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Gray named director of international programs

By Catherine Doss

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 13 - November 19, 1998

Linda H. Gray has been named director of international programs at Virginia Tech. That announcement from Provost Peggy S. Meszaros came recently at a meeting of the University Council for International Programs (UCIP).
Gray was formerly director of international exchange programs within the University Office of International Programs (UOIP). In her new role, she will provide overall guidance, vision, coordination, and visibility to the university's internationalization efforts. Her duties will include promotion of international programs; oversight of student-exchange and study-abroad programs, including the Center for European Studies and Architecture; faculty international-education services; international linkages; and UOIP budget, administrative, and personnel functions.
"We are delighted that Lyn has accepted these increased responsibilities," Meszaros said. "Internationalizing the university experience is a key component of our Academic Agenda, and Lyn brings a wealth of experience and capabilities to help move the university forward in that direction."
Gray earned a bachelor's degree in French at Mary Washington College and a master of science in Russian Language and Linguistics from Georgetown University. Her interest in languages and cultures has sent her to 50 countries around the world. She served in the Peace Corps as a high-school teacher in Liberia and then as a trainer of new volunteers. She returned to Georgetown as director of International student activities in 1976, and in 1980, she became the university's assistant director of a new program, the Center of Immigration Policy and Refugee Assistance.
In 1983, Gray went to Zaire as the Peace Corps' associate director for programming and training, and from 1986 to 1989, she served as Peace Corps country director in Niger. She next went to Washington, D.C. and served as executive director of the National Peace Corps Association, a non-profit organization of 7,000 members and 106 affiliate groups.
Before joining Virginia Tech in 1995, Gray served as a management adviser and trainer for the Environmental Protection Agency and worked independently as a training consultant.
In other business, members of the UCIP received an update on international enrollment figures for this year. New undergraduate enrollments of international students are up slightly over last fall from 114 to 116, bringing the total undergraduate international enrollment to 1,434 students representing 112 countries.
New graduate enrollments of international students are down slightly from last year from 313 to 306, while total graduate enrollment is up from 1,151 to 1,164.
The council also set five goals for this year: (1) increase the visibility of international activities on campus; (2) evaluate and make recommendations for overcoming barriers for undergraduate international students in receiving financial aid, visas, and other critical components of studying in the United States; (3) create an international alumni database; (4) establish an international research database; and (5) update procedures and funding related to international exchange scholars.
The council is comprised of representatives for each college and various administrative units and is chaired by Meszaros. Council members for 1998-99 are David Alexander, department chair, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; Patrick Carlton, director of international education, UOIP; Roberto Conte, graduate student, electrical engineering; S.K. DeDatta, director of OIRD and associate dean, College of Agriculture and Life Studies; Lee Drowne, assistant director, Undergraduate Admissions; Gray, director of international programs; Darlene Grega, director, Cranwell International Center; Tom Hammett, coordinator of international programs, College of Forestry and Wildlife Resources; Martha Johnson, assistant dean, Graduate School; Donald Kenney, associate dean, University Libraries; Pamela Kurstedt, assistant dean, College of Engineering; William Lavery, president emeritus; Arnold Schuetz, director, International Studies; Debbie Shelton, director, Alumni Relations; Barry Smith, director of development, College of Architecture and Urban Studies; Nammalwar Sriranganathan, associate professor, biomedical sciences and pathobiology; Max Stephenson, associate dean, College of Architecture and Urban Studies; and Robert Sumichrast, associate dean, graduate and international programs, Pamplin College of Business.