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MTSU Professor to Chair International Business Communication Panel


When people say a message “got lost in the translation,” they’re not always talking about a language barrier.

To build bridges across cultural and geopolitical boundaries, an MTSU professor will lead a group charged with creating high standards for international communication.

Dr. Janet McCormick, an associate professor of organizational communication, will chair the Global Communication Certification Council of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

The 10-person panel will hold its first meeting April 25-27 and will meet again at a global conference in Toronto June 6-8. Any other meetings in the interim will be conducted via email or Skype. Her colleagues hail from India, Nigeria, Canada, Great Britain and Switzerland.

McCormick said the goal is to establish one set of criteria for designating qualified individuals as certified global communicators.

“To have one credential that does that across the globe versus state by state, school by school, country by country, will just be phenomenal,” said McCormick. “I think it will be groundbreaking, actually.”

McCormick said those who meet the exacting standards must be competent in both verbal and nonverbal communication with a variety of cultures. The panel will decide on standards for ethics, analysis, examinations, payment structure, maintenance and the establishment of continuing oversight.

“Different schools and universities are trying to move people with experience through programs a little quicker,” McCormick said. “With a global credential, there’s a similar line of thinking.”

In addition to serving as faculty adviser to the MTSU student chapter of IABC, McCormick teaches courses in intercultural communication, small group communication and gender and communication, among others.

She has lectured in Singapore, Argentina and Great Britain, and she said she is looking forward to traveling again.

While McCormick’s area of expertise is a relatively new degree field, she said she thinks her work on the panel will pay dividends at the university.

“This is opening tremendous doors for us at MTSU and for our students in organizational communication,” she said.

The panel will attempt to complete its work by January 2015. For more information, contact McCormick at 615-904-8208 or janet.mccormick@mtsu.edu.