Louann Cummings, DM, MBA, CPA, professor of business, is looking for inquiring minds, adventurous souls and entrepreneurial spirits! As coordinator of UF’s Vietnam Scholars program, Cummings is busy putting together a May 2017 trip that features cultural immersion, global business perspectives, environmental awareness and exposure to international marketing and social enterprises.
“This is so much more than our students could see from a tour bus,” exclaimed Cummings. “Last year, our UF students had Vietnamese college student ‘buddies’. They were able to meet several generations of family members and experience the daily lives of Vietnamese students.”
Cummings and her graduate assistant Precious Obiefuna are on a tight timeline in planning the trip, so they need interested undergraduates to contact them … now! At this time, there are different directions that the 2017 program could take depending on possible grant funding.
“We would like to have many students participating in the program next summer,” added Cummings. Students can be a part of the Hanoi Scholars program (linked to ECON199 spring 2017). “We are also looking into grant funding that could, ultimately, cover the cost of the trip for each student, and that might change the itinerary a bit. “
With a focus on North Vietnam, the group will explore the country around Hanoi, including a “silk village” and a “ceramic village.” Cummings, who has traveled to Vietnam four times, explained that villages are known by what they manufacture. UF students will see these small manufacturing operations from the inside out and learn how the products are marketed and sold during their on-site consulting experience.
Students should expect to spend three to four weeks traveling to and throughout Vietnam. Cummings and Obeifuna will coordinate all travel arrangements and accommodations. The pair, both well traveled, feel that the Vietnam trip could be life changing for the participants. Two students in the 2015 program built a relationship with a social enterprise focused on fostering creative art playgrounds in Vietnam. Now back at UF, the students are importing and marketing products online and to American retailers that will raise funds for the playground projects.
Obiefuna, a graduate assistant and student in the Master of Science in Environmental Safety and Health Management program, came to UF from Nigeria and encourages all college students to travel internationally when possible.
“I came to Findlay because of the environmental program’s reputation,” said Obiefuna. “But I came to the U.S. mainly for professional and personal development. After I finish my degree, there are still a lot of things I want to learn here before returning home.”
To find out more about Vietnam Scholars 2017, students or faculty can contact Cummings at firstname.lastname@example.org or Obiefuna at email@example.com