A Message from David A. Baron, Chair of the Global Temple Conference Planning Committee
—David Baron, Chair of the Global Temple Conference Planning Committee
Chair of the Global Temple
Conference Planning Committee
On November 17, 2009 the Fourth Annual Global Temple Conference was held at the Howard Gittis Student Center. This day long event showcased the work of over 100 faculty, students and staff from nine of Temple’s colleges and schools. It included presentations and discussions of numerous international projects conducted by members of the Temple family over the past year. The theme of the conference was “Temple in the world. The world at Temple”, and it was one of many events organized across the United States celebrating International Education Week, which ran from November 16th through the 20th. I had the great pleasure of chairing the conference Planning Committee along with Brooke Harrington and an outstanding team of faculty and senior staff, all with a passion for international education.
When asked by the Herald editor to write a brief piece on the event, I was more than happy to oblige. It seemed like a wonderful opportunity to share an overview of the day’s events with faculty and students who were unable to attend. What David requested I write about, however, was not the content of the program, but rather what was it like to work with a committee putting the event together, and what was in it for me. He seemed to be seeking a “process” piece, rather than one focusing on content, as I had anticipated. I must admit, I was somewhat relieved. It would have been very difficult to choose which presentations to highlight, given the consistent high quality of the work, and the depth and breadth of projects presented. Besides, as a psychiatrist, discussing process issues is in my professional comfort zone. So, what was it like putting it together? A real labor of love. As we all know, the joy of working at a university is the daily opportunity to interact with a diverse group of educated people with expertise in many different areas of scholarly pursuit. Being at a university as large as Temple offers opportunities and challenges in taking advantage of this. The obvious advantage is the sheer number of colleagues and students to interact with. The challenge is finding the venue to actually sit down with someone outside of your discipline, college, or school, and get to know them. Being a member of an interdisciplinary planning committee provides an excellent forum to meet and get to know folks. Working off campus at Episcopal Hospital limits my capacity to interact with colleagues outside of the Medical School. I always enjoy the opportunity to make new Temple friends, and hear what’s going on at the mother ship. Working on the Global Temple Planning Committee offered the added bonus of getting to know all that is happening internationally.
It was a source of pride to hear all that our students and faculty are doing globally, beyond our international campuses, and the changing culture taking place on North Broad incorporating a global perspective into the classroom. President Hart and Provost Lisa’s leadership in this area are palpable. The culture change is the result of their commitment to internationalize Temple.
I shared a passion for global education with all the members of the Committee. I believe we learned from each other during our planning meetings, including sharing ideas on how to best collaborate on teaching and research activities here and abroad. Temple has a terrific faculty of talented scholars in virtually every field. It is always a treat to get to meet more of them, and this was no exception. Please join us next year for the 5th Annual Global Temple Conference. You won’t be disappointed.
Special thanks to Denise Connerty and her outstanding staff. The success of the Conference, logistically, was the result of their effort.
Happy, healthy holidays to all!
School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry