The Pioneer Valley’s unpredictable weather didn’t keep dozens of professionals from participating in the 2018 Winter Institute for Intercultural Communications from March 13-16. Organizers applauded the intimate groups that learned about a variety of topics related to diversity in communications.
“Attendees had the opportunity to connect with one another in small-sized professional development workshops that allowed for deep engagement among participants and with the faculty,” said Dr. Amer Amed, Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development at the UMass Amherst Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development. “Professional development opportunities like WIIC are important for higher education, diversity and beyond because many professionals do not get the necessary preparation, skills, tools and investment in themselves that is necessary to effectively implement inclusive practices in their respective work environments.”
The opening day of WIIC was met with the area’s third Nor’easter of the season. Thanks to the Food Court vendors in Tower Square, the attendees were able to dine when most of the City was closed.
“This is the second year we faced weather challenges with WIIC,” said Wesley Days, UMCS Assistant Manager of Operations. “Collaborating with area businesses in the building, we were able to overcome these challenges, plus many of the attendees stay in either the Tower Square Hotel or the Springfield Sheraton.” UMCS staffers are hoping the conference will return to downtown Springfield for a third year.