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Universities from the USA at the traditional Student Symposium on Intercultural Learning at FOI

The 11th Student Research Symposium „Research Topics and Intercultural Learning in the International Context“ is organized at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics in Varaždin on May 21 - 29, 2023.

Participants are professors and students from partner Universities in the USA: University of Cincinnati (Ohio), University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida), Penn State University (State College, Pennsylvania),  Indiana State University (Terre Haute, Indiana) and representatives of the hosts. Fifteen (15) professors and students from the USA are participating in this year's Symposium. Project leaders are Full Prof. Violeta Vidaček Hainš, Ph.D. and Eugen Petošić, president of the FOI Student Union.

The activities are supported FOI Management Board, Office for International Relations FOI, Office for International Relations University of Zagreb, Student Union FOI, Student Union University of Zagreb, Varaždin County, Student Center Varaždin, partner universities from the USA and numerous volunteers.

This symposium had been held continuously since 2010. Within this project, 120 mobility of American students and professors to Varaždin, as well as FOI students and professors to the United States of America were realized.

The main goal of this collaboration is to create network between Croatian and American students, faculty and staff. Students are developing intercultural communication competences and links between educational institutions and local community. Project encourages social sensitivity and support for people from disadvantage groups.

We would like to highlight the interdisciplinary research topics leaded by eminent experts and mentors from the United States of America. Gifted students have the opportunity to compare their own projects with the research of their colleagues in the USA and get new ideas.

The symposium includes student presentations and invited lecturers, social entrepreneurship, volunteering, visiting local community institutions and UNESCO natural and cultural heritage of Croatia.

We thank everyone who contributed to this collaboration!



Dr. Jeffrey C. Bauer

Dr. Jeffrey C. Bauer has served as the Dean of the University of Cincinnati’s Clermont College since May 2015.  Previously he served as Chair of the Business, Law, and Technology Department at UC-Clermont for 6 years.  He joined the college in 1995 and was named Professor of Management and Marketing in 2004.  Dr. Bauer’s research interests are in the areas of Role Clarity and Organizational Design.  Prior to his transition to academe, Dr. Bauer spent a decade in industry.  He owned a consulting firm, managed a medical office, and was a department head for a Fortune 500 company and Fortune 1000 utility.  Dean Bauer earned his bachelor of science degree in business from Wright State University, an M.B.A. from the University of Dayton, and his doctorate in business administration from the University of Sarasota.  Dr. Bauer and his wife Petra Hackenberg-Bauer, M.D. have two adult children who are both University of Cincinnati graduates.

Dr. Sergey Grinshpun’s Professor Emeritus

Sergey Grinshpun received his Ph.D. degree in Physics (Aerosol Science) in 1987 from Odessa University in Ukraine. With his research group at Odessa University, he studied aerosol physics, air pollution, particle sampling and filtration, and other areas. In 1991, he joined the University of Cincinnati in the USA as a visiting faculty member and was later promoted to a tenured Professor of Environmental Health. In light of his partial retirement in 2022, the University of Cincinnati awarded Dr. Grinshpun with the title of Professor-Emeritus.

Dr. Grinshpun’s research involving biological aerosol particles has been recognized as critical for the development of novel methods for biodefense and biosecurity. He has also been engaged in research on respiratory protection, aerosol transport, exposure assessment, and air purification. Since February 2020, Dr. Grinshpun has been involved in national and international efforts aimed at mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic. His programs involving a large-scale student research and training effort across disciplines have been supported by American government agencies (e.g., Center for Disease Control, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences), international organizations (e.g., NATO) as well as major industries. As the founding director of the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Health-Related Aerosol Studies, he developed several major interdisciplinary projects to train students from different colleges of the University of Cincinnati and other universities utilizing a multi-institutional team approach. He taught various courses for master’s and doctoral students and mentored 55 graduate students as well as 28 postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars and junior faculty members from 16 countries worldwide.  Many of his students received awards for their research and publications.

Through his 40-year career in research and education, Dr. Grinshpun has been a keynote speaker, invited speaker, panelist, organizing committee member and session chair at national and international conferences, as well as a guest lecturer at various universities and research institutions of 20+ countries in Europe, America, Asia, and Australia. He has authored or co-authored over 670 scientific publications. Dr. Grinshpun has served on panels convened by the National Academies (USA), the Council of Canadian Academies, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and several US federal agencies. He has also served on the Editorial Boards of eight scientific journals with international circulation. Dr. Grinshpun’s expert opinions in research and education have been frequently featured in the media including ABC News, BBC News, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Science Daily, The Wall Street Journal, United Press International, US News and World Report, USA Today, Washington Post, Xinhua Press, and others. His professional accomplishments were recognized through 14 national and international awards.

Victoria Appatova

Victoria Appatova is Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati Clermont College.  She has more than thirty years of experience in post-secondary literacy instruction and research. She has served as President of the College Reading and Learning Association, Co-Director for the Teaching Academic Survival and Success national conference, and Chair of the College Literacy and Learning Special Interest Group of the International Literacy Association.  She is also a Fellow of the Academy for Teaching and Learning at the University of Cincinnati and a Fellow of the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations, the highest honor in the USA conferred upon professionals in learning assistance, tutoring, and developmental education.  Her scholarship is focused on post-secondary literacy as well as effective learning environments for different student populations and widening access and participation in global higher education. 

Dr. Cheri Westmoreland