Kellogg Faculty Fellow Elizabeth "Liddy" Tuleja is returning to China on a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award. From August 2017 to June 2018, she will teach courses in intercultural communication and global leadership at Sichuan University in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in Western China.
She joins more than 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research and/or provide expertise in 160 countries for the 2017–18 academic year. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and demonstrated leadership.
An associate teaching professor of management, Tuleja joined the Mendoza College of Business in 2009, teaching intercultural communication to undergraduate, MBA and Executive MBA students. Additionally, she leads an undergraduate summer program for Notre Dame students in Shanghai, and formerly led the Notre Dame MBA interterm program in China for several years.
With an MSEdu and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, she has held professorships at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
"Receiving a Fulbright has been a dream of mine,” says Tuleja, whose interest in international life began as a child when her family welcomed foreign missionaries into their home. “I am deeply honored, excited and appreciative.”
She is committed to adjusting her teaching approach for the benefit of the Sichuan University students.
“In the East, teaching and learning are dialogic. You don't see as much ‘either/or’ thinking as you do in the United States. In China, it’s more like having a dialogue, trying to figure things out and comprehending the qualities of each side in order to understand something.
“For Sichuan University students, I’m going to have to figure out how can I present information about cultural understanding in more a dialogic versus linear perspective. This approach is about viewing difference as something to be celebrated rather than something that is problematic. I’m really looking forward to that challenge.”
As a business professor, Tuleja sees intercultural communication as a critical skill as business continues to become increasingly global.
She also will continue ongoing research focused on enabling students to understand the elusive nature of culture. “Exploring Cultural Identity Through Metaphor Analysis: Building Trust Via Cultural Dialogue with Chinese University Students” uses visual images as a starting point for students to write about what culture means to them.
"Understanding culture is an antecedent to doing business,” Tuleja explains. “You can know all the functional aspects of international business. But if you don’t know how to develop relationships and understand people based upon their norms and behavior and what they expect from you, then you’re not going to be as successful.”
First published at mendoza.nd.edu.