President's Address

Dear SIETAR members, friends, and colleagues,

Happy 2018 to each and every one of you! I hope that you have had a wonderful start to this new year. Regardless of the calendar you follow, a new year offers an opportunity to reflect on what has been and can be. While it remains a complex and often troubling time in the United States politically, socially, and otherwise now, SIETAR USA is looking forward to how we can build upon our wonderful conference (see more about the 2017 conference below) to offer more to members and non-members alike in ways that reflect the needs for increased positive rapport among people of all cultures.  
We accomplish our work through the hard work of our volunteers, especially via our Board of Directors. In 2018 we welcome new leaders to the Board. We are so happy to have Sandra (Sandy) Fowler join us as President Elect and Sonya Kaleel as Sponsor Development (S.E.A.) Director. We are also welcoming back for new terms Farzana Nayani in the role of Leadership Development Director and Brett Parry as Communications Director. 
Are you interested in getting involved with SIETAR USA in some way? We have many opportunities for those of you who are new to the field or who are seasoned professionals. Please express your interest in taking part in our activities by emailing We need your participation and support to keep our organization vibrant and relevant so please send us your ideas and get involved! 
Again I wish each and every one of you a wonderful 2018 and on behalf of SIETAR USA, we look forward to working with you this year!

Holly Emert, Ph.D.
SIETAR USA President

Holly Emert


SIETAR USA 2017 Annual Conference Co-Chairs' Comments

Annual Conference

It’s gratifying when the myriad decisions that go into creating a conference turn out well. For people who attended, here are some reminiscences and for those who couldn’t attend, some of the highlights:

The program: The seamless presentation schedule resulted from the work largely of the program chair, Colleen Kelley. She nurtured the presenters from RFP to Presentation. She explained the proposal process as often as needed, sent many reminders, worked with people who needed extra help, designed the schedule, and made sure that all presenters were registered. She even did a subject analysis which she posted on the website so people could arrive with a good idea of what to expect from the program. And finally, she ensured that the presenters received copies of their evaluations.

Pecha KuchaShe was assisted in proposal selection efforts by a great group of reviewers, including the program committee members. The track leaders served as recruiters, reviewers, and advocates, with the track leaders each reviewing every proposal in their track.

The format innovation for this year was the Pecha Kucha sessions that turned out very well—another element to be considered for the future. A premiere showing of Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey with its producer and star: Lisa Liang in person to answer questions, was also a program treat.

Many elements supported, surrounded, complemented, and enhanced the presentation schedule, Creating and populating this infrastructure was the domain of the very hard-working and inspiring conference chairs, Janet Bennett and Sandra Fowler, and the many volunteers who assisted them.

The theme and tracks: Bridges are a good metaphor for what people in the Intercultural and Diversity & Inclusion fields do. Building Bridges with Intercultural Competence became the general category. The tracks provided an opportunity to have a more in-depth look at 3 topics of current importance. Each track was co-chaired by people known for their knowledge and expertise in the track topic. Kelli McLoud-Schingen and Joel Brown, co-chairs of the Healing the Divides track (as it came to be known) were assiduous in ensuring that they only accepted proposals that specifically addressed healing. That gave the track integrity as well as moving many good D&I to the general track. Co-chairs of the Cultural Identity track, Anne Copeland and Barbara Schaetti, were successful in inviting people to submit proposals that would help give that track depth and breadth. Assessing Intercultural Competence was managed by Chris Cartwright and Michael Stevens which resulted in a solid research track and the well-attended Assessment Carousel.

The cast of characters: The session presenters are the core of the conference and the speakers are the frosting on the cake. They gave us something to chew on much more substantial than ganache and were carefully chosen to address relevant issues in our field. The opening keynote speaker, Carlos Cortes, confronted us; “We need to step out of our ideological echo chamber, challenge accepted models, and engage in the passionate conflict of ideas. Plenary SpeakersWe need to join the public discourse and be vibrant, visible and formidable. We need to be willing to “Fail again. Fail better” (provided by Sue Shinomiya). Carlos held a discussion session following his address for people who wanted to continue in a dialog, which would be a good practice to continue. On Friday morning, the three tracks each were represented by a plenary speaker who spoke to the issues and provided even more depth to the tracks. Despite being late due to a traffic jam, Harry Triandis’ Fireside Chat was like having a chat with an icon. The evening with the Mexican Consul General, Ambassador Marcela Celorio, was an unusual highlight event. The closing keynote by Leila Buck was well received. The closing circle activity repeated from last year in Tulsa should become a tradition.

The special events: Several special events added some fun to the conference. Some were traditional and others, not so much. Thiagi’s opening activity got everyone up and moving. The reception in the hotel garden afterward was fun. The Dine Around the next night offered some interesting restaurants, but it was a bit complicated by the fact that only one restaurant was in walking distance, although everyone seemed to manage OK. One of the highlights was the Sake Tasting hosted by members of SIETAR Japan that preceded the Gala Banquet. Who knew that sake has so many different strengths and tastes! The hotel outdid itself with the buffet and DJ Art gave the dancers an evening of exercise to music. The wellness activities attracted a good group of early risers.

The hotel: The Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley is a good example of a “SIETAR USA Hotel” because it fostered mingling throughout the day. Having the conference center on the grounds meant that people could easily get to the sessions, find folks they wanted to see, and enjoy lunches and breaks with people they wanted to be with. The food was exceptional, both in taste and in presentation. The items were clearly labeled and special needs received attention. The friendly, helpful hotel staff received many compliments as well.

In conclusion: In many ways the conferences are SIETAR USA’s reason for being. They provide the forum that the founders envisioned, where researchers and practitioners can meet and mingle their ideas and needs. The 17th annual conference did that and we thank everyone who had a part in it from the committee to the attendees to the volunteers and beyond.

Janet Bennett                    Sandy Fowler

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2017 Margaret D. Pusch Founders Award Recipients

Jack CondonJohn "Jack" Condon, Ph.D. was presented with the 2017 Margaret D. Pusch Founders Award at the San Diego Annual Conference on October 21. Condon is a co-founder of SIETAR International.

"Jack has demonstrated a lifetime of the highest quality commitment and impassioned service to the intercultural field; his textbooks and teaching birthed our field," stated Diane Saphiere in her nomination. "He has taught for five decades, influencing almost every interculturalist worldwide. Regents Professor of Communications at the University of New Mexico, founding faculty member of SIIC, researcher and educator in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Tanzania and the USA, and founder of the Jemez Institute, Jack’s influence is vast."

Gary WeaverGary R. Weaver, Ph.D. was also honored, receiving the Pusch Award posthumously. In his nomination, Ray Leki stated: "Dr. Weaver’s contributions to the field are immeasurable. For almost a half century, Dr. Weaver trained, enlightened and inspired generations of students and professionals at American University who continue to use their intercultural competence in every avenue and in every corner of the Earth. He trained legions of Foreign Service Officers and family members, and countless other government officials in the basics of intercultural awareness and communication. He chaired and was on dissertation committees for scores of doctoral candidates who continue to contribute to the field. His textbooks became a mainstay of countless academic programs throughout the world."

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2018 Board of Directors

Congratulations to the following on their elections to the SIETAR USA Board:

  • Sandra Fowler - 2018 President-Elect, who will serve as 2019-20 President
  • Sonya Kaleel - Sponsor Development (S.E.A.) Director, 2018-2020
  • Farzana Nayani - Leadership Development Director, 2018-2020
  • Brett Parry - Communications Director, 2018-20

Click here to read more about our new Board members. Please click here to see the entire 2018 Board roster.

Patricia ColemanOn behalf of the Board, thank you to our outgoing Board members for their service. Patricia Malidor-Coleman served as Past President in 2017. Prior to that, she served as society President from 2015-16 and President-Elect in 2014.

Ishani BaruahAlso leaving the Board is Ishani Baruah. She served as Sponsor Development (S.E.A.) Director from 2015-17. Congratulations and thank you to Ishani for her stellar leadership in raising over $18,000 in sponsorships, exhibitors and advertisers at the San Diego Annual Conference, as well as over $3,800 in scholarships from the Silent Auction.

Yulia Carson
Professional Development Director Yulia Carson recently resigned from her Board position. SIETAR USA will send out information about this and other open positions soon.


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President-Elect's Letter

Dear Colleagues:

It was nice to wake up on January 1st 2018 and realize that I was officially SIETAR USA’s 8th President Elect. I look forward to a year of supporting our current president in her second presidential year. I see my job this year as making it the best year for Holly that it can be. I also look forward to working with the Board to set an agenda for SIETAR USA that is responsive to the members and contributes to the intercultural and D&I fields. I would also like to help SIETAR USA chart a course in response to Carlos Cortes when in his Keynote Address he challenged us to engage in difficult dialogs instead of operating in an echo chamber, talking only to people who think just like us.
I’ve been a member of SIETAR since 1979, so I have a keen interest in SIETAR history and would very much like to find someone who could take on the role of SIETAR USA historian. We could work together to develop a way of archiving the documents and making them accessible for people who have an interest in how SIETAR USA came to be the way it is today.
Please consider contacting me if you have any questions and suggestions. You can reach me at I look forward to hearing from you!

Sandra Fowler
President-Elect, SIETAR USA
Sandra Fowler

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News from SIETAR USA Local Groups

In recent months, local groups have begun to form a stronger community to leverage their offerings and increase membership. At the SIETAR USA conference in October several coordinators of the groups met to get to know each other and to brainstorm ways to collaborate more together. Additionally, there are quarterly calls providing check-ins and to generate new ideas.
SIETAR-Minnesota members have enjoyed fall monthly meetings on the topics of Creative Experiential Activities for a Changing World, Changing People, Changing Times; How to Make an Exchange Program from Scratch; and Building Bridges through the Arts with Blackout Improv and One Voice Mixed Chorus/Transgender Voices Festival. For their December meeting, they resurrected a tradition of engaging together in a community service project - this time informally gathering to share holiday traditions and treats while putting together "care bags" for homeless folks we encounter while going about our daily lives. The Planning Board is exploring ways to offer some of our monthly meetings virtually and is interested in collaborating with other local SIETAR groups.
SIETAR DC will be launching its revamped website soon. They are also updating its membership database which will facilitate better communication and engagement with potential and current members. The plan to bring together former advisors and members for a brainstorming meeting to resuscitate the local group soon.
Ohio Interculturalists (not yet officially affiliated with SIETAR) have set up a Facebook page and are beginning to get some traction. Given the geographic distance of the organizers of this new local group, they are still trying to work out the logistics on best ways to host meetings with the hopes of promoting their first meeting this spring.
SIETAR San Diego will be hosting its first meeting in January following the momentum built after the conference to resuscitate this local group. They have secured a venue and sent out two survey to people throughout California in the hopes of including interculturalists throughout the state.
SIETAR Mid-Atlantic (not yet an official SIETAR group) in Philadelphia is starting to form, and hopes to have a launch meeting by spring. They are interested in creating a calendar of options for both virtual and face-to-face gatherings that can connect potential members from Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs, including neighboring parts of NJ and Delaware. They are especially focused on advancing intercultural competence through integrating the international and domestic diversity efforts, identifying our common goals and learning from one another to build an inclusive and globally-minded hub in our area.
Atlanta Interculturalists (not officially affiliated with SIETAR) organized an end-of-year potluck and silent auction and will host its first educational meeting of the year in February on
Unpacking the Bicultural Family: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. 
SIETAR Florida Program Officers met last month and are moving forward with a plan to launch programming in person and online (live and recorded). They are tapping into members' expertise and are excited about the topics. They plan to use this as a tool to share among our members, other local groups and the community, with the hope that through their programming they can gain further momentum, broadcast their expertise and in the process increase their membership base.

SIETAR Pacific Northwest has decide to stop all activities for the time being.
For more information on starting or joining a local group, please contact

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Calls for Proposals and Papers

SIETAR Japan World Congress

SIETAR Japan invites colleagues to submit session proposals for the SIETAR JAPAN World Congress on August 8-11, 2018. The theme is "Facing Uncertain Times Together: Strengthening Intercultural Connections. The submission deadline is January 31, 2018. Click here for session proposal information and submission form.

White Privilege Conference

The journal of Understanding & Dismantling Privilege is seeking papers on the topic of race, racial oppression, and racial privilege that utilize Critical Content Analysis (CCA) as a methodological approach to research. CCA is a form of textual analysis with a critical “stance of locating power in social practices in order to challenge conditions on inequity…Critical content analysis makes the researcher’s stance explicit and public to readers of that research” (Short, 2017, p. 1 & 5). This special issue will feature research studies (not reflections on texts or creative pieces) looking critically at a variety of texts with implications for addressing racism, racial oppression, and racial inequity. The submission deadline is January 31, 2018. Click here for more information.

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New Publication


International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication (3-volume set)

An official publication of the International Communication Association, The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication is a comprehensive and authoritative reference book with a distinctively interdisciplinary and international reach. This work is aimed at serving the needs of undergraduate and graduate students as well as for academic researchers and professional practitioners of intercultural communication around the world.
This 3-volume encyclopedia features 256 articles written by 249 authors (including 57 coauthors) residing in 29 different countries in all continents. The work employs a broadly-based taxonomy of intercultural communication that consists of six organizing themes. These themes are the traditional “intercultural communication” core theme and five associated themes recognized as “cross-cultural communication,” “cultural communication,” “intergroup communication,” “intercultural training,” and “critical intercultural communication.”
These articles address issues, theories, and concepts that have substantively contributed to the development of intercultural communication as a sub-discipline of communication; methodological issues of importance to intercultural communication theory and research, and summaries of findings from original studies directly pertaining to the intercultural communication domain. Each area includes articles written by scholars outside the discipline of communication, such as cross-cultural psychology, cultural anthropology, social psychology, and linguistics.

Print version:
Online version:

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Thought You Should Know

February 17-18, 2018 - SIETAR India 6th International Conference
February 22-23, 2018 - Intercultural Learning Conference keynoted by Dr. R. Michael Paige. SIETAR members receive 50% discount off conference registration through February 2nd.

March 13-16, 2018 - Winter Institute for Intercultural Communication
March 23-24, 2018 - SIETAR Australasia 2018 Annual Conference
April 4-17 - WPC19 Grand Rapids
April 26-27, 2018 - International Congress Europe as a Space for Intercultural Dialogue and Mediation
August 8-11, 2018 - SIETAR Japan World Congress

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January 31 - Tu B'Shevat 
February 14 - Valentine's Day
February 14 - Maha Shivarati 
February 16 - Chinese New Year
February 19 - Presidents' Day (U.S.)
February 28 - Purim

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