Experiential / Reality-based Learning / October 13, 2014

$1M Grant Fuels Global Focus at UMD’s Smith School

CIBER Funding to Support Baltimore-DC Businesses 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Oct. 13, 2014) — A new $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education will fund the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business through 2018. The four-year award will support a variety of global enrichment opportunities for students and faculty, including continuation of the center’s annual Emerging Markets Forum in Washington, D.C. 

Other grant-funded initiatives will be new, including the launch of developmental seminars for regional businesses in 2015. “We have easy access to many global resources in Washington, D.C.,” said Smith Professor Kislaya Prasad, academic director of the school’s CIBER since 2009. “We will help the business community tap into these resources and develop an outward perspective toward the world.” 

The Smith School received previous CIBER grants in 2006 and 2010, but Prasad said competition intensified in 2014 as the number of recipients dropped from 33 to 17. Other CIBER campuses in the Big Ten include Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State universities. 

Smith’s winning proposal outlined activities in six categories, starting with international fellowships and consulting projects for students. “For our students to succeed, we need to give them global perspectives,” Prasad said. “You can talk all you want in the classroom, but the best thing you can do is put students in an overseas environment.” 

CIBER will be embedded in the school's already active Office of Global Initiatives (OGI), which designs and implements all of the school's global programs. “The Smith School is committed to providing our students with opportunities to apply the skills they learn in the classroom to professional or pre-professional experiences,” said OGI Director Rebecca Bellinger, who helped draft the grant proposal with Prasad and others. “By adding the international element, we support students in developing their global mindset and intercultural competency  that many of today's employers are actively seeking in new recruits.” 

CIBER’s other areas of emphasis at Smith will include the new business seminars, faculty and PhD research, workshops for faculty of other institutions, coordination of a scholar in residence and campus speakers, and international assignments for Smith faculty. 

Prasad said the entire Smith community benefits when faculty members study abroad. “Our professors can broaden their own perspectives and then bring that knowledge back into their classrooms,” he said. 

Congress created the CIBER initiative under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to further international understanding and to enhance the ability of US businesses to prosper in the world economy. Smith’s grant proposal was titled “The Rise of New Economic Powers and America’s Competitive Future.”

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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