BY MAX ADDINGTON – STAFF WRITER
Centre College is currently in the process of selecting a new Director of Global Citizenship. The application process began when Dr. Milton Reigelman, the current Director of Global Citizenship, announced his retirement during the Spring of 2016. The selection committee began meeting the following semester, and applications were accepted leading up to February 2017.
After receiving a “good pool of applicants,” the selection committee narrowed the candidates down to a list of four, Professor Genny Ballard tells the Cento. The four finalists include Dr. Kyle Anderson from Centre College, Dr. Sylvia Henneberg from Morehead State University, Dr. Kurt Olausen from Eastern Illinois University, and Elizabeth Liebschutz-Roettger from the University of Louisville.
Studying abroad is at the heart of the Centre experience, with 85% of the student body studying abroad at least once, and many going abroad several times. When asked about what the incoming Director of Global Citizenship will be tasked with, Dr. Reigelman replied, “The core of the job has to be utilitarian: the greatest good for the greatest number of people. That includes budgeting…a continual assessment of our over twenty abroad programs offered every year. The task is to articulate the vision and virtues of study abroad. You’re the spokesperson and cheerleader for those who want to study abroad. It is an incredibly gratifying position.”
The selection committee is comprised of an assortment of faculty, including Dean Stephanie Fabritius, Professor Genny Ballard, Dean Randy Hayes, Professor Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, Professor Jeffrey Lieberg, Elizabeth Graves, Dean Brian Cusato, and Dr. Milton Reigelman serving as an advisory member.
In selecting the new Director, Genny Ballard stated some qualities that the selected finalist must possess.
“They absolutely have to have a combination of experience and vision,” Ballard said, “The candidate needs to be a good enough fit for all of the important constituencies on campus. Study abroad is so important to many stakeholders on campus…people from every part of campus…We have been really thankful for all of the input. The work is really valued.”
The four finalists were tasked with giving presentations at an open forum in the Evans-Lively room in early April, answering the questions, “What challenges are liberal arts colleges facing in regard to study abroad in the next five years?” and “What solutions would you offer to address these challenges at Centre College?”
In answering this question, Dr. Kyle Anderson said, “We need to be more intentional about integrating diversity and identity into our study abroad programming. We also need to diversify our experiences around the globe, continuing to support and grow programs that we have in Latin America and Europe while shifting out of our Western spheres, expanding to Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.”
Dr. Kyle Anderson has been at Centre for seven years now, holding an assortment of positions, including Assistant Professor of Chinese, Chair of the Asian Studies Department, Interim Chair of the German and Japanese Departments, and is an Arthur Vining Davis Teaching Fellow.
“The most impressive thing about studying abroad is the soft skills that students that students develop while learning to be more independent and autonomous in a foreign place,” Dr. Anderson continued, “I want students’ study abroad experiences to not end when the plane touches back down in Lexington. Being abroad itself shouldn’t be the end all be all experience that a Centre student has, but rather a springboard to other opportunities of research, internships, and future employment.”