has been incredible from the beginning, and continues to grow each year. Last year, 117 students from more than 20 countries feasted on over 136 pounds of turkey. At the end of the night, less than one pound was left!  

The celebration is a true collaboration of the campus community. Ellis Furst, wife of Don Furst, professor in the Department of Art and Art History, is the lead decorator. The students manage the reservations and transportation, decorate, shop with Mrs. Simpson to purchase the turkeys and main dish ingredients, and have cooking teams to prepare the mashed potatoes and green bean casseroles. What better way to show the meaning of this unique American holiday, than by working together to create a beautiful “First Thanksgiving” for our students from around the world.

For 2014-2015, Dr. Robert T. Burrus, Jr. will serve as interim Dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Before taking on the role of interim Dean, Burrus was the department chair for economics and finance and a professor of economics. He has been on Cameron’s faculty since 1998. The Cameron School of Business has 90 full-time faculty members and 29 administrative and staff members. The school hosts approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 170 graduate students. International students come to study at Cameron from all over the world. The Cameron School of Business is AACSB accredited; offers capstone experiences; houses a Financial Trading Markets Room; provides for overseas learning opportunities; and is a founding member of the Trans-Atlantic Business School Alliance. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].

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