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Barbara Stephenson, PhDBarbara Stephenson, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Global Affairs, Chief Global Officer, and retired U.S. Ambassador was the guest speaker for the International Committee meeting held on September 29. Dr. Stephenson spoke about the latest initiatives from UNC Global in response to the pandemic: “We are revising the strategy so that we can provide a transformative global education when travel is difficult and most students can’t participate.”

To help jump start future study abroad programs across campus, UNC Global is revising and strengthening policies and procedures involving student international travel. One initiative calls for standardized training to be offered to all faculty members who lead study abroad programs. In addition, there are plans to create a UNC study abroad handbook to provide further guidance to program leaders in uncertain times. Dr. Stephenson also described a destination review process under development that would help reduce the risks.

Dr. Stephenson informed the eight DAHS meeting participants about the Connecting Carolina Classrooms with the World initiative. Selected faculty will receive a $2,500 curriculum development award to teach a three-week short course that is partnered with a university or class abroad. The fall deadline is October 15.

Also discussed was UNC Global’s new strategy to enhance support to UNC’s international research mission. Their team is in conversation with researchers across campus regarding how UNC Global could help to launch research projects by adjusting policies, clarifying problems, or by providing small sums of seed money until grant funding is secured.

Members of the committee then shared their reasons for joining the committee and their aspirations for global impact. Sue Coppola, professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, plans to schedule another meeting with Dr. Stephenson to stay connected with UNC Global and learn about other initiatives.

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