COVID-19 Safety Information

Panel Explores Cross-Cultural Communication

Panel Explores Cross-Cultural Communication


Education majors will learn ways of addressing communication challenges with students from different cultures during a SUNY Cortland panel discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 18.

The bi-annual event, “Cross-Cultural Miscommunication: A Panel and Audience Discussion,” takes place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Corey Union Exhibition Lounge.

It is free and open to the public.

Different cultures often can have varied interpretations of concepts such as time, personal space and idiomatic expressions. Although these differences may seem like barriers, event organizers suggest that varying life experiences of students can present opportunities that were initially overlooked.

“A child may have lived in a situation that required resilience and perseverance; those qualities are strengths on which teachers can draw to help their students learn,” said John Suarez, the College’s service-learning coordinator. “Through our panelists’ descriptions, our (education majors) will learn about specific challenges and opportunities in diverse classrooms so that they – our education majors – learn ways of addressing challenges, and they learn ways of building on opportunities for their students’ benefit.”

The seven-person panel includes three SUNY Cortland students who have experience in the cross-cultural education field. The others are education professionals who can offer insight into the increasingly global field of education.

Panelists include:

  • Michaela Auer, a childhood/early childhood education major and former volunteer tutor in the Costa Rica winter immersion program
  • Michelle Boulbol, a childhood/early childhood education major and volunteer tutor in the Costa Rica winter immersion program
  • Mona Ivey-Soto, a SUNY Cortland assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education
  • Marilyn Mayer, a fifth-grade teacher in the Ithaca City School District
  • Ashley Miller, a teaching English as a second language major and tutor in multicultural classrooms in the Syracuse City School District
  • Peter Reyes, principal of Barry Elementary School in Cortland
  • Amoreena Telleache, a fifth-grade teacher at Virgil Elementary School, and a partner in the Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department’s “Flourishing Teachers; Flourishing Students” service-learning community.

The panelists first will share their experiences then invite audience members to ask questions and share their own stories related to cross-cultural communication.

The talk is sponsored by SUNY Cortland’s Institute for Civic Engagement, Clark Center for International Education and International Programs Office.

For more information, contact Suarez at 607-753-4391.

Prepared by Public Relations Office intern Sarah Kelly