Belmont University’s College of Business Administration (COBA) was recently awarded more than $188,000 in federal grant monies to enhance international business education at Belmont University and to sponsor international business and trade activities in Nashville.
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the Nashville Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce supported the grant efforts. Belmont will use the grant to partner with these organizations to present seminars and workshops on various international topics to the greater Nashville business community along with support for international business research and analysis.
The Title VI Grant was made through the Business and International Education (BIE) Program of the U.S Department of Education. The grant proposal, titled “Collaborating to Equip Belmont and Nashville for the Dynamic Global Economy,” received BIE funding over a two-year period which began August 1.
The grant and proposed initiatives are spearheaded by Dr. Jeffrey Overby, director of international business programs and associate professor of marketing at Belmont University. “This is certainly a great honor for Belmont University,” Overby said. “However, it is even more significant that it will allow us to foster a stronger international outlook among students, faculty and the greater Nashville community. Thinking internationally is no longer an option in today’s business environment; it is a necessity.”
Dave Berryman, chairman of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Council, said, “The Nashville area has a strong worldwide reputation for music; now we need to build the region’s reputation as an international destination for business. The grant that Belmont has received will go a long way in making this possible.”
BIE funds will finance five key initiatives:
1) Internationalize Belmont’s current curriculum across the board by investing in faculty expertise development and course enhancement
2) Develop study abroad opportunities and co-curricular activities in order to foster a global mindset among students and faculty
3) Develop international career and internship opportunities for Belmont’s COBA students
4) Serve and educate the greater Nashville business community to increase global awareness and build trade expertise
5) Enable the development of a higher profile for International Business at Belmont to facilitate connections with the Nashville and international business community
Belmont University’s College of Business Administration (COBA) has strengthened its international focus since Dean J. Patrick Raines arrived on campus in 2003. Under Raines’ leadership, the COBA adopted a mission focused on three key differentiators – ethics, entrepreneurship and international. Not only does the COBA now offer an undergraduate International Business major, but The Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business is one of the few part-time graduate schools in the United States to require an international trip for its business and accounting students. The BIE grant provides additional resources that will be used to further strengthen its international focus and reputation.
Dean Raines said, “The BIE grant will give COBA students and faculty an opportunity to gain a wider view of the world. Understanding global business is essential to be competitive in a ‘flat’ world and graduates frequently report that studying abroad was their single-most life-changing experience.”
In addition to Overby and Raines, the grant proposal and related initiatives are supported by team of key faculty members that includes Dr. Howard Cochran, Dr. Marieta Velikova and Jose Gonzalez.