ISE Department Promotes Department- and University-Wide Global Engagement

ISE Department Promotes Department- and University-Wide Global Engagement

In the wave of accelerated technological innovation, global value chains continue to rapidly adjust to shifts in our evolving global economy. In response, existing and incoming industry professionals require a strong global perspective and cultural awareness to perform well and tackle important strategic leadership issues.

The Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department observed the urgent need for global awareness and adapted its curriculum accordingly. From its highly popular Global Executive Ph.D. Track to its student exchange opportunities, the ISE Department has continuously demonstrated a dedication to promoting global awareness and offering real-world experiences for its undergraduate and graduate students.

The department established its Global Executive Ph.D. Track to allow working mid- to senior-level executives and managers to embrace integrative thinking and discuss managerial and technical changes with globalization. A non-traditional program model, the GET is flexibly designed to allow students to continue working as they complete the program. This design empowers students to engage in more valuable course meetings, which take place only a couple times per month, with multiple perspectives and timely, real-world insights from various industries.

“Candidates are exposed to formal training on how best to recognize cultural differences and leverage global perspectives for strategic planning and execution,” said GET Co-director Dr. Ratna Chinnam, “The Global Executive Track Ph.D. program is the only program in the United States that seeks to provide the opportunity for working executives to combine real-world experience with academic skills to create a new class of global technical leaders.”

GET graduate and ISE faculty member Dr. Nancy Philippart applies the program’s philosophy in her own classrooms. In fall of 2020, Dr. Philippart piloted a virtual exchange program to promote cross-cultural learning between students in the ISE Management of Technology Change course. Her students partnered with Harz University students in Wernigerode, Germany, on a joint sustainability innovation project.

With funding from the College of Engineering, Dr. Philippart will continue the German exchange program in fall of 2021. This year, students will take a cultural intelligence assessment and develop growth plans based on their results.

Philippart is also one of fifteen WSU faculty who are participating in the WSU Office of International Programs (OIP) virtual undergraduate exchange program for the 2021-2022 school year. The OIP hopes to establish a group of 20-30 global learning faculty fellows to continue to advance WSU’s global nature. The ISE department is honored to participate in OIP’s efforts and showcase its demonstrated commitment to global awareness.

“Globalization has rendered the world increasingly interdependent, whether it be for materials, consumers, technology or talent,” Chinnam explained, “The Industrial and Systems Engineering Department has long recognized the importance of training the next generation workforce and leaders who embrace integrative thinking, are globally aware, and are capable of producing sustainable value to any organization throughout the world.”

For more information about the Global Executive Track Ph.D. program, visit

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