For Immediate Release
April 16, 2012
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or email@example.com
New Head of UMD International Affairs Has Ambitious Goals
Make UMD 'Best Globally Networked University in the Nation'
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The newly appointed Associate Vice President for International Affairs at the University of Maryland, Ross Lewin, comes to the position with ambitious goals: make UMD the "best globally networked university in the nation" and College Park a capital of international education.
"This is a dream job for anyone in my field," says Lewin, who currently serves as Executive Director of the Office of Global Programs at the University of Connecticut, where he has nearly quadrupled student participation.
"The University of Maryland makes international education one of its highest priorities, has unbelievably rich programming in place, and is ideally located to pursue these goals - the only major public research university within the immediate orbit of the nation's capital," Lewin adds. "What could be better for developing relationships with institutions around the world?"
Lewin is expected to start at Maryland on July 30, replacing Jonathan Wilkenfeld, who holds the post on an interim basis.
"Internationalizing our university could not be more vital to our students, faculty and to the State of Maryland as a whole," says UMD President Wallace Loh. "Our job is to prepare our students to be global citizens and to forge alliances that will keep our state and nation at the forefront of technological and intellectual development. I am confident Ross Lewin's experience and wealth of ideas will advance our global networking and prominence."
In his new role, Lewin will report jointly to the president and to Senior Vice President and Provost Ann Wylie.
"With his extensive experience and knowledge, Dr. Lewin is well poised to guide the University toward fulfilling the vision described in our Strategic Plan to 'be the public institution of choice for students, faculty, and staff committed to engagement in the global community,'" Wylie says. "Please join me in thanking Professor Jonathan Wilkenfeld for his exemplary service in the interim position during the past year and in wishing him well as he resumes his faculty position in the Department of Government and Politics."
DEEPEN GLOBAL ALLIANCES
While UMD has over 300 formal partnerships with universities and governments overseas, Lewin says it's important to foster even "deeper" relations with the best institutions in the world.
"I will encourage the university community to make sure we get the most from our partnerships," he explains. "We should leverage our most promising relationships to extend our collaborations - across campus, across disciplines for as many students, faculty and staff as possible. These alliances can benefit the entire university community, and we should do this whenever possible."
At Connecticut, Lewin says he was able to open doors for students, faculty and staff by convincing the university to join an alliance of 23 world class research universities. "It's an indication of the direction things are going - the scale of opportunities is greater than you can achieve operating independently or through traditional bilateral alliances."
Also, Lewin intends to build relationships in the Washington, D.C. area. That includes increasing links with the U.S. Department of State and other federal agencies, as well as building connections with international organizations based in this world capital.
ATTRACT NEW INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION
Building on UMD's areas of excellence, Lewin hopes to create new programs that will lure international participants to College Park.
For example, he wants to leverage UMD's diverse academic strengths to create a set of international summer schools that will attract students from around the world.
He's also a fan of the Gemstone Honors College, which provides a unique multidisciplinary four-year research program for select students. To forge international teams of problem solvers, would it be feasible to broaden the program to include students at international partner institutions by using online technology, he asks?
Or would it be possible for UMD to develop a program similar to the Fulbright Scholarships, which would send faculty to teach in developing countries? "These are simply ideas to consider," Lewin says. "My promise is to bring creativity, an open mind and commitment."
Lewin currently serves as the the University of Connecticut's executive director of the Office of Global Programs (since 2010) and director of the Office of Study Abroad (since 2004). He is responsible for managing the integration of three formerly autonomous offices into the Office of Global Programs, fostering academic and research collaborations with international institutions, working with faculty to develop global research grants and developing new global opportunities for students. He helped frame these internationalization efforts around global citizenship.
In Lewin's eight years as director of study Abroad at Connecticut, student participation in the program increased by almost 400 percent.
From 2001 to 2004, he directed the Burch Programs and Honors Study Abroad at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lewin earned a B.A. (1984) in politics and literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.A. (1986) and a Ph.D. (2000) in German studies from Stanford University.
UMD INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
The University of Maryland is a globally connected institution that places a high value on its worldwide reach and impact. UMD has over 300 formal partnerships with universities and governments overseas; its faculty hail from over 130 countries; it is consistently named among the top 25 universities welcoming international students; and its President's Promise initiative strives to provide an international experience - whether via study abroad, an overseas internship, international service learning, or a campus-based intercultural learning program - for every UM student. The further growth of UMD's international character and global connections is one of the three major initiatives established in its current Strategic Plan, Transforming Maryland: Higher Expectations.
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