UNL expands global opportunities for students, faculty

· 2 min read

UNL expands global opportunities for students, faculty

The Skyros Quartet plays with colleagues from Xi'an Jiaotong University in Xi'an, China. The performance was part of a "Nebraska Week" celebration hosted in May by the Chinese university.

A quiet restructuring of campus resources in the last year has allowed UNL to expand international engagement opportunities offered to students and faculty.

The new alignment — organized by Academic Affairs — has included reorganizing and rebranding existing resources, making strategic hires, launching an online system to track study abroad opportunities, shifting international agreements online, and partnering with other campus departments and units.

Dave Wilson, senior international officer, said the changes are paying off as, in 2012 and for the first time ever, UNL’s international undergraduates outnumbered international graduate students.

“A 21st-century education is incomplete without some sort of global component,” Wilson said. “We have realigned resources and added others to give our students every opportunity to study, research or intern abroad.”

Under the reorganization, UNL’s Study Abroad program was rebranded as Education Abroad. Part of the rebranding included the implementation of the online system that allows students to see what international opportunities exist, and to submit and track progress of study abroad applications. The paperless system also offers better organization to faculty and campus administrators.

UNL also created a new website, http://international.unl.edu, to help students learn about international engagement opportunities and resources.

At the same time the Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, College of Education and Human Sciences and University Housing have shifted resources.

IANR established a Global Engagement office in November 2012, hiring Mark Doyle as director. Arts and Sciences named Patrice McMahon global engagement director, and University Housing hired Jessica Loke as residential international student coordinator. Also, Education and Human Sciences and CASNR partnered to hire Jon Kerrigan as the colleges’ global engagement director.

Wilson said another key change was naming Ruth Lionberger as international projects manager for Academic Affairs.

“With students and faculty from more than 130 countries, education abroad programs in more than 70 nations, and research efforts and partnerships on all seven continents, UNL truly engages the world,” Wilson said. “Now, with these changes, our goal is to continue to expand UNL’s connections with the world.”

Read more about UNL’s global engagement in the Scarlet Year in Review.

Graphic used by UNL's International Engagement initiative.

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