New study abroad director appointed
Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 04:10
Business professor Matthew Robinson now serves as the new director of the Institute for Global Studies, and the institute will receive the guidance of a new research board. Robinson began as director on Sept. 1, replacing former director Lesa Griffiths.
"I think global is a major part of the overall university's strategic plan," Robinson said. "I'm excited about the opportunity to be involved with promoting that global agenda through our students and faculty."
He said most people view global studies as education within an American context, but he wants students to be more knowledgeable about foreign countries themselves.
Robinson said students should familiarize themselves with other cultures, because today's job market often requires interaction with foreign nations.
"I truly believe that in the world we live in today, every student should have an international experience," Robinson said.
Robinson has experience abroad, as he became involved in a coaching education program in Turkey eight years ago. His experience expanded to other countries, and he recently created a program focusing on Olympic coaches. He currently works with nearly 100 coaches from 40 different countries.
University Deputy Provost Nancy Brickhouse, who led the search for a new director, is working with other members of the Global Research Consortium, the newly-created research board that will consider improvements to the department.
The board will identify a short list of the department's strengths, and then work to enhance those areas.
"We're going to find our strongest areas in Global Relations and work to make them even stronger," Brickhouse said. "It's going to create a better outcome than just focusing on a bunch of aspects."
The university was the first in the country to offer a study abroad program 75 years ago, and now runs over 70 programs annually.
Nancy Guerra, associate dean for research of the College of Arts and Sciences, was appointed head of the Global Research Consortium over the summer. Once established, the new committee will analyze the program's strengths within the research department and focus on those areas, she said.
"It's going to make [the Institute for Global Studies] a lot stronger in the long run," Guerra said. "It's going to help so much with our global agenda."