Four international graduate students studying Communication Management at Emerson presented a panel discussion at the National Communication Association (NCA) 96th Annual Convention. “Building Bridges” was held November 14–17 in San Francisco.
Communication Studies visiting Assistant Professor Angela Cooke-Jackson moderated the panel, “Roadblocks and Bridges Negotiating Culture and Identity: Using Co-cultural Theory to Explain International Female Graduate Students as the ‘Outsider Within.’” The panel included: Akosua Kwaa, MA ’11, from Ghana; Maha Alshoaibi, MA ’12, from Saudi Arabia; Jing Wang, MA ’11, from Chengdu, China; Ada Renedo, MA ’11,from Barcelona, Spain.
“This was quite an honor for them as the NCA is the largest national organization to promote communication scholarship and education, and for that reason it can be challenging to get panels accepted.”
Alshoaibi said she was grateful for the opportunity. “The panel taught international students to be more flexible in their communication approaches when dealing with different cultures and to put a positive foot forward, knowing that people might have misconceptions about who we are from the media,” she said.
Alshoaibi also thought that American students benefited from the panel discussion because it helped them to “understand the challenges that we and people like us go through to be accepted in a new culture.”
“I think it helped [the American students] understand the message to get closer and not be afraid to approach us and to learn more about us. Taking equal steps in knowing and learning about each other will create balanced and solid relationships,” Alshoaibi said.