New Center for International Education is Underway!

I’m happy to formally announce that the Office of International Academic Services will transition on March 25 into a new organizational unit, with a new name, a revised organizational structure, and an intensified mission to promote international education initiatives at UMW through study abroad programs, exchange programs, and international students and scholars.  Dr. Jose Sainz will serve as Director of the Center for International Education. In his new role, he will supervise all aspects of the Center, and the staff assigned to the Center will report directly to him.  Jose has done an excellent job as the Faculty Director of Study Abroad Programs, and the position as Director of the Center for International Education is an evolution of the role he began this year

Cheryl Mason will serve as Assistant Director for International Students and Scholars.  This change in her title more accurately reflects her role in the office.  She remains as the University’s primary authority on all matters pertaining to student and faculty visas and related legal matters. She is also primarily in charge of all activities pertaining to providing the services and programming necessary to effectively support the  foreign students who come to study at UMW.

A number of redefined and new positions will fill out the staff in the new Center for International Education.  Because a search is underway for one of these, and search for one other position will be commencing in a few weeks, I’m only able to describe the general outlines of the remaining Center staffing at this point.

One redefined position is the Study Abroad Coordinator.  This position will be responsible for a host of administrative tasks required to effectively manage study abroad programs, will assist UMW faculty as needed with their program planning and arrangements, will assist students as they explore possible program alternatives, and will handle a host of marketing activities.

Another redefined position in the Center will be Study Abroad Advisor.  This staff member will work directly with students, assisting them as the gather information about programs options, make choices, and then have to deal with a host of issues in order to be ready to travel.  The person occupying this role will also assist in keeping the Center’s website accurate and up to date.

The Program Assistant position will be a new one for the Center.  This person will assist with a wide range of responsibilities in the office.  This new part-time position is envisioned as an opportunity for a recently graduated UMW student with study abroad or international education experience to be able to bring their perspectives and use their experiences for the benefit of the next generations of UMW students that hope to study abroad or who will be coming to UMW as international students.

An advertisement for this position will be coming out in the near future.  I wanted you to be aware of this opportunity – perhaps you know of a student who would be an excellent candidate.  This position could also serve as a stepping stone for a student who might be interested in continuing in the field of international education by attending graduate school eventually, or by moving on to other positions in the field.

The organization chart shows what the structure of the Center for International Education will look like once all the pieces are in place.  This Center is a first step toward the realization of one of the goals sated in the UMW Strategic Plan: to “Increase opportunities and resources for international education.”  Look for additional activities and accomplishments as the new Center for International Education takes shape and tackles its many agendas.

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