As we begin a new year, the SIETAR USA Board of Directors welcomes a new member, Michele Hanna, PhD., MSW who has been elected to serve as the Board Leadership Development Director. Dr. Hanna's scholarship and career in higher education includes extensive work in social work, student support, qualitative research, intercultural competence, the Intercultural Developmental Inventory (IDI), and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Dr. Hanna is a dedicated educator whose passion is working with others and helping cultivate future leaders. One of the things that brings her joy in her work is being able to help people become the best that they can be. She has a wealth of experience in working with different people to help them identify what brings them joy, draw out their strengths, and guide them into positions that match their skills and interests. Therefore, Dr. Hanna is a natural fit for her new role as the Board Leadership Development Director.
Dr. Hanna first heard about SIETAR USA several years ago through her long-time friend and colleague in the field, Dr. Sherri Tapp. Dr. Hanna first connected with SIETAR USA in 2019 when she presented a session about the IDI at the conference in Atlanta. The conference was the perfect opportunity for her to attend educational sessions, meet many SIETAR USA members and Board members, and talk with people also interested in the fields of DEI and intercultural competence. Throughout the conference, she enjoyed conversing with people, all of whom were at different points in their intercultural competence journeys and careers. Her conference involvement and positive experience are what confirmed her interest and desire to join SIETAR USA, and become even more involved.
Like many SIETARians, Dr. Hanna is a people-person with a love of learning and facilitating. She is looking forward to working with and learning more about her fellow Board members, the Board’s organizational culture, its history, its different roles and committees, its expectations and vision, and the hopes and goals of the President Elect, Brett Perry. One of Dr. Hanna's hopes is to help the board represent the organization’s mission - diverse cultural leadership – because it is important to have different voices on the Board. She would like to cultivate new and future leaders from membership who represent diverse voices.
Over the course of her career, Dr. Hanna has had many different leadership and administrative roles. So, she firmly believes that serving on a board or committee is a great experience for all people to have. Taking on a committee or leadership role with SIETAR USA helps members to hone their intercultural competency skills, strengthens the organization, and further develop the fields of intercultural competency and DEI. For any SIETARians who might be thinking about or interested in getting more involved with the organization, Dr. Hanna has some great advice. If you’re interested, speak up and talk to the SIETAR USA leadership (i.e., SIETAR USA committee members and those in leadership roles). Even if someone might not be ready or interested in being on the Board now, there are still many other options besides leadership roles – and Dr. Hanna is looking forward to helping members discover the best fit for themselves and SIETAR USA.
Written by: Emily Kawasaki