UWP strives to increase study abroad opportunities

October 10, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - New ideas and opportunities have recently developed in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville study abroad office with the hiring of Donna Anderson as the new director of study abroad programs.

Anderson originally earned her undergraduate degree in sociology and German at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. She then returned to school at Loras College where she received her master's degree in education and multidisciplinary studies.

Prior to arriving at UWP, Anderson held the position of program coordinator in the Center for Experiential Learning at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. While at Loras, Anderson administered the study abroad program through the Center of Experiential Learning and oversaw various semester-long study abroad programs in Dublin, Ireland, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and Pretoria, South Africa, along with several short-term programs.

Anderson says she was not looking for a job change at the time it was posted, but when she heard of the opening following the retirement of former director of study abroad programs, Bill Spofford, she knew it was an excellent opportunity.

"I was aware of the study abroad program at UWP since it was one of our affiliate programs at Loras," Anderson said. "The program at UWP had a great reputation and I knew Bill Spofford had worked hard to build a strong program that I was interested in joining."

During her time at Loras College, Anderson gained experience working closely with faculty to develop short-term study abroad programs for individual departments as well as aiding faculty in joining students abroad. With this experience, Anderson plans to provide support and resources for faculty at UWP to administer exchanges or expand opportunities for short-term study abroad programs.

Anderson says she would like to reach out to the campus community to serve as a resource for faculty to help UWP strive in reaching the goal of the UW-Systeml of having each campus graduate a class with 25 percent of their members having obtained a study abroad experience. Anderson also hopes to increase awareness of study abroad programs amongst students and inform them that the program is open for everyone, not just students studying a certain language or field pertaining to international studies.

In her position as director of study abroad programs, Anderson is in charge of overseeing the four main programs at UWP; London, England; Seville, Spain; Nagasaki, Japan; and Rome, Italy. She also works with College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS) and other study abroad programs. Anderson also spends much of her time working with Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor and executive director of international programs, and Marsha Sola, coordinator of international student services, developing new programs and marketing current ones.

"Donna Anderson has a demonstrated interest in and commitment to study abroad programs," Daus said. "Donna studied in Germany during her undergraduate years and completed both her undergraduate and graduate theses on topics associated with the educational outcomes of study abroad experiences. Donna is an effective communicator who has gained the respect of her peers as evidenced by her many presentations at Association for International Educators (NAFSA) conferences. We welcome Donna to the UW-Platteville international program team."

Anderson says in her short time at UWP, she already loves the feeling of campus; finding it warm, welcoming and friendly. Anderson also encourages students to stop by the study abroad office and learn more about the various programs offered to students.

The study abroad office will be hosting an informational session regarding the Seville, Spain program Tuesday, Oct. 7 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Wisconsin Room located in the Pioneer Student Center. All students are welcome to attend. For questions or inquiries, call the study abroad office at (608) 342-1726 or stop by Royce 111.

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