A native of the U.S., Jessica moved to the Netherlands in 2004 and began her career in higher education in the Graduate Department of the Rotterdam Business School. Working as a lecturer in a very international classroom raised a number of questions: Why were some students able to work well in a culturally diverse environment, and some not? How can an international context be intentionally used to facilitate skill building in effective work across cultures? How can cultural diversity in teams be optimized to take advantage of the full potential that this diversity can provide? These questions were what stimulated her interest in this line of research.
The primary focus of Jessica’s work is on understanding and fostering the development of intercultural sensitivity/competence. Through collaborative conversations, workshops, and trainings, she strives to bring the latest research in this field into education.
In addition, she is involved in assessing the impact of educational interventions on the development of intercultural competence, using both qualitative means as well as standardized assessment tools. Jessica is a trained administrator of the Intercultural Awareness Profiler (IAP), created by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner, as well as the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), created by Mitchell Hammer.
Jessica also conducts presentations and trainings beyond the borders of the university. Among them were a panel presentation at the annual conference of the European Association of International Education (EAIE) in Prague, 2014: Practical Steps for Fostering and Assessing Intercultural Skills, and workshops for the Dutch Higher Education Network for International Marketing (DHENIM) in Utrecht, NL, 2015: Cultural Awareness; 2016: Working Across Cultures: Practitioners Experiences in International Higher Education.