Two new staff have joined Study Away Director Jerry Barnaby in the WKU Study Away Office, offering support to those interested in Study Away and Faculty-Led Study Abroad programs. Rebecca Schwartz and Erin Greunke began their new positions July 2 and are charged with coordinating travel and planning details to make these courses possible.
According to Barnaby, they will administer travel logistics so faculty can concentrate on the learning outcomes of the course. “They will handle all the travel details, including developing and managing budgets, booking transportation, coordinating accommodations and fulfilling aspects of the travel planning,” Barnaby said. “They will also work to keep the costs down for students, making courses more feasible for them,” he added.
Schwartz is a graduate of the University of Idaho, receiving a B.A. International Relations and a B.A. Philosophy. She has traveled extensively, including a yearlong trip she planned herself around the world before moving to Kentucky for her new position. “I love planning travel almost as much as I love to travel, so this job is the perfect fit,” Schwartz said. “I hope to help make travel not only possible for every student at WKU, but a goal as well.”
Schwartz said one of her goals is to develop a course that includes international volunteering. Her ideas include an engineering class that builds a school in Africa or an English course that teaches at a community shelter in China. “I want students to realize their efforts can change the world,” she said.
Greunke is WKU alumna, receiving a B.A. in Political Science and Geography and an M.S. in Geoscience. She participated in several study abroad courses and did her master’s research on the effects of study abroad on geo-literacy. Greunke is a doctoral student in the WKU Educational Leadership Program, and last spring she helped organize Kentucky’s first Statewide Study Abroad Symposium – the first of its kind in the nation.
“I am a huge advocate of getting students and faculty off campus and into the world to study subjects more in depth,” Greunke said. “I am able to work toward that goal every day for a university that I am personally vested in.”
She is helping work on a partnership between WKU and the Indira Gandhi National Open University in India. “I hope this initiative will open doors across campus to WKU faculty and students wanting to work on projects in that area of the world,” she added.
WKU Study Away oversees all Study Away programs and provides administrative and logistical support for Faculty-Led Study Abroad programs. For additional information on WKU Study Away programs, visit www.wku.edu/studyaway. For Faculty-led Study Away programs, visit www.wku.edu/flsa/. Or contact Jerry Barnaby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study Away is a unit of Extended Learning and Outreach.
Contact: Jerry Barnaby, (270) 745-2231