CWU News

CWU Business Associate Dean in Colombia on Second Fulbright

Laura Milner leads a discussion at Universidad los Libertadores in Bogotá, Colombia.

Laura MilnerFulbright scholar Laura Milner, PhD, is working with Colombians in Bogotá who value innovation and social responsibility and want their university to become internationally recognized. It turns out they think much like Milner and her colleagues at Central Washington University.

Milner, associate dean of the College of Business and marketing professor at CWU, is working with faculty, staff, and students at Universidad los Libertadores in Bogotá, Colombia on a Fulbright grant.

For six weeks she will help develop curriculum and research projects in tourism, entrepreneurship and globalization.

“So far I have seen that their thinking is very much like ours,” Milner said. “Their strategic thrusts are innovation, sustainability, and social responsibility in a global context. They are doing their very best to help lift Colombia to a world stage and they would like their school to become internationally recognized.”   

In Colombia, Milner is also guest lecturing and covering a few short courses in sustainable entrepreneurship.  

This is Milner’s second Fulbright award. In 2002 she went to Cape Town University in South Africa where she worked on tourism research and taught courses in tourism and marketing. Colombia is the 13th country and sixth continent where she has worked.

Milner is professor emerita at University of Alaska Fairbanks where she worked for more than two decades. She’s been at CWU since 2007.

The Fulbright Program is an exchange program sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It provides funding for students, scholars, teachers, and professionals to study, research, and teach in different countries. Universities work through the Fulbright office to request people with specific expertise. Milner is the first Fulbright scholar assigned to Universidad los Libertadores.  

While Fulbrights always are considered cultural exchanges, in recent years more business faculty have gotten involved, Milner said.

“So much diplomacy and inter-cultural harmony is also based on economic development and trade partnerships,” she said.

Milner’s research interests focus on international advertising and international tourism. She has worked with such tourism organizations as Princess Tours, Alaska Marine Highway, Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as economic development organizations such as the Fairbanks Industrial Development Corporation, Small Business Development Center of Alaska, and Alaska InvestNet. Milner also is active on the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Board and is a member of the Rotary Club of Ellensburg.

Top photo: Laura Milner, associate dean of the College of Business and marketing professor at CWU, leads a discussion on national and international accreditations at Universidad los Libertadores in Bogotá, Colombia, which just received a government sanctioned quality assurance accreditation. Milner is in Colombia on a Fulbright grant. Professor Julian Riano, standing right, is interpreting for Milner.

Media contact: Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841,