Finlandia University hosted a visit by a delegation from the Perho Culinary, Tourism, and Business College in Helsinki, Finland on Tuesday, June 6. The delegation of 32 faculty members had tours of both the Quincy Mine and the FinnU campus before lunch and presentations at the Finnish American Heritage Center. The visit for these faculty members served as professional and personal development. For Finlandia, the visit stemmed from an invitation to collaborate between the two schools. Currently, Finlandia sends and receives exchange students to Finland through cooperation with Perho and other schools. International School of Business Dean Kevin Manninen hopes to broaden the relationship with Perho, possibly having joint lectures or guest speakers between faculty members from the two colleges.
Presentations were given by Leni Palminkoski-Pihlamo, A business professor at Perho, along with Manninen, Fredi de Yampert, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, and Karin Van Dyke, Vice President for University Relations. Palminkoski-Pihlamo presented on the Perho Culinary, Tourism, and Business College’s many programs and affiliations along with a personal presentation about her grandfather who graduated from Suomi College in 1922 after moving to Hancock from Finland. In her presentation about Perho College, Palminkoski-Pihlamo stressed that their 1,500 students learn by doing, and focuses on vocational studies. For Palminkoski-Pihlamo, visiting the Keweenaw was a chance to see where her great grandfather spent a good portion of his life and the many aspects of the Copper Country that are heavily influenced by her country. “To see how much influence that Finland has in this area really shows me why my Grandfather chose to study at Suomi College and continue to work here after,” Palminkoski-Pihlamo said.
Manninen followed with a presentation on differences between higher education in Finland compared to the United States, highlighted by exchange student experiences. Juha Ojajärvi, Rector and CEO of Perho College stated that “Differences can be good between international systems, exchange students are able to embrace both systems and come away with the best of both.” Manninen and Ojajärvi hope to expand their academic and business relationships further throughout cooperation from both schools.
Assistance at the event was also provided by Dr. Hilary Joy Virtanen, Assistant Professor of Finnish and Nordic Studies.Tags: Dr. Hilary Virtanen, Fredi de Yampert, Hilary Virtanen, Karin Van Dyke, Kevin Manninen, Leni Palminkoski-Pihlamo, Perho College, Philip Johnson, Suomi College