Check out the spring 2017 semester video below!
Millersville University of Pennsylvania Joins the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative
Millersville University commits to increasing study abroad access and participation.
4/3/2017 – Millersville University has joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans to gain international experience through study abroad programs. This is one of more than 700 commitments announced by IIE.
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. One of Millersville University President, Dr. John M. Anderson’s Bold Path plan for the university is Engaging Students in Study Abroad. In this category, the Global Education office was directed to increase the number of students studying abroad by 50%, by the year 2020. Global Education anticipates meeting and exceeding this goal and will work towards doubling the amount of study abroad participants in the same time period.
Under the new partnership, Millersville University will take concrete, action-oriented steps to expand opportunities for study abroad.
- Global Education will work to create study abroad scholarships or seek alternative funding source to offset fees.
- Global Education will work with the Development Office towards increasing university study abroad scholarships from MU alumni and donors.
- Partner with third party providers to increase the variety of programs and increase scholarship opportunities.
- Global Education’s Faculty Coordinator will promote curricular integration at Millersville University.
- Increase the number of short term study abroad opportunities for students, including dynamic and innovative faculty-led programs.
- Global Education will work to increase participation in service learning and international professional experiences, such as internships, student teaching, and social work.
- Global Education will create an engaging re-entry program for study abroad alumni.
Global Education is part of the Division of Academic Affairs. Dr. Vilas Prabhu, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, responded to this announcement by stating, “Millersville University is committed to preparing students who are ready to engage as citizen of their region, their nation, and the world. Study abroad is one of those high impact practices that truly transforms students’ lives, and this is an opportunity that we want extended to as many of our students as possible. Our joining the Generation Study Abroad initiative is another tangible expression of this commitment.”
As of January 2017, Generation Study Abroad partners to date include over 400 colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country and around the world, as well as 19 governments, 50 education associations, more than 100 international partners, and 100 study abroad, K-12, and social network organizations who have committed to specific goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad. Commitments include actions to diversity the population of students who participate in study abroad and provide additional financial resources to make this possible.
IIE launched Generation Study Abroad in the belief that the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career, according to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange published by IIE with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade.
“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” says Dr. Allan Goodman, President of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”
About Generation Study Abroad
IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to significantly increase study abroad participation by bringing employers, governments, associations, and others together to build on current best practices and find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students whose needs are not currently served by existing programs. Generation Study Abroad will sustain an ongoing dialogue about the need for more students from all backgrounds and in all fields to gain international experience. This will include research to identify and break down barriers hindering students from studying abroad, communications to share strategies and best practices to increase study abroad, and fundraising to mobilize additional financial resources. IIE will also hold a Summit on Generation Study Abroad on October 1-3, 2017 to engage stakeholders in higher education and all commitment partners.
About Global Education at Millersville University of Pennsylvania
In 1983, the International Studies Task Force was appointed by MU’s academic administration with the goal of developing an international studies curriculum, a study abroad program, faculty opportunities, and other initiatives. Dr. Marlene Arnold, now Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, led this effort. Due to her extensive experience abroad and having attended higher education institutions with established global initiatives, Dr. Arnold saw the need for a coordinated effort to encourage study abroad and more so the internationalization of MU’s campus
Global Education, formally known as the Office of Global Education and Partnerships, and when founded was the Office of International Affairs, was established in 1987. During its first year the Office of International Affairs was supporting 62 international students studying at MU, there were active student involvement opportunities through the International Relations Club and Study Abroad Club, five international student exchange programs, and multiple active faculty exchange partnerships.
Since that time Global Education has grown to over 25 international partnerships and have seen the number students and faculty going abroad grow over the years.
In Spring 2015, citing the university’s strategic direction related to internationalization, the international student and scholars services was transferred to Global Education, which is poised to lead the comprehensive internationalization of MU’s campus.
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.
Global Education would like thank all of the study abroad participants who submitted photos to our contest this semester! After an extensive judging process, we have our finalists. Please join us in congratulating the following winners and honorable mentions!
Submitted by: Megan Dougherty
Moreton Island, Australia
Submitted by: Samantha Thacker
Seoul, South Korea
Marauders in Action
Submitted by: Samantha Thacker
Migeum, South Korea
People and Culture
Making sunscreen like the Aboriginals did with rocks
Submitted by: Megan Dougherty
Moreton Island, Australia
Group Mistico Sign
Submitted by: Kelsey Derrick Mistico
Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, Costa Rica
Top of the Rhine – Landmarks & Lanscapes
Submitted by: Sade Palmer
Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef – Marauders in Action
Submitted by: Sarah Schreiber
Hand Painted Ox Cart – People and Culture
Submitted by: Kelsey Derrick
Coffee, Cocoa & Sugar Plantation, Santa Elena
Global Education and International Studies hosted their 8th Annual Celebration Event for international education on Wednesday, April 19th. This event honors students and faculty who have made an impact on global studies at Millersville and who are passionate about education abroad. The catered dinner hosted two guest speakers and honored award recipients from both Global Education and International Studies.
Opening remarks were made my Provost, Dr. Vilas Prabhu and University President, Dr. John Anderson. Both speakers are longtime supporters of Global Education and International Studies. Their ongoing support is much appreciated.
The featured speaker was Millersville alum Emily Reitenauer, class of 2010. Emily illustrated the challenges and, more importantly, the joys of studying and working abroad through sharing personally stories about her professional experiences and the occasional encounter with rogue monkeys. While at MU, Emily studied at University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. While abroad, she was stunned by the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and the obvious need for support motivated her to peruse a position in the Peace Corps. Emily is now an International Development and Global Health Professional for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), attributing her current position to her early global experiences.
Dr. Robert Bookmiller, Director of International Studies Program and Professor in the Department of Government and Political Affairs, inducted a student into the Gamma Phi chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, the International Honors Society of Millersville University for her hard work and dedication to international study. Congratulations to Sarah Ghatineh!Dr. Bookiller also presented the International Studies Faculty Award. This honor is given to a student who has shown initiative in the field of International Education and who has capture the attention of Millersville faculty members. Please join us in congratulating Kaitlyn Lundy!
Global Education was able to recognize a total of 6 students for their participation in the Ambassador Program. This program allows past study abroad participants to gain professional experience by creating and organizing events for current international students or future study abroad participants. After completing the program, Ambassadors earn an official Global Education Ambassador Recognition Letter and Certificate. Additionally, all ambassadors who were recognized at this event also achieved Gold Status. Ambassador Gold is bestowed on those students who exceed the program requirements by completing one or more additional activities. Congratulations to the following students:
- Rachel Cairns – Spain
- Meghan Basiliko – Germany
- Kelly Block – Australia
- Marie Gruta – Germany
- Kaitlyn Lundy – France
- Katherine Rinehart – Australia
To continue the tradition, Global Education welcomed Josephin Vincent as the international student speaker. Josephin is a graduate student from India studying Technology and Innovation at Millersville. She spoke about the initial struggles that she had when coming to the United States and how involvement with the campus community and creating an open dialog about her concerns with Global Education help her to adjust to life at an American university. Josephin was proud to report that she is no longer afraid to talk to people and feels much stronger now that she has gained independence and has developed a new support system. We wish Josephin well in her future endeavors!
Finally, Global Education distributed cords to the past study abroad participants graduating in May. Congratulations to all our graduates, it has been a pleasure working with them and we hope to stay in touch! Global Education would also like to thank all of those who participated in and helped to facilitate this great event. We look forward to next year’s celebration!
Global Education is pleased to welcome Daniel McClary as the newest member of the Global Education team. Dan joined our office in May as a program coordinator. Check out the Q&A session below to find out more about Dan!
What university did you attend?
I love to learn, which is perhaps reflected in the variety of schools and programs I have attended to this point. My MA in Intercultural Studies and TESL is from Wheaton College Graduate School near Chicago. I did extensive, graduate studies in linguistics, cross-cultural communication and even anthropology through the Graduate Institute for Applied Linguistics & College of International Studies in affiliation with the University of Texas in Arlington. At Asbury University in Kentucky, I did my undergraduate studies with majors in English and art education. Prior to that, I worked as a technical illustrator in Michigan, having earned an associate degree in that field at Ferris State University. And then there was the semester in art school before that!
Do you have any study abroad or international work experience? Can you elaborate?
Yes, I’ve been working in cross-cultural contexts for the past 20 years. While studying at GIAL, which had many cross-cultural and language study aspects built into the program, I was also the Associate Director for an international educational exchange program. For three years, I helped plan and oversee large English and Culture camps for hundreds of students and teachers from Taiwan. After this, I began a ten-year stint working overseas, living in Kenya, Ethiopia and Germany. My family and I had the unique experience of attending an orientation to Africa course, where we lived in tents for about six weeks out in the rural corners of Kenya, where we learned to set up an outdoor household, securing safe water sources and other necessities of life. It was a bit like being on the Survivor television show before that became popular! The course included studying language and culture alongside colleagues from many different countries. For one three-week stretch, our family lived in the home of a Kenyan family, being part of their daily lives and work. We also had the privilege of living alongside the Masai people near the southern border with Tanzania, actually within sight of Mount Kilimanjaro. I worked in Ethiopia over an eight-year span of time, living in Addis Ababa, but having the opportunity to travel to many of the unique locales around Ethiopia, including the three ancient capitals in the north. My main role was as a teacher at an international school, but I also worked as an administrator, as well as teaching ESL to adult Ethiopian students at two different colleges in Addis. After Ethiopia, I worked at another international school in Germany, where my wife and I were dorm parents for 28 high school girls. We came back to the U.S. ten years ago this summer. The first six years, I worked with international students and directed ESL and other academic and cultural activities at Immerse International.
What attracted you to Millersville?
During my time at Immerse, I got to know the Global Education team and office through many cooperative efforts and similar goals. Knowing what Global Education is all about and its important function in higher education, I was very interested in becoming part of that, if ever it were possible. I had been working in higher education the past few years, being part of a small team advising international students, but I was hoping to step into a role that would draw more fully on my international work experience and cross-cultural training. That this role at MU aligns with my passion for the value of understanding culture and how that knowledge helps each of us to grow is a bonus!
In your professional career, what do you think has been your most successful project?
A question like this is difficult to answer, as I would not tend to draw attention to my part. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit,” the quote attributed to Harry S. Truman, has often been posted in my work spaces and reflects my work philosophy. One project I enjoyed being part of in Ethiopia was as a member of a steering committee seeking to develop a high school for the students there. The school that existed at the time was only K-8. Students would need to leave to board at schools in other countries. Many students would be served if grades 9-12 could be developed in Addis Ababa and operated with an internationally-grounded curriculum that would allow the high school students to attend university back in their home countries. The team achieved this goal. My last year in Ethiopia marked the first year a grade 12 class graduated, and I had the privilege of them asking me to be their commencement speaker.
What are your goals for Global Education at Millersville?
As I have been learning from being interviewed and my short time in the office, Global Education has been given a larger and important charge by Millersville University. The charge is to help facilitate the internationalization of the campus and support the Study Abroad and international students in all areas during their time at MU. Being part of that charge is very important and meaningful to me. I look forward to getting to know the various offices and coworkers at MU, as well as the students and visiting scholars, to work and learn together and, through the enriching, cross-cultural interactions, expand our worldviews in a way that contributes to a fuller learning experience where more understanding of differences is present. You know, basically, world peace! In that initiative at MU, there is the opportunity to help Global Education create new programming and build a foundation for the future. An important outcome that is part of my role, along with others, is the establishment of an intensive English as a second language program, housed in what will be called the English Language Institute. Ideally, we will be able to build up this programming and have it accredited.
How would having an ESL program help the Global Ed. Office?
Having an ESL program as part of the services Global Education offers will provide support for the international students already on campus studying at MU. This is very important to their development and academic success. Additionally, the English Language Institute will act to draw new students to MU because the ELI is integrated into the campus life. The ELI programs will be designed to act as a bridge to enrollment into the many undergraduate or graduate programs MU offers for students who otherwise might not be able to attend due to their English proficiency. The intensive academic English courses will increase their proficiency progressively, preparing them to succeed and to step directly into full-time study at MU, where they can succeed academically and graduate with an MU degree.
Can you speak another language besides English? Is there one that you would love to learn?
I studied Swahili on multiple occasions and was able to put it into practice during my time in Kenya. I did a full year of Amharic language study during our first year in Ethiopia, and used that throughout our time there. There are not many occasions to use either language here in the United States, but we like to practice when ordering food at one of the two Ethiopian restaurants here in Lancaster, with the hope we might get an extra scoop of wat with our injera. During our two years in Germany, I began German study, but was not able to go far with that, since our work was primarily in English. It was fun during my linguistic training to actually learn to recognize and produce the sounds that comprise every language of the world and be tested on them, in the manner of a spelling test. The hardest for me were the velar fricative and French vowel patterns! Living where I do now, if I had the opportunity, I would study Spanish to be able to communicate with a wider range of people.
If you could travel somewhere new, where would you go and why?
I have had the opportunity to travel a fair bit, but would never refuse the chance to do more. I’ve lived in several regions of the U.S., and since there are only 3 states I’ve never been to, I would want to tick those off my list, especially Alaska and Hawaii. I would enjoy seeing more regions of Europe that I have not yet been able to see, especially southern Italy and Austria. A few years back, I was able to visit Tunisia, which rekindled a love for the rhythm of culture in Africa; I would love to visit some of the western and southern countries of Africa.
What is an interesting fact about yourself that most people don’t know?
My wife and I met in high school my senior year and married right after college. We left our wedding reception aboard a hot air balloon, which people found fascinating and still comment on to this day.
What advice do you have for students thinking about studying or working abroad?
Resist the temptation to hold tightly to the known and the comfortable. This is not our natural tendency. We like to stick with what we know and build up around ourselves the things that are familiar and make us comfortable. Yet, it is in stepping away from both of these that we are stretched. From walking into the unknown and away from our comfort zones, we can grow and develop and learn in ways that will not happen any other way. I heard it repeated just the other day, that when we are pressed or face struggles, our true selves are revealed. Living in another culture presses us and helps us to know who we really are, and by that, to make any necessary adjustments. It’s all about learning!
Global Education has seen over a 20% increase in overall study abroad participation from the 2013-2014 to the 2015-2016 school years. This increase is especially apparent when looking at the types of programs offered by Global Education. Millersville courses/trips abroad and internship opportunities represent two areas of growth over the past few years.
Data for the 2013-2014 school year is as follows:
- Faculty Led: 31.01%
- Non-MU: 25.58%
- Partner Programs: 35.66%
- Student Teaching: 4.65%
- Social Work: 1.55%
- Internships: 1.55%
Data for the 2015-2016 school year is as follows:
- Faculty Led: 51.53%
- Non-MU: 20.25%
- Partner Programs: 23.31%
- Student Teaching: 1.84%
- Social Work:1.23%
- Internships: 1.84%
Global Education has just introduced a new category of programs: Affiliated. Affiliated programs are generally run by an organization or program provider that has an agreement with Millersville University. Students participating in these programs take their courses at the Affiliates’ partner institutions or centers with other American and international students. Programs are offered during the fall, spring, and summers semesters.
For more information on Affiliated Programs and other program categories, please visit the Global Education website.
Faculty and administrators were encouraged to attend a Fulbright Scholar Program Workshop on Thursday, March 23rd from 12:30pm to 2:30pm. Entitled “Discover How You Can Make an Impact Abroad”, this workshop allowed interested professionals to learn about opportunities to promote international education both at home and abroad.
According to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) the Fulbright Program is a collection of scholarships and grants aimed at academic professionals that promotes international education and global understanding. This competitive program allows for individuals to teach, research, and learn in another country, funded primarily by the US government. While most recipients are American academics traveling abroad, international professional interested in studying in the US are also eligible to apply. Participants can expect to broaden their understanding of important global issues and foster a mutual understand and respect.
Millersville both encourages faculty to travel abroad and welcomes professionals from other countries as well. These individuals are guided by Fulbright Scholar Liaisons who are past participants dedicated promoting the program and helping new participants acclimate to their new surroundings. Dr. Christine Gaudry, a liaison at Millersville and Faculty Coordinator at Global Education, hosted this Fulbright Scholar Program Workshop and welcomed guest speaker Hilary Hartley.
Dr. Christine Gaudry introduces Ms. Hilary Hartley to a group of Millersville faculty, staff, and administration interested in interested in global scholarship.
Ms. Hartley, the Regional Lead for the Western Hemisphere for the Fulbright Scholar Program at the CIES, presented on options for teaching, research, and participating in other initiatives while abroad. With over 125 different countries to choose from, choosing which scholarship and location would be the most appropriate can be difficult. Ms. Harley provided a walkthrough of how best to write a successful application that is competitive with the other applicants and is best suited to individual needs. In addition to advice for potential Millersville scholars, Ms. Harley also spoke on hosting Fulbright Visiting Scholars through the Outreach Lecturing Fund and the Scholar-in-Residence Program. Both programs help to build an international presence on campus by welcoming international scholars or short-term lectures or long-term teaching respectively.
The workshop concluded with a Q&A session in which faculty, staff, and administration was able to discuss any questions or concerns that had about the program. In addition, Ms. Hartley also stayed to consult interested faculty on their individual program plans including projected proposals and specific world region of interest.
Any faculty or administration interested in the program but unable to attend the workshop should contact Global Education for more information.
Student Spotlight: A Semester in Germany
Any major can study abroad! Meet Maire, a senior at Millersville studying Early Childhood/Special Education and German. Read her responses below about her experience thus far and how her time abroad gave her the opportunity to leave her comfort zone and try new things!
Get to Know Marie
Name: Marie Grutza
Major and/or Minor: Early Childhood/Special Education dual major with a minor in German
Host University/Program: International Undergraduate Study Program at Philipps-Universitatät Marburg
Host Country: Germany
Time period abroad: Spring 2017
Why did you choose to study abroad in Germany?
I studied German in high school and traveled to Ulm, Germany for three weeks through the German American Partnership Program. I fell in love with the country and the culture so it was a no-brainer for me to go back.
What is your favorite part about studying abroad so far? What is your least favorite?
This is tough…there are so many things I loved about studying abroad. One thing I really enjoyed was trying new things that were outside my comfortable zone. For example, I took all kinds of public transportation by myself when I have never taken public transportation before in my life, I tried new food, even when it looked and sounded disgusting, like goose liver and I made friends with strangers while sitting next to them on a plane. And I don’t think I have a least favorite part of studying abroad….there was always something positive in every negative situation I came across.
Describe something you did for the first time or a specific memory that you have about your time abroad.
One of my favorite memories was my traveling experience to Italy. My friends and I allotted extra time for travel to get to the airport, but we didn’t allot a full 2 hours when our bus was late. We looked into other options to get to the airport as fast as we could, but took a chance on the bus that we already paid for. It was a race against the clock when the bus pulled into the airport just 10 minutes before take-off. We sprinted through the airport like a scene in the movie, unsure if they would let us board the plane or not. As we turn the corner, we realize there is no plane in our terminal. We started to panic before realizing our plane had been delayed and hadn’t made it to the terminal yet. It was a miracle! After an hour of waiting in the airport, we boarded the plane to wait another hour before take-off because of the storms. When we arrived in Italy, (it was about midnight and we had been traveling since 7am) we took a taxi to our Airbnb…..except the taxi didn’t take us to our Airbnb, it dropped us off a few blocks away. It was about 1am and we had no internet or cell service to contact our host. We walked around, dragging our luggage, doing our best to read Italian street signs with no luck. We eventually came across someone who spoke English and we pointed us in the right direction. WHAT A DAY!
Did you get the chance to travel outside of your host country?
Yes!!! I traveled almost every weekend during my semester and stayed for about a month after the semester ended to travel. I traveled to Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Strasbourg, France; Zurich, Switzerland; Rome, Italy; Vatican City; Zadar, Croatia; Prague, Czeck Republic; Budapest, Hungary and Warsaw/Krakow, Poland
What did you miss most about the U.S.?
My family! I skyped with them as much as I could.
Why should other MU students study abroad?
I strongly encourage every student to study abroad, regardless of your major, because it will change your life! You will be pushed outside your comfort zone in the best way possible and do things you never imagined doing. I look back on my time abroad and wish I could relieve my experience every day…I never felt more alive!
What was your favorite thing about studying in Marburg?
Marburg is bigger than a town, but smaller than a city, and that was the perfect size for me! I lived in a small village about 15 minutes outside of town in the country side where I took a lot of hikes in the forest behind my dorm and enjoyed the peace and quiet. And just a bus ride away, I had my pick of restaurants & bars in the Altstadt and plenty of places to go shopping. Additionally, we could hop on a train and be in Frankfurt in just under an hour. Marburg is in the perfect location!
How did studying in Germany improve your language skills?
My language skills improved drastically because I practiced them every day. I was fully immersed in the language so hearing and speaking the language sharpened my language skills in no time.
Global Education, formerly The Office of Global Education and Partnership, officially announced their name change during International Education Week. This change is representative of a larger rebranding effort to restructure and reorganize the office to better meet the needs of all Millersville students.
The decision to rebrand follows the university’s strategic plan to focus on internationalization and global thinking. In Spring 2015, the international student and scholars services was transferred to Global Education, inspiring a reevaluation and reallocation of office resources.
Global Education is on a mission to enrich the academic and cultural environment of Millersville University by leading internationalization initiatives. These efforts are guided by the vision of an inclusive, internationalized campus that fosters global leadership and engagement.
The Global Education team welcomed two new additions, Director of International Programs, Patriece Campbell, and Faculty Coordinator, Christine Gaudry, as part of these innovative changes. Faculty Coordinator was a new position created to support students and Millersville faculty on a globally minded campus. To learn more about Patriece and Christine, chekc out their interviews on this issue of The Gazette.
Thanks to the support of the Millersville faculty, administration, and student body, Global Education is on its way to becoming a front runner in study abroad and international student services.
Global Education is pleased to announce the addition of Patriece Campbell as Director of International Programs. She is looking forward to all the amazing possibilities that are out there to collaborate with faculty and staff across the campus and to provide great opportunities for more students (both domestic and international). Check out the Q&A session below to find out more about Patriece!
What university did you attend?
- University of Michigan-Flint: BA Organizational Communication and International Studies, Masters of Public Administration
- University of New England: Doctor of Educational Leadership- expected May 2017- Dissertation topics focused on International Student Social integration at US institutions
Do you have any study abroad/international experience? Can you elaborate?
I came to the U.S from Jamaica to pursue my tertiary level studies. However, I have traveled to 10+ countries to recruit international students and develop institutional partnerships.
What was the biggest struggle of coming from Jamaica to study at a university in America?
As with other international students, one of the biggest challenges occurs during the initial semester where you are not only transitioning to college, but also to a new cultural and social environment without your natural support system from back home. As a 17 year old educated in the British system where you didn’t speak in class and your grades depended primarily on the results of mid-terms and finals, I struggled with participating in classes and managing my own time outside of classes… in Jamaica everything about school was dictated.
Why did you originally decide to come to the US to study and did your family come with you or are they still living in Jamaica?
Because of the close proximity of the US to Jamaica, I grew up spending a lot of time during holidays with family in Florida. I attended Knox College (high school) in Jamaica, and the questions wasn’t whether or not you would pursue college afterwards but where. I chose to attend school in the US because of scholarship funding, and my brother being in school in Michigan (at the time). My younger brother followed us to Michigan, as is still there.
What attracted you to Millersville?
Having been a part of the staff that built the program from 16 international students to 800+, as well as help support other international initiatives such as Education Abroad and ESL training for students, I wanted the opportunity to build a program.
What do you think your most successful project has been so far in your professional career?
This is a difficult question to answer. I have had lots of successful projects. I have had an amazing career so far. As an international student, I was an Engineer major, but spent a lot of time lobbying for international student services. After switching my major (Org. Communication and International Studies) in order to focus on this passion, I co-wrote the proposal of the creation of the International Center. I think the ability to create an office that is student-centered… working collaboratively across campus to make the enrollment of international students, and students wanting to go abroad a great experience for all is what I live for. If I had to choose, the best thing I have ever done is the creation of the International Student Ambassadors is by far the most rewarding for me.
What do you think the role of Global Education is at a university?
Comprehensive internationalization is a term that is used a lot in higher education. Depending on who you talk to it mans a lot of different things, and serves varying purposes. I believe the role of internationalization is to create globally competent graduates. In order to do this we need to do a variety of things. This includes the internationalization of the curriculum and campus services and the recruitment and retention of international students. As an office, I see my role as bridging the gap, working collaboratively on campus to help all students that want to go abroad get the opportunity without interfering with their ability to graduate, as well as to ensure the successful integration of international students on campus, both academically and socially. I believe these are in line with our mission as an institution.
How important do you think it is for students to have an experience abroad?
Studying abroad is considered a high impact experience that can have a positive effect on retention and graduation rates. It is important for all students to have an international experience. The first preference is for them to go abroad, but there are many ways a student can engage locally. The presence of international students on campus for example gives a great opportunity for students to engage with people from different cultures. Faculty can integrate international topics into their course work, where applicable, for example. These experiences do a lot for a person. There are able to have a better understanding and appreciation of different cultures and views of the world. They are able to discover themselves through their varied experiences… personal development through pushing the boundaries of their comfort zone. It expands the world view of the student.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I’m fascinated with history, culture and architecture. I am also a wanderer at heart. You could place me anywhere I would make the most of it. Maybe backpacking through Asia or Africa would be great— lots of culture to cover.
Do you plan to make any major changes to Global Education or the programs it provides?
Global Education has historically focused on education abroad initiatives. Our scope has broadened to provide international student and scholar services, and well as the creation of an intensive English program for international students (Fall 2017). We will also work closely with a variety of offices to expand and enhance partnerships. I will be working with Christine Gaudry and the GE Advisory Board to look at faculty and staff engagement as it relates to internationalization.
What is an interesting fact about yourself that most people do not know?
I love video games… strategic games like civilizations etc. I am on hiatus because of pursuing a doctoral degree. Also, I would prefer to be curled up with a good book instead of watching TV etc.