Professional Development Grant Provides Opportunity to Enrich Student Learning

While Forsyth Tech instructors are continually expected to develop new and relevant class content for students, the Forsyth Tech Foundation can provide essential assistance in providing grants for ongoing professional development.

Such was the experience for Communication Instructor Alan Teitleman, who received a $1,909 grant from the Foundation and was able to travel to Prague, Czech Republic this past May. A member of the International Communication Association, Teitleman attended their international conference.

(If you plan to travel to Prague, it’s not easy to travel more than 4,500 miles when all arrangements go smoothly. With flight delays and cancellations, Teitleman arrived a day late to the conference. Yet, he trekked on and was grateful he did).

“In spite of the travel issues, the conference was extremely beneficial,” said Teitleman. “There were more than 3,000 papers and presentations (some held pre-conference) to read and hear. With break-out information sessions scheduled every ten minutes, it felt like speed dating.”

The conference offered him the opportunity to network and share best teaching pedagogy with attendees from around the world. Teitleman joined approximately 4,000 communicators at the conference, with only about 40 percent of the participants from the United States.

“This conference, combined with this UNC/University of Pittsburgh E.U. Fellowship in Brussels, will go far in creating exciting and relevant course content for the new COM-140 – Intercultural Communication course I will be teaching the first time this fall,” said Teitleman.

The focus of the class is how different cultures communicate and how communications has a broader impact for the global economy.

Teitleman also shares his personal experience of intercultural communications. While growing up in Philadelphia, he maintains dual citizenship in the U.S. and Israel. He received a master’s degree from Wake Forest University in Communication studies and completed his thesis on the Israeli army, studying in Israel for a year. Teitleman also earned a master’s degree in public administration and an undergraduate degree in political science from Appalachian State University.

“I am grateful for the generous support of the Foundation to attend the conference,” said Teitleman. “The conference gave me insight into best practices from academic communication scholars around the world that I intend to share with my colleagues at Forsyth Tech,” said Teitleman.

The Forsyth Tech Foundation provides more than $30,000 to faculty and staff each year to enrich their professional growth. For more information on professional development grants, contact Angela Cook, director of Donor Relations at

a huge crowd of people at a conference a room filled with a large audience