"I am honored to represent Mason at the University of Hohenheim and believe this on-site experience with a university abroad will afford me the ability to forge new study abroad opportunities for our students as well as gain a better understanding of how a university abroad incorporates global initiatives into their academic and extracurricular programs," says Meggan Ford, winner of the first Global Professional Staff Exchange award sponsored by the Office of Global and International Strategies.
Ford, assistant director for academic services in the School of Management, will travel to Germany in November for a one-week stay at the university.
Ford says that she never had the opportunity to do a study abroad program while she was in college, "so to be able to travel to University of Hohenheim and put myself in the shoes of many of my students would be of great value not just to myself and my staff, but also my sensitivity when working with international students." She adds, "My higher education background is in both student and now academic affairs, and I have seen how vital it is to students' development to have a global initiative."
Rita Rowand, global relations specialist in the Office of Global and International Strategies, created the exchange as a way to give staff members a unique professional development and international experience. Mason will reciprocate by hosting a professional from Hohenheim.
Two committees reviewed the applicants for the award. Ford's name was submitted to the Global Office committee as a finalist from the Staff Senate committee. Rowand says Ford was selected based on suitability, her written project statement and the future impact her participation can have for her department, her colleagues and Mason.
"Meggan's work experience in higher education both at Mason and Syracuse University reflected a strong sense of commitment to her peers and students, as well as a keen interest in internationalization and how it can relate to those around her," Rowand explains.
Rowand adds that the Global Office plans to offer the program again next year.