With NAFSA's 2019 Annual Conference & Expo just around the corner, the Annual Conference Committee (ACC) is proud to highlight some of the Current Topics Workshops (CTWs) that will be available in Washington, DC. Not only do these workshops enhance and promote the conference theme, "Global Leadership, Learning, and Change", they also provide timely and critical training for international educators.

Over the next few weeks, we will highlight three of the 2019 CTWs that will add tremendous value to your overall NAFSA 2019 experience.  My first interview is with Lauren Moloney-Egnatios, the Assistant Director of the Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership at UC Berkeley. 

Moloney-Egnatios, along with Grace Michel and Jason Patent, bring a wealth of personal and professional expertise, experience, and knowledge to their interactive training on Managing Conflict Across Cultures: Skills for Inclusive Leadership. This workshop debuted at the  Region XII conference, and the ACC is excited to offer this workshop as part of the 2019 annual conference preconference workshop program.

Describe why a workshop on this particular topic is important to the field of international education.

Moloney-Egnatios: Ever-greater political, racial, and national polarization within our communities and on our campuses has introduced new challenges that we, as educators, need to address. One such challenge is the conflict created by this polarization in addition to the day-to-day conflicts that inherently emerge in our line of work.  Successfully and productively managing this conflict requires a creative approach and skill set, so that we may prepare ourselves and our students to effectively communicate and engage across difference.

Who should attend this workshop?

Moloney-Egnatios:  This workshop is designed for any professional in the international education community, from beginner to advanced level, looking to strengthen skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for leading and working effectively and more inclusively across difference.

Tell us how participants will actively engage in the learning this workshop offers.

Moloney-Egnatios: A large portion of the workshop is dedicated to helping international education professionals develop strategies and skills for bridging differences between conflict styles. Through pair work, group discussion, role-plays, short presentations, case studies, interactive theater and other proven techniques, attendees learn by doing. We place emphasis on skill-building with the expectation that attendees will leave with tangible skills and tools that can be applied immediately in their workplace.

What can attendees hope to learn and take back to their offices and colleagues by attending this workshop?

Moloney-Egnatios: Learning more about one's own conflict style and other intercultural conflict styles empowers international educators to practice the intercultural skills they aim to promote in their work by: resolving disagreements with people who approach conflict differently; communicating goals and interests to others more effectively and inclusively; interpreting actions/statements of the other party more accurately; gaining emotional resilience by managing the stress inherent to conflict situations; and making space for cultural diversity in conflict, ultimately creating more inclusive work and learning environments.

NAFSA 2019 Workshops

All of the CTWs at NAFSA 2019 give you the opportunity to engage with leading experts in the field, to expand your knowledge, and walk away with practical applications to further enhance professional growth and development. To learn more about "Managing Conflict Across Cultures: Skills for Inclusive Leadership" and all of the workshop offerings in Washington, DC, check out the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference Preconference Workshops at www.nafsa.org/ac19workshops.

Brad Sekulich is the 2019 NAFSA Annual Conference Committee Workshop Coordinator and the director of office of education abroad at UNC Charlotte.