Want to publish your content on the SIETAR USA blog? See how to submit a blog post for consideration. 

SIETAR USA Member Update: A Retrospective

25 Nov 2019 4:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

SIETAR USA Member Update: A Retrospective

As we enter the last weeks of the year 2019, it is important to look back at the activities of this year. It gives a picture of all that is happening in SIETAR USA and provides a taste of what to look forward to in 2020.

WEBINARS: An exciting series—to be continued!

FEBRUARY: Living Our Values: The SIETAR USA Living Code of Ethical Behavior. Presenter: Kurt Nemes

MARCH: Dispelling Myths About Muslims and Islam: Intercultural Interventions for Pluralism and Inclusion of American Muslims. Presenter: Lubna 'Luby' Ismael

MAY: Making Sense of Russia in the 21st Century. Presenter: Tatyana Fertelmeyster

JUNE: Promoting Age Inclusion in the New Millennium. Presenter: Tamara Thorpe

JULY: Experiencing Civil Rights: My Story. Presenter: Kelli McLoud-Schingen

OCTOBER: Unconscious Bias Training & Implications for Interculturalists. Presenter: Dr. Neal Goodman

NOVEMBER: Personal Leadership. Presenter: Rita Wuebbeler

DECEMBER: Nuevo Mexico’s Mid-Winter Celebrations: A Look at the Intercultural Symbols and Reexamination of the Tri-Cultural Myth. Presenter: Miguel Gandert


A newsletter is a primary benefit of membership, providing news of the association, however, it can be more. This year the newsletter was upgraded to a periodical and given a name: The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA. As a periodical it not only continues the tradition of association news such as conference plans, webinar announcements, local groups activities and the like, but it also offers articles of general interest to people in the Intercultural and Diversity Equity and Inclusion fields. A regular feature is the Bookmarks column, a book review by Craig Storti. He has reviewed books of intercultural fiction, travel, and concepts/theories/applications. He has also developed an author interview, providing readers an insight into the person who wrote the books he reviewed. The Interculturalist Periodical also contains Marketing Tips by Valerie Bath and Training Tips from Thiagi. It has a DEI column by Elmer Dixon. There is an opinion article by an invited interculturalist, which began in January 2019 with an article by Harry Triandis about intercultural researchers and practitioners. Other article writers have been Robert Hayles, Chris Cartwright, Soumaya Khalifa, Stella Ting-Toomey, Carlos Cortes, Mike Tucker, Kathryn Sorrels, Andrej Juriga, George Renwick, Bruce LaBrack, and Alvino Fantini.


2019 was a year that saw some new members join the Board of Directors. The year began with a new Secretary, Justin Sitron and a new Treasurer, Hamilton Cruz. Also new at the beginning of the year was Sherri Tapp, Membership Outreach and Diversity Director. Returning and renewing their commitment to the Board are Julia Gaspar Bates as the Local Groups Director, and Brett Parry, Communication Director. Katerina Salas Natchova joined us mid-year as the Board Leadership Director, and Karen Lokkesmoe is the new Conference Oversight Director. The year began with a new President as well. Sandra Fowler, longtime member of SIETAR starting in 1979, and member of SIETAR USA since its inception in 2000, took over the reins from Holly Emert, currently the Immediate Past President. The monthly Zoom meetings of the Board and the two annual in-person meetings are evidence of a lively group dedicated to the membership of SIETAR USA and to the health of the association.

SIETAR USA ACADEMY: Certification Program in Intercultural Organizational Leadership

The SIETAR USA ACADEMY: Certification Program in Intercultural Organizational Leadership designed by Tatyana Fertelmeyster, was announced at the National Conference in Atlanta. It is a year-long program with an in-service element. The SIETAR USA Leadership Program is proposed as a valuable professional and personal development opportunity for members who are:

  • Interested in deepening their learning about ins and out of intercultural leadership;
  • Are willing to invest their time, effort, and resources in this process;
  • Ready to engage in a 10-month long cohort-based program that will combine:
    • Education and mentoring provided by experienced interculturalists/veterans of SIETAR USA
    • Experiential project-based learning
    • Engagement in the SIETAR USA volunteer activities
    • Ongoing reflection to solidify and deepen their learning

Upon completion of the program and submitting their final summary of experience/reflection papers, participants will receive a SIETAR USA Certificate of Intercultural Leadership Practitioners (additional details TBD).


The 2019 conference held in Atlanta received positive feedback for its presenters and concurrent sessions, invited speakers, and special events. Participants were especially touched by the Fireside Chat with Janet Bennett. She clearly knew what she wanted to say and shared many memories from her past. The Gala Banquet was fun with a number of the attendees wearing masks to celebrate the recent Halloween holiday. Anna Xia was the lucky person to have her business card drawn from the trick-or-treat bucket to win a free registration to the 2020 conference in Omaha. At the closing event, Russanne Bucci was the lucky winner of a free Master Workshop with her bumper sticker: Change Behavior—Change Minds. The Thiagi-inspired activity gave attendees the opportunity to hone their “elevator” response to the question “How was the Conference?” And then whittle it down to a bumper sticker. The activity is described in the Training Tip in this issue.


DATES: 8-11 OCTOBER 2020

From artificial intelligence to cybersecurity to virtual reality, people are adapting to rapidly changing technologies which present challenges to the individual, communities, and society. Please join us in the heartland of America for the SIETAR USA 2020 National Conference to explore the impact of new technologies on the work of interculturalists throughout the world.


  • Mind: Leveraging Neuroscience. Scientists studying the brain have applied their findings to many areas of human interaction. Neuroscience research is increasing our understanding of the mind in such areas as prejudice and bias. What can we learn from them that applies to our work?
  • Culture: Foundational Innovation. The foundation for the work of interculturalists is culture. What is the most recent thinking about culture? What innovative ways have been developed to facilitate people learning about culture? How does culture express itself in the work we do? In the leadership of world organizations?
  • Society: Dynamic Intersections. The impact of social media and the internet on institutions such as education, religion, and politics affects us all. Interculturalists can use modern technology to play an important role in bridging society’s schisms such as: (among others) rural/urban, race, gender, sexual orientation, immigrant/citizen, religion.

Contact Us
P.O. Box 548
Wheaton, IL 60187-4729


Wild Apricot theme design and development by Webbright