Dear Global Movers and Shakers, 

Welcome to the last newsletter of the year. It has been an amazing year with many remarkable achievements. 

2016 Conference:  A loud and nationwide echoing applaud to Kelli McLoud-Schingen and Nancy Tom, our co-chairs for their tremendous leadership in organizing our November Conference in Tulsa. They have planned and delivered an amazing conference during a challenging presidential elections climate. Read more about the conference in this newsletter. 

Communications:  Many thanks to Brett ParryMid GainesRashmi Kapse and Rob Pusch for being the behind the scene engine of our communication, social media and other marketing activities to give SIETAR USA global exposure. 

Global SIETAR network: We have built wonderful collaboration bridges with our all national SIETAR groups for a promising future. We also welcome Ursula Brinkmann, SIETAR Nederland president, to the rank of recipients of the Margaret D Pusch Award presented during the 2016 conference gala event.  

2017 new board members: 2016 is coming to an end but has prepared for a new year with an energetic team and a proactive plan. Join me in wishing the best to incoming president Holly Emert, Local groups director, Julia Gaspar Bates, Treasurer, Victor Gonzalez Galeano, Conference oversight Alisa Poehler and a warm and special mention to Monica Mumford for her renewed term as secretary. 

Last but not least, I wish our local and global SIETAR USA family my very best wishes for the 2016 holiday season. 


Patricia M Coleman

SIETAR USA President


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10 Things We Enjoyed at the 2016 SIETAR USA Conference (that you might have missed)

1. The environment of support: During this post-election climate, many of us were reeling, feeling unsafe, and as though our life's work was at risk. People were very supportive of one another through excellent, thoughtful discussions, supportive listening, hugs and tears. 
2. The Keynote speakers: 

  • Shakti Butler: "One discovers the light in darkness" - taking us on a tour of media images of unspoken inequality, from Snow White to Fantasia to Father Knows Best to Zootopia. "Understand that systems of inequity are playing out in whatever country you are involved with." and who can forget the "Whale Story"?
  • Brenda Toineeta Pipestem: New meaning to "Go back where you came from", There are 568 federally acknowledged Indian tribes, not one generic "Native American" population group. Recognize their cultural, historical distinctions. 
  • John Condon: The Liberty Bell - "No one knows how it got cracked, but one thing is clear, it was flawed before it was made." 

       All so quotable, all from different professions, backgrounds, and all three profoundly relevant to the time and to our conference theme and attendees
3. Master Workshops: Testimonial from a SIETAR USA member: "I could only attend one "Business Skills for Independent Interculturalists", but it gave me dozens of immediately actionable items to further my business and step up my game right away" 
4. Concurrent sessions: So many good ones: SIETAR USA special ETHICS Panel, led with success by Alan Richter and fellow panelists:Joel Brown, Rita Wuebbeler and Andy Reynolds. The "Practitioners of Color", quite a pioneer session. "The Work of Workplace Inclusion (panel)"; "Embodied Code Switching"; "The Wedding of IC and D&I"; "Election Night: Is there a Morning After Pill?"; "Social Justice in Homogenous Japan"; "All the World's A Stage: Theatrical Tools" and so many more excellent ones - very hard to chose. 

5. The Gala Band (Charlie Redd and the Full Flava Kings): When was the last time we all danced so hard and had so much fun at a SIETAR USA Event? Perfect mix of old tunes with updated twists. Such a good time, and I know what I'm talking about.

6. The Tour of the Historic Greenwood District 

7. The Silent Auction and the Live Auction: We appreciated the theatrical ability of Jeffrey Cookson to generate excitement and help us achieve a new record for our Scholarship fund! 

8. The Readers Theater performance at the Grand Opening:  what a way to learn about the place we are in! Felt very connected to Tulsa. 

9. Wellness throughout:  ZUMBA, Yoga, Meditation kept attendees balanced and united in a challenging post election climate.

10. Global SIETAR leadership and members in attendance: Japan, France, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Canada

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The Fun We Had

Ann Conf photos 1Conf photos

Conf photos 3



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Rob Pusch
Rob Pusch
 is the 4th winner of the Optime Merens de Collegis Award in the history of SIETAR USA. Optime Merens is awarded for exceptional contributions to the Society. It is in recognition and with gratitude for long standing and courageous support of SUSA, for steadfast advocacy on behalf of SUSA, and for aiding the Society to reach its potential. Previous winners are Margaret (Peggy) Pusch, Sandra Fowler, and Monica Mumford.

Presented at the gala banquet in Tulsa, the criteria for the award were described: demonstrated commitment to the Society through significant volunteer time given at personal expense, a minimum of 10 years in service to SIETAR USA in a leadership role, and a minimum of $2500 of personal funds expended on behalf of the Society.

The current winner is known to be a “legacy” member, participating in SIETAR at first because he grew up in the household where the name SIETAR resonated daily as his mother, former SIETAR USA President and Executive Director, the one and only Margaret D. Pusch. Peggy then introduced her talented can-do attitude son to SIETAR USA.

Rob held the board position as the Communications Portfolio director. He rapidly became a major factor in the success of the conferences lending his expertise to the audio-visual support structure for more than 10 conferences, as well as spearheading the presence of SIETAR USA on social media. Due to his expertise in communication and technology, Rob is currently holding the position of advisory board member and supports the society's needs of website management, conference technology, social media, technology security and more. In 2016, Rob joined the website makeover project team to build a new and improved website.

Rob has also presented at SUSA conferences on both technical aspects of intercultural communication and on LGBTQ issues. He has raised awareness in SIETAR USA of the cultural issues faced by trans individuals. He was instrumental in establishing the LGBTQ Special Interest Group, one of the most lively SIGS in SIETAR USA over the years and sponsors of an annual scholarship.

SIETAR USA gratefully acknowledges Rob’s considerable contributions to the Society and looks forward to many more years of his membership, teamwork and steadfast support.

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Holiday Gift

As a cross cultural consultant, I sent greeting cards with coffee shop gift cards to several people to celebrate our partnership and thank them for great collaboration this year. These were $10 gift cards sent to program managers who manage client international assignment intercultural assignments and executive coaching. I received an email from one of the managers saying thank you, but that my gift was reported to their direct report to determine if it could be accepted and/or ethical.

What provision(s) of the Living Code apply in this Incident?:

What should be done?

A.    Make a general gift vs. individual?
B.    Stick to greeting card?
C.    Something else?

To provide feedback and join the discussion, click here.

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Thought You Should Know...

 FEE WAIVERS AVAILABLE! SIETAR Europa grants fee waivers to unemployed individuals or students under 26, who may experience difficulties in attending the SIETAR Europa Congress due to financial constraints. The contribution consists of a reduction or an exemption of the Congress fees depending on the applicant’s situation. The number of fee waivers is limited. Selection will be made on a case by case basis. Application deadline is 15th January 2017. The selection committee will communicate their decisions by the 1st February 2017.  More information can be found online here!

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"Applying Research to Improve Intercultural Relations"

The International Academy for Intercultural Research Conference
10th Biennial Conference
Staten Island, New York
June 25-29, 2017

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SIETAR USA 2017 Board of Directors
Holly Emert, Ph.D., President 2017-2018
Monica Mumford, Secretary, 2017
Victor Gonzalez Galeano Treasurer, 2017
Farzana Nayani, Leadership Development Director, 2015-2017
Brett Parry, Communications & Marketing Director 2015-2017
Julia Gaspar Bates, Local Groups Director, 2017-2019
Amy Lewis, Professional Development Director, 2016-2018
Ishani Baruah, Sponsorship Development (S.E.A.) Director, 2015-2017
Alisa Poehler, Conference Oversight Director, 2017-2

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2016 Margaret D. Pusch Award Recipient

Congratulations to Ursula Brinkmann on receiving the Margaret Pusch Award. Ursula was nominated on behalf of SIETAR Netherlands. A few of her numerous accomplishments include:

  • Developing the IRC (intercultural readiness check), an assessment tool for intercultural competencies.
  • A 15-year series of studies assessing 45,000 members of international organizations, testing their competence in working across cultures.
  • She has been a board member of SIETAR Netherlands for over five years, and has chaired the board since April 2015. The membership has grown 80%, and the quality of meeting presentations has improved.
  • Her professionalism, including "the nice habit to show that she is alert to be intercultural sensitive and respectful."

Accepting on her behalf was Monika De Waal.

Margaret D Pusch Founders Award 2016

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