All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Susan Spezzini

Advisory Committee Members

Julia Austin

Adelais Markaki

Josephine Prado

Lourdes Sanchez-Lopez

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


Faculty engagement is an acknowledged imperative for accomplishing the goals of comprehensive campus internationalization. In addition, transformational international and intercultural experiences are known to motivate faculty involvement in internationalization (Childress, 2018). This study proposes that the large numbers of international faculty working in permanent positions on university campuses, who have already had these transformational experiences by having adapted to a new country and culture, are an underutilized resource towards internationalization goals. In a mixed methods study conducted at a large, research university in the southeastern United States, the perspectives of international faculty on their current and potential role in internationalization were investigated. Focusing on at home internationalization initiatives, especially the promotion of intercultural learning, the study also considered whether an integrated sense of cultural identity, characteristics of adaptation histories, or demographic characteristics might support or hinder involvement in internationalization. A combination of snowball and chain referral sampling was used to garner participation in a mixed methods survey, and focus groups were convened to discuss the research questions more in depth. Quantitative data were studied for statistically significant associations, qualitative data were categorized in thematic analysis, and integrated data were probed for meta-inferences. Findings included that majority of the participants were individuals with intercultural identities (Kim, 2001), who demonstrated a finesse in iv discussing the cross-cultural experience. Most of the participants were also already involved in campus internationalization at various levels and expressed multiple ideas regarding how their increased involvement could be encouraged. Findings also suggested that the understanding of their potential roles could be expanded. The study provided key recommendations for action for universities hoping to increase the engagement of their international faculty in initiatives related to comprehensive campus internationalization.

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