Ferris State University School of Digital Media faculty members Glen Okonoski and Marty Lier traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, in early November, to attend and present at the 2013 Creative Economies Summit.
The conference began with a reception that was followed by two days of sessions and panels with presentations related to creative endeavors and partnerships between Turkish and American businesses and educational institutions.
“Traveling to Istanbul and experiencing the culture there, while meeting with my contemporaries in Turkey as well as other presenters from around Michigan and the world, was tremendous,” said Okonoski, a Television and Digital Media Production associate professor who also serves as coordinator of the School of Digital Media. “We also visited with many Turkish universities and I had the opportunity to meet with peers who were teaching video and digital media production. It was very interesting to tour their facilities, meet with some of their students, see their work and discuss approach with the faculty.”
Okonoski wanted to represent Ferris as a globally-minded institution while showcasing School of Digital Media programs in addition to Michigan business and student exchange programs. Another goal of the trip was to help lay the groundwork for Ferris to build collaborative relationships that could translate into opportunities for student exchange by opening doors, at Ferris, for Turkish students and study-abroad possibilities for Ferris students.
Okonoski and Lier were invited to participate in the conference. Also invited to present were Lier and representatives from Kendall College of Art and Design. Okonoski presented on a panel titled, “Cross-Cultural Challenges in Doing Business,” with his focus titled, “Building Relationships and Engaging Locally.”
“I basically discussed high-context vs. low-context cultures when it comes to communication as I shared some stories about intensive business travel I did, internationally, when I worked for Amway Corporation,” Okonoski said. “The conference as a whole was very informative and the panel I participated on was well-received.”
Ferris’ School of Digital Media includes Digital Animation and Game Design, Digital Media Software Engineering, and Television and Digital Media Production.