NC prof wins X-Culture award

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NC faculty member Navjote Khara, PhD, has won the Best X-Culture Instructor award.

When it comes to preparing students for a global international business competition, a Niagara College prof has proved to be among the best.

NC faculty member Navjote Khara, PhD, has won the Best X-Culture Instructor award. The coordinator of NC’s Bachelor of Business Administration, International Commerce and Global Development program teaches students who participated in X-Culture during the fall 2016 as part of the College’s International Marketing Strategies course.

A partnership of 400 International Business professors from around the world, students work in global virtual teams of six – with each team member from a different country – the students spend a semester solving real-life business challenges presented by real companies. More than 30,000 have taken part in X-Culture so far – including more than 4, 000 MBA and undergraduate students from 100 universities on six continents who participate every semester. The best students are invited to participate in the X-Culture Symposium where they meet their team members and top managers from the client company.

Khara was among 30 highest ranking instructors to receive the award.

“Over a hundred instructors from around the world take part in X-Culture. We carefully measure their and their student’s performance. In 2016, based on our data, Navjote Khara was among the very best,” said
X-Culture project coordinator Vas Taras, PhD.

“It feels motivating to receive this appreciation for the efforts we put in as faculty into our work,” said Khara, of winning the award.

While she won the award, Khara said that her students deserve the spotlight. She noted that the most important factor for Best Instructor Award is class average performance, as well as how well the students are prepared, support provided to their students throughout the project, and that they managed their paperwork and completed all their duties. She congratulated the NC students from the BBA ICOM program who participated this year.

“This achievement is linked to the student performance in terms of effort, intellectual contribution, collegiality, etc. In fact, I would say this award is for the best class,” she said. “It also reflects on the quality of our students, faculty, leadership, and the School of Business’ efforts and capabilities to deliver high academic standards as well as benchmark our performance with the leading world colleges / universities.”

Khara described X-Culture as a very challenging project for students, as they compete, collaborate across time zones, and learn the challenges and best practices of international business consulting.

“It is valuable to the students as this project improves cultural intelligence, international and virtual collaboration, competencies, problem-solving skills and cross-cultural interactions – the skills required to be successful in today’s dynamic globalized world,” she said. “Post-project, our students describe the most important skills they have learned with X-Culture is cross-cultural communications, team work and time management.”

While participating in the international competition is a learning experience for students, Khara noted that it has also benefited her as a faculty member, exposing her to new pedagogies, networks and best practices on teaching international business and international collaboration.

This is the third year that NC students have been participating in the competition as a course requirement. Last year, student Gwendolyn Kitiwano won the prize for Best Report and participated in the X-Culture symposium.

Only three Canadians received the award and Khara was the only winner from an Ontario college (the two other Canadian winners were from the University of Toronto and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.)

Khara, a resident of Niagara Falls, has been at Niagara College since September 2013. For details about X-Culture visit x-culture.org

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