Global Cultural Fest displays relationship between diversity, business

The Hankamer School of Business hosted its first-ever Global Cultural Fest Thursday. Photo courtesy of Baylor University

By Cole Gee | Reporter

Students and faculty attended the first-ever Global Cultural Fest Thursday at the Hankamer School of Business. The event was dedicated to educating and celebrating the diversity of businesses around the world.

The Global Cultural Fest was a class project spearheaded by three faculty members of the business school: Dean Sandeep Mazumder, economics lecturer Wayne Hampton and associate dean for diversity and inclusion Cindy Wu. Students were split into groups of 13 and given a specific country to focus on throughout the semester. They had to design a presentation, bring cultural food and include other creative design choices to showcase that country.

At the event, students were given special passport booklets, and as they walked from table to table, they received stamps from the different “countries” they visited. They also tried traditional foods — including onigiri from Japan, tamales from Mexico and chicken mansaf from Jordan — and saw traditional clothing.

San Antonio senior Jackson Olmsted was assigned the country of Australia, dressing like legendary zookeeper Steve Irwin with other members of his group. Olmsted said he believes the work he’s doing now will carry into his future career.

“The world is evolving and changing, and I do believe that it’s kind of the future,” Olmsted said. “I mean, we trade with everyone. And especially just now, there’s so many business opportunities all around the world these days.”

Hampton joked at the beginning of the event that when he was at Baylor in the 1970s, everyone in the business school looked like him. However, thanks to the hard work of Baylor faculty and administration, Wu said she believes students have opened their eyes to a world outside the Baylor bubble.

“I’m hoping that students will see cultural awareness is something being emphasized here,” Wu said. “I’m hoping that they will see that the students are putting in the work and thoughts to help us expand our horizons and to think outside of our familiarity.”

Hampton said the Global Cultural Fest will only grow from here, as he hopes his next class can make the event even better.

“The plan is this is the first annual event, and if it goes well, we’re planning to do it every year,” Hampton said. “It’ll just grow and grow, and we’ll get better and better. … It’s only fair to Baylor students that they get prepared for a global economy, because all business is global now.”