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  • 28 Feb 2022 9:17 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    From Chris Taylor Cartwright


    Old paint on canvas, as it ages, sometimes becomes transparent.  When that happens it is possible, in some pictures, to see the original lines: a tree will show through a woman’s dress, a child makes way for a dog, a large boat is no longer on an open sea. That is called pentimento because the painter "repented," changed his mind.  Perhaps it would be as well to say that the old conception, replaced by a later choice, is a way of seeing and then seeing again. (Hellman, 1973)

    I return to this opening quote from Lillian Hellman’s memoir, “Pentimento” whenever someone close to me passes away. It serves for the reflection that I need to recollect and compose my thoughts about these people and the imprint they have had on my life.

    The Master Trainer-of-Trainers

    Janet Bennett was a master trainer-of-trainers. Many knew that she excelled at intercultural training in a very engaging interactive style. But few knew that she had a separate and quite impactful career away from intercultural work in the field of Adult Education. From roughly 1987 until 2018, Janet was a faculty member in the Portland State University, Training and Development (T&D) Certification program. I had the rare and frankly intimidating role of being the coordinator of that program for 12 years and—in name only—her boss.

    A colleague Glen Fahs was responsible for me meeting Janet. The City of Portland wanted us to find them a Diversity Trainer. Glen recommended Janet, we met briefly, outlined a contract, which she delivered flawlessly; the workshop evaluations were the best our Center had ever had. I was struck by her unique clothing and manner. Having moved to the West Coast from Cambridge, MA her brightly patterned and flowing tops accompanied by bold jewelry was very different from the wool suits and pearls the women trainers I’d worked with in the Boston area wore. But she got great results and I was clearly in a new part of the country in more ways than one. Soon afterward I moved to Portland State University and Glen was a reference for me and so pleased that I’d get to work with Janet. … ‘The woman with the flowing tie-dyed tops and big jewelry’ I asked?

    My first day of work was the T&D Program Graduation ceremony and I was to shadow my predecessor through the evening to see what was expected of me. I was immediately struck by how much esteem the graduates and her fellow faculty members had for Janet. She facilitated a series of testimonials on what stood out for them in the program and every single person mentioned Janet’s courses and how they’d learned how to train by simply observing her in action.

    As a manager of training and at this juncture of academic programs, it was my practice to personally introduce the faculty and observe them start their sessions. With Janet’s course I was literally mesmerized, I stayed for the full 2.5-hour first session. I had never seen anyone welcome learners, negotiate the learning contract, engage with them, and get them engaging with each other in such a seamless and elegant way. Janet and her frequent co-trainer, Michael Paige used to call this ‘setting the learning container’; it is an intriguing concept and phrase. It remains a rare and precious gift many of us have witnessed and aspired to replicate. What is the phrase? Imitation is the highest form of flattery—I believe that many of us flatter her daily in trying to replicate her ability to welcome and engage learners.

    I decided a couple years into my tenure to actually take the courses in the T&D Program and learn first-hand what was going on in this wildly popular program. As I sat down after introducing Janet to the opening class, I involuntarily found myself folding & then unfolding my note paper into 3 vertical columns; the 2 on the left were for notes on the content that she offered, the 3rd column on the right was for tracking her process. When was she doing a ‘lecturrette’ (one of her favorite terms), versus a group exercise and what were the prompts? Soon she revealed that she was a devotee of David Kolb’s Learning Styles and Cycle.  All of us got to take the Learning Styles Inventory (LSI) to better understand our own learning preferences, but more importantly, to analyze the preferences of our learners. Much has been written on the veracity of learning styles (Kolb’s and others) in the years since, but most scholars agree that varying learning approaches supports better retention of learning. Janet would walk the Learning Cycle like clockwork; I could set my watch and she would move around through at least 3 distinct learning styles or modalities every 45 minutes! She always included ‘reflection’ in the cycle—she never missed it. It was mindboggling how deftly she danced with her learners.

    Later she taught us to consider how we initiate and sequence our instruction to both challenge and support our learners to higher levels of competency—always with the focus on who the learners were and their unique needs. She modeled for us that to be our most authentic trainer we were to serve our learners first and the let the curricular outcome follow. I realized that she was modeling best practices of adult education while she was revealing them. I used to say to the T&D students that watching Janet Bennet teach has like watching a Shakespearian play that you experience on multiple levels simultaneously.  She would quiz the learners about their needs while teaching them about Needs Assessment; she diagramed her own learning objectives while teaching them to write them; she shared her own vulnerabilities while asking them to support their learners with their own; she cajoled her learners to author their learned competencies and to guide their own learners to do the same. It was sheer artistry!

    After completing the T&D Certification and partnering with her on several different platforms over the years, I was honored to be asked to join the ICI Team as Director of Intercultural Assessment. There I got to design intercultural learning with her. She had exacting standards, was meticulous with details, and focused on instructional design outlines like no one I’ve ever known. She hated PowerPoint and loved to hand out a scholarly article that revealed the negative impacts of Power Point on learning retention. She loved handouts and copyright-cleared, readings packets—well after most of the world had gone digital. She and her executive assistants would compile and polish these packets of materials that were abundant (at times overwhelming) but always on-point. As I strive to declutter my home office, I have tossed many items—but never a Janet Bennett training package. They are just too priceless to part with.

    Janet’s foundational work in the field of intercultural communication is remarkable. Few have been more impactful, both for fellow trainers, as well to individual learners. I am convinced that one of the many reasons that Janet has had the influence that she has had is because she was a devoted student of and practitioner of adult education. She mastered the art of establishing an inclusive environment, developing an attitude of openness to learning, supporting the enhancement of meaning, and finally engendering competence in her learners and this competency continues to ripple through the fields of Training and Development and Intercultural Competence and will do so for generations to come.

    I’ll close with a Poem that was read at the celebration of life service of the author, Evelyn Perkins Ames. I feel is sums up the ways that Janet bought so many of us together, across difference and disciplines of all kinds.

    The Web

    (On finding an Orb’s Spider Web on a foggy morning)

    Something keeps connecting

    Those of like heart and mind –

    Whoever they are, however

    Many latitudes and longitudes apart;

    They are joined

    The threads, invisible

    As air, quiver with life –

    Resilient, strong –

    Like spiders’ gossamer that sags with dew,

    Gets rain-pelted and yanked

    By wind, yet does not tear

    Whatever it is weaves

    Us together, the web embraces

    And surrounds the world.


    Ames, Evelyn Perkins, (1990); A Service in Celebration of the Life of Evelyn Perkins Ames, Cathedral of St. John the Devine, NY, NY

    Hellman, Lillian, (1973); Pentimento: A Book of Portraits. Little, Brown and Company

  • 28 Feb 2022 9:13 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    From Melissa Liles: Institute for Developing Across Differences

    On a sorrowful note, we bid farewell to IDD Honorary Patron, mentor, and friend, Janet Bennett, PhD. Widely recognized as the “keeper of the field,” she not only shaped intercultural communication as an area of study and practice but also personally touched the lives of thousands of peers. In one of my last conversations with Janet in December (click for details), she shared that despite—indeed because of—the divisive times we find ourselves in today, it was crucial that work she so relentlessly championed carry on. The wisdom that she shared with the IDD will guide us forward. We hope, in our own way, to pay tribute and do justice to her legacy. And, as details about a virtual memorial service are finalized, we will share these.


    From Bettina Szkudlarek on behalf of ION

    Few individuals were ever able to contribute to, inspire, and bring together the world of research, education, and industry so skillfully on a global scale. Thousands of people all around the globe are mourning the loss of one of the most significant contributors to the field of intercultural communication, Dr. Janet Bennett.

    Fortunately, Janet's impact went well beyond the field of intercultural communication. She was a beloved member of the International Organizational Network (ION), which is composed of International Business scholars working in business schools around the globe. Her expertise, intellectual curiosity, wit, and ability to unite interdisciplinary perspectives produced unforgettable insights, rollicking debates, and constructive dialogue. Many IB scholars supplemented their training with the educational opportunities Janet provided at the Intercultural Communication Institute, hoping one day to replicate at least a fraction of the positive impact she made. 

    Thank you, Janet, for sharing your wisdom, passion, and contagious energy with the intercultural community and beyond! You live in the hearts, minds, and work of all of us! 


    In memory of Dr. Janet M. Bennett,

    By Eriko Katsumata and Kiyoko Sueda, Aoyama Gakuin University

    On behalf of Aoyama Gakuin University, we would like to dedicate this memorial to Dr. Janet M. Bennett. We were surprised and saddened by the news of Dr. Bennett’s sudden demise. She was an extraordinary person and an indispensable professor for us at Aoyama Gakuin University. It is difficult for us to go through this period of grief.

    We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Bennett for her contribution to and influence on the students of Aoyama Gakuin University, particularly the Department of International Politics, Economics and Communication.

    From 2014 to 2018, she organized a two-week short-term study abroad program called “We Love Oregon” for undergraduate students at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC). The program was excellent; it included classes on intercultural communication and understanding, and learning about the American culture, particularly Portland culture. Dr. Bennett wanted to introduce the American culture from a person’s birth to their grave, and she did so with the help of various unique and innovative activities. The students considered them as the most educational and intense two weeks of their lives. This program changed the future of many students, some of whom went on to study abroad or established international careers, while others furthered their language studies.

    Dr. Bennett also taught an intensive course for graduate, and 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students, which brought her to Aoyama Gakuin University during the summer or spring break. Those students who were able to take her course expressed that they had always read her articles. However, it was a great honor to personally learn about intercultural communication from her. The last course was held during Dr. Bennett’s favorite season in Japan, the cherry blossom season. We will never forget how she, Kiyoko, and Eriko often shared meals and went shopping together between classes. She has taught the value of intercultural communication to both teachers and students, and we will continue to do our best to follow her teachings.

    For being a mentor and a friend, we are thankful to have had the opportunity to meet and work with you, Janet.

    Janet & Kiyoko at Aoyama Gakuin Univ. Campus

    Janet & Eriko at Aoyama Gakuin Univ. Campus

  • 28 Feb 2022 9:09 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    From Nagesh Rao

    1991:  I am a thin, gangly, and awkward doctoral student at Michigan State University, with half my scholarship coming from Internationalizing Student Services (ISS) office.  One Friday, my boss at ISS requested me to attend an all-day workshop the next day. I grumblingly said yes, irritated that my weekend plans had been messed up.  The workshop was on intercultural communication competence co-taught by Janet Bennett.  By the end of that Saturday, I was brimming with joy to see my marginal and bicultural life explained and valued in powerful ways. My life was fundamentally transformed, drawing a line between a life, albeit a dull one, before Janet and a meaningful, purposeful, and joyful world after Janet!

    That night during dinner, I shyly shared with Janet my poem “i am a door,” capturing the pain and frustration I felt caught between my Indian and U.S. American identities.  Even though she was fighting a flu, I was struck by her empathy and generosity in listening to my life story. Janet later sent me her article on marginality, that I think, is one of the most important contributions to the intercultural field.  In the sixth stage, Integration, of the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (M. Bennett, 1993), one not only appreciates and adapts to new cultures, but she also becomes acutely aware of being marginal to at least two cultures. 

    Janet Bennett (1993) brilliantly explicates the two types of marginals in integration – an encapsulated marginal who feels caught between cultures and a constructive marginal is a person who takes an active role in consciously constructing her identity and navigates relatively seamlessly between the two cultures.  My poem, “i am a door” was a classic example of an encapsulated marginal feeling stuck between cultures.

    On Janet’s gentle nudging and Jack Condon’s support, I in 1995, I participated as an intern at the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication (SIIC). In those three weeks, I was on a natural high every second, fueled by the oxygen of shared intercultural experiences, inspired by brilliant faculty with new ideas and possibilities, and joining a community where I didn’t have to explain myself and could just be without worrying about feeling judged. I only learned later that Janet spent hours going over every intern application, interviewing potential candidates, and making sure that the twenty plus interns each year were inspired and inspirational.  I was lucky to be chosen as an intern.

    When some years later, Janet invited me to join a few others as a SIIC faculty, I was convinced she had made a huge blunder.  Couldn’t she see I had little to offer?  Couldn’t she see that there were many others better qualified?  Janet, in her inimitable Janet style, calmed my impostor syndrome nerves and assured me that all will be well.  For twenty plus years, I looked forward to every summer to learn with and learn from brilliant fellow faculty, laugh about shared miseries, and build life-long friendships.

    I felt particularly lucky to have taught with Janet and watch her weave her magic teaching professionals from diverse backgrounds.  She had an uncanny pulse to assess participant needs and rattle off a list of stellar resources.  Thanks to Janet’s mentorship, I now teach a version of our intercultural competence development workshop at the University of Groningen.  Over forty years, thanks to Janet’s passion and dedication, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of intercultural scholars and practitioners around the world using her teachings to create a positive impact. 

    To end, I would like to share the few words I wrote on social media when I heard of Janet’s passing. She has left a huge void, but know she is urging each of us to keep pushing the intercultural boundaries in our professional and personal lives.

    How do you mourn the loss of a gift, a gift of intercultural lessons to make the world a better place, a gift of attracting the brightest, a gift to see potential and unconditionally support, a gift of loyalty, the gift of SIIC (Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication) in creating a community of learners, lovers, and doers?

    How do you mourn the loss of a gift, a gift that is Janet Bennett?

    Like so many others, I grieve this pain and loss in silence, in deep reflection, and a wrinkled brow, worrying about a world without Janet.

    I am who I am today, in large part, because of Janet. Every summer, I looked forward to having dinner with Janet, who always made time during super busy SIIC, to check how I am doing personally and professionally. Her mentorship and friendship meant the world to me.

    What next? In a small way, a very small way, I wish to share Janet’s gifts with others, hoping that the whiff of her purple magic spreads the joy of connecting with oneself and others.

    Bennett, J. M. (1993). Cultural marginality: Identity issues in intercultural training. In R.M. Paige (Ed.), Education for the intercultural experience (2nd ed., pp. 109–135). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

  • 28 Feb 2022 9:04 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    From Miki Yamashita

    Losing Janet Bennett is very hard for me since she was my teacher, mentor, role model, and irreplaceable leader in the field of intercultural communication. I know how hard it must be for each of you, and so I send you all my deepest condolences. I am more grateful than I can say for the time that I had with her, and I am also very thankful to all the staff of the Intercultural Communication Institute here who gave her invaluable support in her life and work.

    The ICI has been my family for over 15 years, so please allow me to acknowledge the kindness of everyone. I have so many fond memories of Janet. Whenever she returned from a business trip abroad, she would gather everyone around the table at ICI to share her experiences with the staff. I can still hear her voice, her intelligent, graceful, and humorous way with words, and see her at home in the setting of the ICI, the purple carpet, the library, and much more. She was someone who cherished seasonal ceremonies, especially at Christmas time, when she would decorate the tree with Christmas ornaments that she had collected from around the world. I know how generous she was to her friends and students, and how she helped them in so many ways. I am one of those who benefitted from her support, having been for almost 15 years a part of ICI and SIIC, which I miss so much, especially at this time. With me, as with everyone else, Janet was a great giver.

    Without Janet, I would not have been able to pursue a career in academia. She loved Japan and whenever during the last ten years she visited Tokyo, we would go shopping and then dine together. I learned a great deal from her aesthetic sense and elegant manners. I miss her a lot and there are no words to express my gratitude to her. I would like to pass on her legacy to future generations.

    Janet and Miki

    Miki Yamashita, Janet, Kent Warren

    Shoko Araki, Sandy Garrison, Janet, Miki Yamashita


    Reflections on Janet with Gratitude

    From Shoko Araki

    Every interculturalist knows of Janet’s contributions in the development of the field of Intercultural Communication, and I would like to express my gratitude for Janet’s contribution to the development of the field in Japan.

    I met Janet for the first time at the SIETAR International Governing Council meeting in Denver, Colorado, in 1988. Both of us had just been elected to join the Council. We got along right away as we had both learned from Dr. Dean Barnlund at San Francisco State University. In fact, Dean had talked a lot about Janet and Milton, and I was looking forward to meeting them.

    I had dinner with both Janet and Milton during the conference and invited them to come to Japan to facilitate workshops for the interculturalists in Japan at CCTS (Cross-Cultural Training Service), which I had established the year before (in 1987). Dr. Dean Barnlund did the first seminar in 1987 and Janet and Milton joined from 1988. That was the beginning of our long-time relationship on both a professional and personal level. Janet and Milton held workshops through CCTS and SIETAR Japan every year for 19 years from 1988 to 2007. Then Janet continued coming to Japan until 2011. I cannot thank her enough for her contribution for 24 years altogether.

    We cooperated with each other at CCTS in Japan and SIIC (Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication) and ICI (Intercultural Communication Institute) in Portland, Oregon. Many of those who participated in the CCTS also attended the SIIC in the summer. There are also Japanese interculturalists who obtained their master’s degrees at the graduate program of the ICI. It was very fortunate for Japanese interculturalists who could learn intercultural communication from the top interculturalists like Janet and had access to SIIC and ICI in Japan. Many of those who enrolled in her workshops and seminars are now leaders in the intercultural communication field in Japan.

    On March 11th, 2011, Janet was conducting a workshop when the massive Tohoku earthquake struck. She must have been horrified because it was her first experience with a big earthquake, to the point that she told me she needed more time to recover from the trauma to come to Japan the next time. However, Janet did fulfil her commitment to facilitate a workshop for SIETAR Japan a few days after the earthquake. We appreciated her professionalism and empathy toward everyone.

    On a personal note, Janet was a wonderful friend, and we visited many tourist spots in Japan together, including visiting temples and shopping at traditional shops in many places.

    The last time I saw Janet, I took her to the top of the Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower (at the time) at 2,080 feet. I ran to the window to enjoy the great view, but Janet was glued to the wall. After being her friend for so many years, I learned that Janet had a fear of heights! This sweet friend, however, did not shy away from the opportunity to have a new experience with me.

    Janet was a brilliant researcher and teacher and a caring, compassionate, and kind person. Her great contribution to the intercultural communication field in Japan will never be forgotten. We will continue to carry the torch Janet passed to us with her lifework teaching everyone to embrace diversity to make the world a better place.

    I will miss her and cherish our friendship and memories for the rest of my life.

    Thank you, Janet!

    Shoko Araki

    Professor Emerita, J.F. Oberlin University, Tokyo

    Former President, SIETAR Japan

    Managing Director, Cross-Cultural Training Services

  • 28 Feb 2022 9:02 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    From Carlos Cortés

    I discovered Janet Bennett in March 1991.  That is, like Columbus five centuries earlier, I bumped into someone who already existed yet I had never heard of.  But Janet had never heard of me, either, so we were even.  That serendipitous encounter turned out to be the beginning of a wonderful journey of professional collaboration and deep friendship.

    My voyage to Janetland began when Lee Kneflecamp invited me to participate on the three-person opening plenary panel of the 1991 conference of the late American Association for Higher Education in Washington, D.C.  I arrived two days early, so that I could get my fill of nearby Ethiopian food and, if in the mood, attend some pre-conference events.

    Glancing through the program, I spotted an intriguing-sounding workshop on interracial communication featuring a couple of people named Bennett.  Why not?  If I became bored, I could always slip out and head for the injera.  However, boredom did not become an issue.

    In fact, watching Janet in action turned out to be a revelation, as she deftly managed what could have turned into a tumultuous and polarizing session.  The Bennetts’ opening remarks managed to provoke participants, some of whom challenged them with hostile comments.  That’s when Janet showed her stuff.  With calmness and dexterity, she not only deflected the criticism, but also managed to build on their comments to strengthen her arguments.

    Observing Janet, I felt as if I had attended a master class.  Afterward, I hastened to introduce myself.  Almost instantly, we became friends.  That friendship grew for the next three decades.

    Janet subsequently attended my plenary session and later invited me to give the opening talk and do an evening workshop on intercultural humor at the July 1992, Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication.  By 1995, I had become an annual SIIC faculty member.

    Many people have their own special memories of SIIC: classes; evening sessions; wine-and-cheese gatherings.  Yet one of my highlights had nothing to do with formal events.  Rather it involved a private same-time-next-year reunion tradition with Janet.

    I’m not sure how it got started, but one year Janet and I decided to go out for dinner.  Just the two of us.  That inaugural dinner became an annual event.  No matter how congested the schedule, the two of us would conspire to set aside one night to slip away for a one-on-one dinner and private conversation.

    I can’t recall many details from our conversations, but we never ran out of topics.  My most vivid recollection is the tone of our evenings –- unrestrained, rollicking, uproarious.  It was a setting in which Janet could relax and unleash the full force of her fabulous sense of humor.  So different from the more restrained Janet back at the Institute, where she operated under the constraints of ultra-visibility, relentless institutional responsibilities, and suffocating expectations of professionalism.  Those dinners were a blast.

    But while I can’t recall specifics (at 87, there are lots of specifics I can’t remember), those dinners had a guaranteed result.  I always came away with new thinking.  Janet had an almost encyclopedic grasp of interculturalism as a field and an innate sense of directions the field needed to pursue in order to remain relevant.  I’m going to miss Janet’s visionary presence.

    Then there’s one other thing.  In my last years at SIIC, I began referring to Janet as Boss Lady.  Not exactly sure why, except that it had something to do with my off-kilter, sometimes-inappropriate personal style.  That title was my special way of showing my deepest respect for Janet’s unique leadership.

    You see, I have never referred to anyone else as my boss –- not my university president, not my superiors in the Army, not the heads of any companies for which I have worked.  Only Janet.  She’s the only person I’ve ever called boss.

    Then, just as abruptly, I decided to file away that honorific title.  It had reached its statute of limitations.  Yet Janet will always remain my one and only Boss Lady.  To me, she’s the only person who ever deserved such a title.

  • 28 Feb 2022 8:56 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    From Susan Vonsild

    I find it hard to believe that she is no longer among us. Janet was a pillar of the intercultural field already when we first started working together in the SIETAR International Governing Council in 1989. Janet was always available on the other end of the telephone line—despite 9 hours’ time difference—when sticky issues had to be solved.  I remember once for example—when it wasn’t her job and others seemed to have given up—she took the time and effort to help me identify new candidates for our governing positions. She was a big supporter of our endeavors to create SIETAR Europa.  That meant a lot. Janet was a giver and a creator, a mentor and friend. Janet, your mark on the intercultural field and those of us in it, is indelible!  

    Rest in Peace, Dear Friend.

    Susan Vonsild, Peggy Pusch, and Janet in Portland, OR 2008

    SIETAR International Governing Council Boston, 1989


    From Neal Goodman

    You can tell a lot about a person by seeing the reaction of others when that person enters a room.  Now close your eyes and see yourself in a room full interculturalists and Janet walks in……..  What do you imagine?  For me, it is a sense of excitement and exuberance knowing that this ever-effervescent person will fill your life with joy, new ideas and experiences which will leave you a better person.

    First and foremost, Janet was a teacher.  Being a teacher is the highest calling for a human being. A teacher is committed to advancing knowledge through the lives of others.  No one in our field has had a greater impact on Intercultural Education than Janet Bennett. Students and professional Interculturalists swarmed around Janet as a Queen Bee. In my many years as an interculturalist I turned to Janet many times for her counsel and wisdom. 

    One evening at the SIETAR Conference in Jersey City, she came over to me and said she had something to discuss.   We sat down to discuss her ideas and every 5 minutes someone else came by to discuss something important with her.  We finally had to leave the room and find a quiet place to continue our conversation.  There are thousands of lives that were directly impacted by Janet and hundreds of thousands impacted indirectly.  Humanity is forever blessed and changed by all the initiatives freely provided by Janet.  She was a scholar, facilitator, Student adviser, the centerpiece of SIIC (the primary professional educational congregation of new and senior interculturalists).  SIIC was multiple Master Mind groups happening simultaneously.    

    Janet can never be replaced but hopefully there is someone reading this with the passion, perseverance, wisdom, and tact to step forward to help continue Janet’s legacy.

    SIETAR International Conference in Granada, Spain 2008


    In Gratitude

    From Lisa Mast

    The first time I arrived at SIIC was one of the most profound experiences of my life. Janet welcomed me to a world that my heart had been crying for but that I never imagined could exist.

    I often felt like an innocent in those early days amidst the seasoned veterans at both SIIC and the SIETAR conferences. Yet, Janet took time to engage and encourage me. Her sincere kindness reassured me that I was “home” and that my presence was always valued.

    Janet came to my aid on more than a few occasions as I jostled with the explosion of knowledge that I experienced each time I attended the summer sessions. I welcomed her nonjudgmental acceptance and subtle guidance as she helped me advance in my learning.

    One of my first and most lasting lessons on collaboration was during a course that Janet and Milton co-facilitated. Janet illustrated the art of teamwork by referencing humorous and touching examples of their interactions as a then married couple. Such as… "I like the details of our travels to be laid out, but Milton likes a spontaneous flow. So, we set up several days of both planned and unplanned schedules to satisfy each of our desires.” Such a simple idea yet it struck me as absolutely brilliant!

    Words fail to express the gratitude that I hold for Janet for her pioneering contributions to the field of intercultural appreciation. This field is where my soul resides.

    I have found that the truly greats walk without ego, without holding tightly to their knowledge but sharing it freely to empower and lift up as many people as possible. Janet was one of those greats. We’ve lost a treasure.

  • 28 Feb 2022 8:52 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    From Christopher Deal, Ph.D., SIETAR USA President, 2013-2014

    When I was diagnosed with brain cancer, my family and I were very moved by Janet’s support. We were feeling anxious because of a life-threatening disease (glioblastoma) and very insecure because of the medical bills and a difficult insurance situation. Janet reached out to us with loving support, setting up a website so others could also show support and spreading the word about my diagnosis across her vast network. Within just a few days, a large number of people reached out to us from all around the world. They sent their prayers, thoughts, well wishes, money, and support. It really made a huge difference for us. We went from feeling scared and alone to feeling strong and supported. I can tell you what it’s like to feel that hundreds of people have your back because that’s what it felt like for us. The support from Janet and so many others in the intercultural community around the world helped my family and me get our footing and allowed us to focus our energy on treatment and healing. My family was so impressed that a person of Janet’s stature in the field would be able to do so much for us. With all of the support from Janet and others and also years of treatment, I was able to have a full recovery. It was an amazing journey, and my family and I are forever grateful for Janet’s role in it. I’m also thankful that I was able to let Janet know that I was fully recovered before her passing.

    In contemplating Janet’s legacy, one thing that really stands out to me is her role in the success of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC). SIIC touched so many people’s lives over a span of so many years that its powerful, positive ripple effects worldwide will still be reverberating for many years. This “summer camp for interculturalists,” as it was known colloquially by some, brought hundreds of people into the field, transferred vast amounts of knowledge and learning about both process and content (she liked to talk about the balance between the two as well), forged lifelong relationships, and grew networks of people across many fields who all shared an interest in intercultural communication and its many forms and aspects. Although hundreds of people are responsible for the success of SIIC, it was Janet Bennett who was the driving force that enabled it to be an experience unrivaled in our world to date, both in terms of the intensity of the experience and the vast span of decades for which it went on, year after year.

    Janet infused her beautiful artistic flair and style into SIIC, creating a brand-new culture on whichever campus the institute inhabited. It was her vision to transform the campus with hand-chosen posters, fresh flowers, and a group of enthusiastic, helpful, and friendly interns (in later years called fellows). The culture of the Institute reflected the best our field has to offer: kindness, friendliness, love, inquisitiveness, curiosity, openness, sharing, a practical focus informed by both theory and experience, and optimism.

    Along with this wonderful environment, Janet carefully, skillfully, and painstakingly created an amazing lineup of workshops on a variety of topics every year, each with outstanding facilitators—often among the very best people available to teach a particular topic. She was also able to assemble a team of skilled, enthusiastic people who were able to handle the details and logistics of such an institute year after year. When you consider all the love, care, skill, and effort Janet put into SIIC, it is no wonder that it meant so much to so many people. Many of the people who attended SIIC are still in touch with people they met there twenty or thirty years ago. People such as myself regularly use skills and knowledge we learned there more than three decades ago. SIIC gave me the gift of letting me know that my passion for intercultural communication could be more than just something I enjoyed spending time on. It could be a career, a lifelong pursuit, and an opportunity for me to impact many others’ lives. That was such a valuable thing for me, and it changed the course of my life. There are countless others who can tell similar stories about SIIC.

    Another of Janet’s legacies that is important to me and many others is the Library of the Intercultural Communication Institute (ICI). The library was built and maintained with loving care by Janet Bennett and ICI’s long-time full time Librarian Sandra Garrison. It grew to become the world’s largest intercultural library, with a collection that included not only documents from the Peace Corps and David Hoopes’ collection, but also Edward T. Hall’s entire library, along with tens of thousands of other items. Janet and Sandy created a classification system for the library that did not follow any existing system, such as the Library of Congress system or the Dewey Decimal system, but was created specifically for the intercultural field. I think it was so effective because it was created specifically for the field (its effectiveness was confirmed by the consultation of an independent professional librarian). This system, the incredible collection, and the fact that they physically moved the library to SIIC for many years, meant that the library had a major impact on practitioners’ and newcomers’ ability to find what they were looking for and put it to use. For example, when I was doing my doctoral research at the University of New Mexico, I made a special trip to Portland to use the library and got to enjoy having access to so many resources and the system that Janet and Sandy created to manage them. In my mind, the ICI Library was Janet Bennett and Sandra Garrison’s masterpiece—a truly extraordinary, unique contribution to our field.

    Of course, Janet had many other masterpieces in addition to the ICI Library. Janet and Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Communication (DMIS) is not only insightful and powerful, but transformative. It allows us to understand where we are and what we need to get where we need to be in terms of developing sensitivity and skills. And also, to help the people we are responsible for or have influence with to do the same. I have recently been doing workshops on the DMIS here at Louisiana Tech University. I have been sharing with others the ways in which the model can be used to help us deal with the challenges we currently face with extremism, divisiveness, polarization, and political violence in the United States and around the world.

    Janet’s work on cultural marginality was groundbreaking, foundational, and continues to inform work in that area. She made the distinction between the encapsulated and constructive marginal, and the identity issues related to each. Her developmental approach to this topic has empowered so many who didn’t know how to conceptualize what they were living and/or becoming and helped them in their journey and their work with others.

    One of the highest compliments I and many others I know can pay to anyone is that they were a great teacher. In my mind, Janet Bennett was a great teacher. When she went to train in corporations around the world, people sat up and listened. She spoke with such eloquence, gravitas, and passion for the field that it had the ability to make a profound impact even upon people who did not call themselves interculturalists. Janet could teach beautifully with words, but she could also teach without words. She taught with her presence, her way of being, and with her actions, both large and small. I see her as a rarity, a once in a generation treasure. I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn from her, to experience and participate in the amazing environment of SIIC for so many summers, and to teach in her Master’s program. Janet Bennett will be sorely missed, but her legacy will always be with us.

    Some years ago, ICI sent out a winter holiday card with a quote from Hubert H. Humphrey that I think captures the spirit that Janet had in her life and work and that she shared with the world:

    Instead of filling the air with fear,

    Let us fill peoples’ hearts with hope.

    Instead of being overwhelmed by the dangers of the world,

    Let us be inspired by the challenge to surmount these dangers.

    Instead of worrying about the future,

    Let us labor to create it.

    -Hubert H. Humphrey

    I wanted to share two pictures of Janet. The first one was taken in a classroom in Beijing, China. It features Donny Huang (left), one of China’s finest interculturalists, a former SIIC intern and great presence at SIIC for many years, Janet Bennett (center), who was there to conduct an intercultural training program with Donny, and Jiang Xi-xiang (right), the best language teacher I ever had and my first professor of Mandarin Chinese back in 1992. Donny invited Professor Jiang to come train with Janet, and when they sent me that photo, it felt like such a wonderful connection of people I know and love.

    Beijing classroom: Donny Huang (left), Janet Bennett (center), Jiang Xi-xiang (right), such a wonderful connection of people I know and love.

    The second picture is when I had the great honor of awarding Janet with SIETAR USA’s Margaret G. Pusch Founder’s Award at the SIETAR USA conference in Portland, Oregon.

    Christopher Deal presenting Janet with the Founders Award at the SIETAR USA Conference in Portland, OR, 2014

  • 28 Feb 2022 8:38 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    From Megan Norton, Intercultural Transitions; AFS Leader 2021

    From the beginning of my journey in the intercultural field, I have admired Janet as a humble leader, caring light, and lifelong learner. She has shaped so much of my love for what I do now as an intercultural and Third Culture Kid consultant.

    When I was a graduate student at the American University in the Intercultural and International Master’s program, I applied to be a SIIC Fellow. I had read so much of her work, theories, and had even heard my favorite professor, Dr. Gary Weaver, share so much of her scholarship and insights in his lectures that I was so excited to meet one of my academic heroines in person. I was honored that she personally phoned me to tell me I had been accepted into the SIIC program. Her intentional and personal way to know each SIIC Fellow set the example of how she expected the SIIC experience to be much more than a community of colleagues and scholars; she expected AND modeled it to be a community of lifelong learners and friends. I am grateful for this community. Janet’s attention to detail, to beauty, and to process made her a woman of grace, power, and wisdom. Her attention to both nuance and complexity encouraged those around her to do the same; to recognize and respect the in-between spaces. She is one of the reasons I remain steadfast in the intercultural field and as a torchbearer for what she believed in, taught, and embodied. She saw, heard, and understood me in unique ways that forever impact how I want to see, hear, and understand people in my community.

    Thank you, Janet, for your leadership, light, and learner-mindset. I am forever inspired by your life and legacy.

    With love,

    Megan Norton


    From Veronique Schoeffel

    Dear Janet,

    We loved talking to each other about important people in our lives, about people who were meaningful and who shaped our lives. Today, I can’t talk to you anymore, so I take my pen to write about you. I shall never forget the first time we met, in the Swiss mountains, in the late 1990s. You were facilitating a training on—intercultural communication, of course, and I was an absolute beginner in the field.

    But I was fascinated by your graceful ways of teaching, by your respectful ways of interacting, by your smooth ways of moving the group forward, by your elegant art of weaving theory and practice. A new topic was unfolding in front of my eyes, a topic that would soon become my passion and my profession and change my life.

    Indeed, after that week in Tramelan, I knew I wanted to explore this more, I had understood it was a key for meaningful work in international development and cooperation, my then field of activity. Soon I registered for my first SIIC in Portland, and the following year, I started the Master’s Program you offered at ICI in partnership with Antioch University.

    Many of the people who are meaningful to me today I met during these years.

    You honored me in agreeing to co-facilitate numerous trainings with me, in Switzerland, and we became friends. You were always so generous in sharing your knowledge, new developments in the field, new tools and approaches. Still today, I use some processes and exercises you designed and shared. Since you left us, I use them with even more emotion and gratitude.

    Sometimes you managed to add a few days after we finished training, and we used to relax and travel together.

    I still hear your exclamation when, one Sunday, we were on a small road deep into the Jura mountains, and all of a sudden you saw a road sign signaling danger. On it was a large frog! How can a frog be a traffic danger, you exclaimed? And I still hear you laugh, when I explained that this road was on a passage that hundreds, even thousands of frogs used to go and lay their eggs in a humid zone further down.

    Or your exclamation when, after a long drive across beautiful rural landscapes, we all of a sudden found ourselves in front of an exquisite restaurant, where diner was waiting for us.

    You were a hard worker, Janet, actually you never stopped working. You worked every day. Such was your commitment. But you also had a capacity to savor and enjoy the few moments of freedom you wove into your life.

    The last time we spent a few days relaxing together was in the south of Italy, with our common friend, Antimo. He shared his space, his family, his friends, his special places, foods, wines, gelatis so generously. Ahhh the gelatis in Lecce…do you remember…??

    I miss you and will always remember you, with gratitude, respect and fondness.


    Janet Bennett and Veronique Schoeffel checking out cheese in Manduria, Italy


    Janet Bennett in Italy

    Photos by Antimo Cimino


    Janet Bennet visited me in Italy. In most of these pictures, we are in my hometown of Manduria, in Puglia in September of 2016.

    In this picture where Janet is with two ladies in the kitchen, the short, thin one is my mom and the other is my aunt.

    We are making the traditional Orecchiette pasta, which we then enjoyed for lunch. Given how much Janet meant to me and did for me, having her tip toe around my house, my garden, and cook with my mom was like an ultimate gift and a waterfall of emotions that cannot be put into words.


    The lady with the dark hair is Loredana who is a good friend of mine. The lady with very curly blond hair is Véronique Schoeffel, a MAIR graduate, a client and a longtime friend of Janet.

    I think Janet described the trip to Puglia as one of the best in her life. One thing that Janet observed in my region (and we had an entire conversation about how the sense and concepts of privacy) was the windows and doors that had shutters, but also two other layers of privacy.

    See pictures of window and the lady working the lace that is in the window.

    In essence in southern Italy, especially in the summer, one has to think of ways to:

    • Ventilating and cooling the house down if you do not have a fan or AC
    • Keep the sun from beating on your window
    • Keep the flies and mosquitos out
    • Cover the glass so that people are not looking directly into your house
    • Cover the window opening with a lace (Screen) so that you can one see who is going by, two listen to gossip or get the scoop on your neighbors
    • Add a touch of traditional, patient, handwork, decorative, feminine to the outside of the house

    I will treasure these memories forever.


    Janet, Antimo, and Veronique in Puglia, Italy


    From Carolyn Ryffel, MA CPTD

    My introduction to Janet goes back to 1990, when I was living in Costa Rica and found out about the intercultural training field. Desperate to learn more I found SIETAR International and SIIC and thus began participating in both. I am grateful for getting my original training as an intercultural trainer at SIIC because Janet was for me among the forces representing rigor in designing and delivering intercultural training. Rigor was especially evident in the integration of Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle into all the SIIC courses AND including very complete debriefs. The message was that the integrity of our intercultural work required the full process, not just the activity—the learning and the ultimate joy from the learning came from a rigorous debrief. Janet brought this to me through her example and her leadership of SIIC. I am forever grateful.

  • 28 Feb 2022 8:31 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    From Joyce Osland

    Seldom does the passing of a scholar reverberate around the world and prompt such an outpouring of heartfelt tributes. But Janet Bennett was an extraordinary scholar and person. I’m honored to share my observations of what made her so special.

    Janet’s vision was to create a more harmonious, inclusive world. As a result, Janet’s professional and intellectual foci were global in nature, unlike most tenure-track professors who are encouraged to concentrate on more narrow research interests, courses, and careers. She was dedicated to advancing intercultural communication for the benefit of the field and to educating and inspiring people all over the world to be better at crossing cultures. Janet accomplished this in part by astutely observing global trends relevant to intercultural communication and addressing emerging needs. For example, in the early days of the field, the lack of graduate education in intercultural communication led her to create a master’s program and various training programs. Similarly, it is not surprising that her Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication (SIIC), was the very first in the world to offer workshops on global leadership as far back as 1994, when only a handful of scholars were beginning to pay attention to this topic.

    Janet herself was a global leader, and she influenced people and brought them to her vision through her scholarship, presentations, speeches and leadership of the Intercultural Communication Institute (ICI). Her editorship of the colossal SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence is a testament to both her reputation as a scholar and her extraordinary dedication to the field. Janet both spoke and wrote with unusual vision and clarity. It was a joy to watch her gather up an audience into the palm of hand, draw them in with her intellect, humor and charisma, and hold them riveted until the final moment. This was especially evident at SIIC where she created an invaluable global network for participants and a “family” for faculty. Janet was a master at connecting people and building a welcoming community. As a result, SIIC was my favorite place to teach – it was like a global summer camp for kindred spirits who were highly motivated to learn, to see old friends and make new ones. Janet set the stage for social activism and leadership by having faculty share their burning issues in SIIC’s welcome session. I will always be grateful for the enormous effort and attention to detail that Janet and her staff put into SIIC year after year. She made it look easy, but her willingness to lead and serve also involved personal sacrifice, including helping to finance ICI with her own consulting and speaking engagements.

    Janet had a gift for bridging both cultural and disciplinary boundaries, which helped her bring her ideas and message to a very broad audience. As a result, her impact went well beyond the field of intercultural communication. She was part of the multidisciplinary group that wrote Crossing Cultures: Insights from Master Teachers (Boyacigiller, Goodman & Phillips, 2004). Janet was also a beloved member of the International Organizational Network (ION) of international business scholars working around the globe. In a recent tribute, they noted that “her expertise, intellectual curiosity, wit and ability to unite interdisciplinary perspectives produced unforgettable insights, rollicking debates and constructive dialogue.” And a recent special issue of the Journal of World Business, the “Interplay Between Intercultural Communications and IB Research” (2020) was dedicated to Janet: “Dr. Bennett's vision, deep knowledge, dedication, and personal warmth has touched the lives of innumerable scholars and practitioners.”

    On a personal level, Janet was one of my very favorite people in the world. We first met around 1990, when she gave a riveting talk at the University of Portland where I was teaching. I waited afterwards to introduce myself, acknowledge our shared Peace Corps experience, and explain my own interest in intercultural communication. And we were off and running as friends, collaborators, and occasional conspirators trying to improve organizations. We laughed our way through lunches but quickly learned to bring along notebooks and pens to keep track of all the ideas and research references that we were swapping. Talking with Janet about intercultural communication research was like conversing with Google Scholar, but she was also insatiably curious about all kinds of research. In a discussion of religion and church, Janet once said her “ministry” was creating SIIC and recruiting faculty who were not only knowledgeable and capable, but good people who sincerely cared about students and their work. I doubt that any faculty taught at SIIC for the money; instead, they believed in Janet’s vision and were inspired by her example as a mentor and a truly fearless leader.

    One of my fondest memories of Janet occurred when she visited the Bay Area where I lived at the time. Our schedules only permitted a 45-minute window to get together – with the constraint that I also had to buy a mother-of-the-bride dress for my daughter’s wedding in that same period. We literally raced around the store, grabbing possibilities and laughing at rejected try-ons. Miraculously, she spotted the perfect dress. I don’t know that we can ever replace someone like Janet, but at least we can try to emulate her and to help her vision of a more harmonious, inclusive world gain further strength.

  • 28 Feb 2022 8:16 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    A Tribute to Janet Bennett from Donna Stringer

    It was 1986 and I had just started my Diversity Consulting and Training Company.  Someone suggested the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication so my co-founder and I drove to Portland, checked in and signed up for classes.  Three weeks:  Dean Barnlund, Jack Condon, Tom Kochman, Peggy Pusch, Milton Bennett and Janet Bennett.  It is fair to say that no three weeks has ever changed two people more.  We talked and cried all the way home to Seattle; we changed our business strategies and training curricula, and I never missed another SIIC until the last one three years ago.

    In 1989 I conducted an evening class which was, unbeknownst to me, an “audition” to see if I could be a faculty member.  I apparently passed and began co-teaching with Michael Paige, Andy Reynolds, and Anita Rowe over the next 30 years.  Each summer was the excitement of preparing classes—retooling old ones, creating new ones.  Each summer we got to see old friends and meet new ones at our “Adult Culture Camp”.  Many of us joked that if we didn’t have that time together in the summer, we didn’t know how we would survive the rest of the year which turned out to be prophetic.  Surviving the last few years—covid aside—has been challenging without the intensity of being together with those who breathe life force into our lives and our work.

    And the core of all of this, of course, was Janet Bennett.  She had a way of connecting with the best people and highlighting the best of each of us.  Many people in these testimonies will talk about how Janet changed their lives, how much they learned from her and how she was a giant in the intercultural field and made the field better.  All of that is true.  Most importantly, however, I think, is that she made each person with whom she came in contact, a better person.

    One of the most memorable things we shared was membership in a small group of consultants, brought together by Steve Hanamura, who met quarterly for over two decades to simply share personal and professional issues in our lives.  While Janet was a very private person, with this group she was much more transparent and we got to know and appreciate her in a much more personal way. This group has also ceased to meet after three of our members have died.

    Over the years I shared many things with Janet:  faculty trips to Doha, Qatar; dinners during SIIC; museum trips and dinners during the year; she helped me select my wedding dress; we shopped together, dined together, schemed new classes for SIIC together; and laughed together. One of my greatest regrets is that Andy Reynolds and I (and others) were never able to convince her to consider a succession plan for SIIC management.  Janet never thought she would leave SIIC (or this world). And many of us also could not envision SIIC or a world without her presence, so we were somewhat taken by surprise when she was no longer there.

    During the past few months of her life, we talked on a fairly regular basis, thanks to her most loyal friend, Sandy Garrison, who made those phone calls possible. Janet never quit dreaming about how to make the field better and how she might find a home for the world-class library at SIIC.

    ICI is gone now and so is ”Mother Bennett”.  But SIIC, and Janet, has spawned many smaller programs that carry the intercultural field forward. They are not the same as SIIC but progress is like that—things change even when some of us wish they didn’t.  Rest In Peace, my friend.  Your work is done and you did it well.


    Dr. Janet M. Bennett: A First Lady of the Intercultural Field

    From Robert Hayles

    Janet was an extraordinary interculturally competent organizer, contributor, scholar, designer, trainer, educator, researcher, practitioner, speaker, leader, executive director, volunteer, and discreet activist. She brought a unique set of intellectual strengths blended with warmth, compassion, sensitivity, and inclusivity to her work and life.  Many of us were guided and inspired by her expertise, knowledge, and style.

    Her contributions comprehensively covered cognitive, affective, and behavioral arenas. Selected samples are briefly described below:


    The field has a stronger evidence-based practice because of her contributions grounded in research, theory, and practice.

    Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity 

    Janet was one of the architects of this model and helped build its foundation using data meticulously collected over time across many cultures.  She helped test this model so that it could be used for diagnosing and facilitating the development of intercultural sensitivity among individuals.  Because of the rigor and flexibility designed into this model, I found it also applicable for organizational diagnosis and development. In the practice of applying this model to large scale organizational change Janet made this groundbreaking approach replicable in diverse organizational types. It has now been tested by decades of use with individuals and at least one decade with organizations of many different cultures and types.

    Intercultural Competence

    This concept promulgated by Janet goes beyond simple cultural competence and integrates knowledge, skills, mindsets, and awareness or heartsets to enable effective intercultural interactions.

    Describe, Interpret, Evaluate

    These three words show a three-step disciplined sequential approach taught by Janet that leads to dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty while keeping an open mind and showing less bias.


    This concept disseminated by Dr. Bennett delineates the benefits and potential pitfalls that come from living on the edge of two of more societies and having an identity beyond any specific culture.

    “Challenge and Support” Grid

    This grid guides facilitators helping individuals grow in competence by appropriately blending challenge and support in a sequence that systematically meets learners where they are and helps them progress to a higher level of intercultural competence.

    Developmentally sequenced training designs

    Dr. Bennet took instructional design to a higher level by making the content, learning modalities, pacing, and sequencing organized to facilitate stage-based healthy change and growth.

    When students and professionals seek to fathom the state-of-the-art in the intercultural field, Janet’s writings are critical to that understanding. They give us explicit and evidence-based guidance for designing training that produces measurable outcomes.  Her professional refereed journal articles, book chapters, an encyclopedia, and widely disseminated training materials yield a balanced and thorough understanding of the meaning and potential of intercultural communication.  In Dr. Bennett’s literature, one finds concepts and tools, like those sampled above, that effectively enhance intercultural competence and communication.


    Janet was cautious, careful, and respectful when addressing the affective component of developing intercultural competence.  She frequently challenged practitioners who conducted training that dealt with emotional issues to make sure they possessed the requisite skills and mindset to do so. Dr. Bennett was strongly opposed to inflicting pain in the interest of stimulating learning.  For her, affective content had to be respectful, developmentally sequenced for diverse needs and learning styles, sensitive to a broad range of identities, and diplomatic. Within those parameters, the affective content of training designed or conducted by Janet was consistently powerful. Facilitation, not manipulation was her mantra.  She believed that if any wounds were intentionally or unintentionally opened, they should be carefully tended.  She often did the tending personally or directed that it be done when she was not able to do so herself. The concepts and tools noted in the cognitive section above were designed to address this dimension so as to facilitate healthy growth and unity, not guilt or division. Janet’s heartset reflected talent in conflict prevention, peace-making, and peace-keeping.


    Building on Janet’s Peace Corps experience, global travel, academic education, administrative roles, professional organization engagements, and her behind-the-scenes activism, she applied her competencies to advance demonstrable and healthy change for individuals and organizations. Consequently, when using quantitative or qualitative evaluations of individuals and organizations subsequent to Janet’s efforts, healthy change followed. I have had the benefit of personally seeing data (both public and confidential) verifying this for numerous organizations.  Janet nurtured personal and professional growth for many individuals, ranging from students to colleagues to highly visible leaders of agencies and corporations.


    I will remember Dr. Bennet for her unique blend of high competence, strong leadership, and exceptional nurturance that has been generously shared with all of us. She was without doubt a remarkable First Lady of Intercultural Competence.

    Note: While Dr. Janet M. Bennet has many tomes and treatises, my favorites are her copyrighted handouts and “Transformative Training: Designing Programs for Culture Learning” a chapter published by Sage Publications in 2008 in Contemporary Leadership and Intercultural Competence. Many of the concepts mentioned in this article can be found in that chapter.

    Dr. V. Robert Hayles

    Colleague and Friend of Dr. Janet M. Bennett

    Effectiveness/Diversity & Inclusion Consultant

    SIETAR Member (for decades)

    Intercultural Communication Institute Faculty


    PostScript: Having reached this point in this commemorative issue, you know how highly Janet was regarded by her peers. There is no accolade higher than that, and it is well deserved. Her life clearly had its ups and downs like the rest of us but that didn’t seem to diminish her impact on individuals, groups, and the entire intercultural field—she carried on despite adversities. The care and kindness that both Sandy Garrison and Steven Dowd offered Janet during her protracted illness in her final years needs to be acknowledged. Among the many others who remained in touch, they were the best of companions and Steven was with her at the end. They both deserve our gratitude for their loving care of Janet.

    Janet is gone but her light has not gone out. Her flame continues in the many students and colleagues who learned from her, in the groups and organizations that benefitted from her brilliance, and in the many friends who sought her wise counsel and embodied her pursuit of understanding.  (Sandra M. Fowler, Editor)

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