This is exactly what Dr Sabiha Akhter, Lecturer in Business & Hospitality vertical achieved when she was chosen to complete the prestigious professional development program, "Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI)" for scholars on Economics and Business at the Institute for Training and Development in Massachusetts funded by the U.S. Department of State.
Dr. Akhter who was also awarded for 2022 Excellence in Teaching award from Torrens University Australia and teaches Economics, Finance, Business and Accounting successfully completed the program in August this year.
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars (SUSIs) are intensive post-graduate level academic programs whose purpose is to provide foreign university faculty and other scholars the opportunity to deepen their understanding of United States society, culture, values, and institutions.
Dr Akhter was one of 15 nominated for the program and represented Torrens University Australia where she presented on our work culture, online student engagement, leadership, ethics, and academic integrity.
Building a diversity of perspectives, values, cultures and institutions
The SUSI program builds scholars’ understanding of the diversity of U.S. perspectives, values, cultures, and institutions; increases their professional skills and theoretical knowledge of Institute topics; and empowers them to become engaged leaders in their home communities.
“This was a dream come true for me to visit Harvard,” said Dr Akhter.
“I participated in 41 sessions led by 21 faculty from Harvard, Columbia, CUNY, University of New Haven, Tufts University, Umass Isenberg, Wellesley, Suffolk University, Amherst, Mt Holyoke, Boston, Trinity college, 5 NGOS, 4 private sectors and 2 think tanks. I had meeting at IMF and with US congress staff in the Capitol to learn about US economics and politics. I visited Boston, New York and Washington D.C. as part of the program.
“I was representing Torrens University Australia and they were very interested in what we were doing, as we have the best education here.
“This was an opportunity, particularly as a woman in leadership – and one of the things that led me there was that I am interested to work on Aboriginal women in Australia in terms of their shifting contribution to the economy through different choices.
“And I will bring these learnings into my work and be able to give more to my students – because in in the six weeks I was there, I also saw and experienced the culture,” said Dr Akhter.