Editor’s note: The story here is part of a series of 40 stories commemorating USF Sarasota-Manatee’s 40th anniversary this academic year. For more about USFSM’s history, please visit usfsm.edu/anniversary.
Forty years ago, USF Sarasota-Manatee started as an upper-division campus serving local students who wanted to finish their college education or take a course or two.
Today, the needs and demands of our student population are greater and constantly evolving. With the addition of sophomores and freshmen in 2012 and 2013, the demand for international learning opportunities also increased. To meet those needs, USFSM developed the Global Engagement Office.
The Global Engagement Office (GEO) coordinates with USF World to provide support to faculty and students interested in studying abroad. It also strives to encourage foreign students to study here at USFSM.
By bringing more foreign students to the campus and encouraging greater participation by faculty and students in study-abroad programs, USFSM aims to become a hub for diverse cultures and ideas.
To promote global culture at USFSM and greater participation in study-abroad programs, the GEO schedules campus-wide programs and info-sessions. It also coordinates an international certificate program and works with deans and faculty on new study-abroad initiatives. All of this helps to create a more rounded, globally minded student body.
“Expanding international education is an important component of our new strategic plan as we need to prepare our students to succeed in a global market,” USFSM Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone said.
Amela Malkic, recently appointed director of the GEO, said: “Our numbers of enrolled international students and visiting scholars are on the rise as we work closely with all colleges in promoting international education at USFSM.
“I believe that USFSM is an affordable and attractive academic choice because we offer outstanding educational programs, a personalized learning community and a warm Florida welcome to international students,” she said.
In addition to bringing international students to USFSM, the GEO works on diversity initiatives to expand USFSM’s international reach and offer a global perspective to its curricula.
“Our institution is committed to graduating competent students,” Malkic said. “Personally, I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with Dr. Stone and the entire USFSM community on expanding international education across our institution and the USF System.
“We intend to collaborate with our colleges, faculty and USF World on a variety of initiatives to promote international opportunities for faculty and students,” she said. “It is exciting to be a part of USFSM as we work to meet our strategic goals and advance student achievement through global academic experiences.”