Student Voice


April 23, 2024



Grant allows UWRF professor to study in China

December 6, 2007

Professor Marina Onken, of the College of Business and Economics (CBE), will be furthering her business knowledge by studying business practices in China over J-term.

Professor Onken was selected to receive a Center for International Business Education and Research [CIBER] grant to study in China. She is one of only two UW System faculty members to receive the grant.

“The grant went to UW-Madison, to their CIBER,” according to a CBE press release. “It’s a federally funded program and part of their responsibility is to help internationalize business programs, not only for UW-Madison, but for other also for others in the state.”

CIBER grants are serving as a way for business professionals to learn about foreign business practices that are possibly unfamiliar to them.

“Congress created CIBERs in the late 1980s to help strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. business internationally and enhance international business-related teaching and research,” according to the CIBER Web site.

Onken will be spending 12 days in China in January, and the trip will focus on business in Hong Kong, China’s Pearl River Delta and Shanghai, according to the CBE press release.

There will be a class taught by Onken about Chinese business next semester.

“I’m teaching a course, students will benefit, business executives will benefit, and the college of business and economics will benefit,” Onken said.

The exact name of the course will be Business Environment in China, Onken said.

Students may profit from the knowledge and experience that Onken will be bringing back with her from China.

“I believe that it’s a pretty cool thing that we have a professor that is so active in our academic careers,” Sean Reinbold, one of Onken’s former students, said. “Expanding the students ability [to learn] by going to other countries is a pretty cool thing; it makes you want to take her classes.”

Professors are encouraged to take opportunities like the one allotted to Onken to study in foreign countries, but they are not required to do so by the University.

“I give her a lot of credit for being so ambitious, and I think China is a good place to go because a lot can be learned from their business structure,” UWRF senior and accounting student Jessie Swanson said. “It seems like the Chinese would have a different take on [business] than we do in America.”

This is Onken’s first study trip abroad as a UWRF professor, but she has other international experience as well.

“I have had direct experiences in other global ventures, including working on a USAID project in Honduras, coordinating imports when I was working with Target Corporation, and teaching a study abroad program in Belgium,” Onken said in her CIBER grant application letter.

Onken will be visiting an array of places during her trip to China. A steel company, the Shanghai GM plant, the Pearl River Piano Company, Shanghai University, and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange are all on the docket, along with some other sites, according to Onken’s tentative itinerary.

UW System faculty are not the only people going on the trip to China.

“It’s actually UC-Denver that we’re working with because they are the ones that organized the trip to China,” Onken said.

There will be people from all over the country going on the business trip to China, Onken said.

For more information on the CIBER grant their the CIBER Web site,