ATHENS – Sadly, study abroad programs for Indiana University students were cancelled this summer due to the current pandemic and the U.S. Department of State’s worldwide travel advisory. This impacted numerous international experiences for students in the IU Kelley School of Business, including those who normally enroll in Tatiana Kolovou’s “Business Culture of Greece” course.
Although the Athens native couldn’t return with her students during spring break to the land of her birth, Kolovou was honored on June 3 with one of the annual Greek Tourism Awards sponsored by the Greek Ministry of Tourism. She received a Silver Award in the educational program category.
This is the seventh year for these awards, which reward innovative ways to promote understanding and spur interest in traveling to Greece.
In recognizing Kolovou, pictured above with her students in 2014, the awards committee said the Kelley course “contributes significantly to the local economy and positively shapes the views of the new generation for Greece.”
Like other economies that rely on tourism, COVID-19 has vastly impacted Greece beyond public health concerns. “The best, the special, the innovative, are the ones who guide us like lighthouses in times of uncertainty and darkness,” Harris Theocharis, Greece’s minister of tourism, said all of the winners. “To those who dare to see the sun through the clouds.”
Over the last decade, Kolovou, a senior lecturer of business communication, has taken more than 300 Kelley School undergraduates and MBA students to Greece as part of immersion courses about the country, its economy and culture. Traditionally, they visit companies, meet with business professionals and do consulting projects for Greek companies.
Last summer, Hellas Journal, a major Greek publication, profiled the Kelley faculty member, reporting that she also is known as “the Greek professor in the U.S. who teaches her students to love our country.” It was hardly a surprise when she and her students were photographed last year by the New York Times while they were participating at an olive oil tasting class at a grocery in Koukaki, a hip Athens neighborhood.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Greek government on my decade of efforts to immerse our Kelley students into the Greek culture and history,” Kolovou said. “To understand a different place and the people, you have to work with them, connect with them, listen to their stories and build trust by showing that you have done your homework. This sentiment applies to all of our X272 programs. I am sure we have many other governments who would celebrate the us enhancing our students global mindset of their country cultures. “
If you understand Greek, check out the video below where Kolovou expresses additional feelings in her mother tongue.