CCPS faculty foster global cooperative education with Taiwan initiative

Visit enhances global partnerships between UC and Taiwanese universities, industries

Gwen Roemer and Nadia Ibrahim-Taney, both assistant professors and educators in the UC College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies, have taken a significant step towards enhancing global cooperative education and career development opportunities through a strategic initiative in Taiwan. Funded by the University of Cincinnati International Incentive Grants program and the College of Cooperative Education & Professional Studies, they aimed to develop collaborative international learning opportunities that would bridge academic and industry gaps between Taiwan and the United States.

Successful eight-day visit to Taipei, Taiwan

Faculty holding signs in front of doors at Office of International Affairs at Ming Chi University of Technology

Professors Ibrahim-Taney Roemer with Alen Fiol, Division Chief, Division of Global Cooperation & Exchange, Office of International Affairs at Ming Chi University of Technology. Photo/provided.

A recent eight-day trip to Taipei marked a pivotal moment for the initiative. Assistant Professors Roemer and Ibrahim-Taney engaged with strategic partners, employers, alumni, and students to strengthen cooperative education and career development pathways.

“The productive meetings we engaged in with faculty, alumni, and employers have provided us with strong indications that we can not only enhance co-op opportunities in Taiwan, but also create opportunities for project-based work within the classroom. We are confident in our ability to create additional avenues for growth and development,” said Roemer.

The delegation included several distinguished alumni and industry leaders such as: Joe Chu, PhD ’94, general manager at Primax Electronics; Mr. Eric Chen, MS, ’79, vice chairman of Sampo Corporation; Mr. Oliver Lin MDes, ‘93, vice president of the Taiwan Design Research Institute; and Jerry Pan, MS ’85, PhD ’91, senior director of Compal Electronics.  

Conversations with UC faculty and these leaders focused on enhancing students' global competencies and career readiness through valuable industry insights and potential career opportunities leveraging Taiwan’s advanced manufacturing and technology-based economy.

Student and faculty engagement

Faculty and  students hold a UC banner and signs at Ming Chi University of Technology

Professors Ibrahim-Taney and Roemer with students from the International MBA program at Ming Chi University of Technology with their design thinking deliverables from a class lecture we gave. Photo/provided.

The UC team connected with eight students from the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) currently studying in Taiwan and engaged with faculty from National Taipei University of Technology and Ming Chi University of Technology. These interactions were aimed at fostering academic exchange and enhancing the cooperative education model.

“Gaining firsthand insight into the experiences of our CEAS students in Taiwan during the summer semester was incredibly valuable. We now have a deeper understanding of the co-op opportunities there, which will allow us to better promote this unique experience to other students,” said Roemer.

“The main goal of our trip was to consider how the University of Cincinnati could potentially foster comprehensive global partnerships with Taiwanese universities and industries,” Ibrahim-Taney said. Potential activities include partnering UC and Taiwanese universities in real-world projects to prepare students for the workforce, promoting collaborative research and innovation between UC and Taiwanese faculty, and partnering with the Taiwan Design Research Institute to foster interdisciplinary research and co-op opportunities within UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).

Additionally, the College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies is open to hosting study tours for Taiwanese students to promote academic and cultural exchange and facilitating guest lectures to enhance interdisciplinary dialogue and academic experience. These efforts aim to enhance cooperative education and career development opportunities for students and faculty alike.

Next steps

Roemer and Ibrahim-Taney will start the journey of creating a career readiness course this summer that integrates global competencies curriculum, mentorship from international industry leaders, and hands-on, cross-discipline project work that will count as a co-op rotation for students in Computing-based majors at UC. They will leverage a well-established European model called COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning).

“This pedagogical model involves students and professors from different countries working together to learn, discuss, and collaborate as part of their class. COIL is a type of virtual exchange that uses online technology to facilitate student collaboration and increase intercultural competence that perfectly fits the model of cooperative education learning outcomes and what students want from experiential learning initiatives,” Ibrahim-Taney said.

Strengthening tomorrow's leaders

Professors Ibrahim-Taney and Roemer stand with alumni in front of Primax Electronics Company sign.

Professors Ibrahim-Taney and Roemer with alumni at Primax Electronics Company visit. Photo/provided.

This initiative has laid a robust foundation for future collaboration, underscoring the importance of global partnerships in enhancing academic and professional development. UC’s commitment to fostering global competencies and career readiness among its students is poised to yield long-term benefits, contributing to the university's international strategic goals.

“We aren’t preparing our students to work only in Ohio, but we must think globally and competitively. International learning opportunities, when combined with local industry-based co-op rotations, really position our students as globally competent leaders prepared for whatever the changing market demands of them now and into the future,” added Ibrahim-Taney.


A special thanks

Additional thanks would like to be given to the following individuals for their immeasurable guidance, knowledge sharing, and willingness to assist in this initative: Oxana Prokhorova, director, global and corporate engagement development director, Industry 4.0/5.0 Institute, UC College of Engineering & Applied Science; Jenni Sutmoller, executive director of international strategic partnerships, UC International; Chris Cooper and Erik Alanson, interim unit heads, UC College of Cooperative Education & Professional Studies; Dr. Sheng-Tung Huang, chairman of operations center of Industry-Academia Collaboration, National Taipei University of Technology; and Dr. Jau-Rong Chen (Kelly), IMBA director, associate professor, College of Management & Design, Ming Chi University of Technology.

Featured top image: Professors Ibrahim-Taney and Roemer with alumni at the Taiwan Design Research Institute Company Visit. Photo/provided.

Story contributed by assistant professors Gwen Roemer and Nadia Ibrahim-Taney.

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