After meetings, orientation sessions and even a walking tour of the Yale campus, Barbara Rowe has completed her first week as the new director of the International Education and Fellowship Programs.
Rowe is replacing Catherine Hutchison Winnie, the former director of the IEFP who left in July for the Rochester Institute of Technology. Charles Porter, a professor emeritus in French, served as the interim director of the program.
“[Rowe] has a lot of imagination about possibilities for international education beyond formal study abroad programs, and she came here partly for the fun of being a pioneer,” Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead said.
Brodhead was particularly involved in the search for Rowe because Yale is trying to continue improving the IEFP office.
“The Yale administration has set globalization as one of the University’s main goal in the new century. I see this office as playing an integral role in such growth,” Rowe said.
Rowe said she intends to reach out to faculty and students to increase the circulation of knowledge on studying abroad and fellowship opportunities.
“It is a myth that Yale students are discouraged from studying abroad, and it is a myth I hope dies fast,” Rowe said.
Yet Rowe does not think that studying abroad is for everyone. She said she believes that for some people the right decision is to stay at Yale and that students should make informed decisions about the different benefits of studying here and abroad.
Rowe cited that a central worry of many students was how the quality of classes abroad compared to those offered at Yale. But she said she has faith that those who use IEFP to study abroad will be guided toward academically sound programs around the world.
Others in the office said they are excited to work with Rowe.
“I have known Barbara for many years. She is extremely well regarded in the study abroad field; I am confidant that she will take on all the necessary tasks to make this office effective,” said Karyn Jones, associate director of IEFP.
In addition to study-abroad, the office handles fellowships, such as the Marshall and the Rhodes.
“We also want to stress this office’s major effort on the fellowship side,” Rowe said.
Since IEFP began handling all fellowships two years ago, Yale students have received many distinguished fellowships. Over that time, Yale students have received the most Rhodes Scholarships of any university or college in the country.
“The fellowship effort of this office is a well-oiled operation. Hutchison Winnie did a great job, and I intend to build upward from that foundation,” Rowe said.
In coming to Yale, Rowe leaves her position as director of the study abroad office at Bucknell University for the past 14 years.
“The move from Pennsylvania was pretty easy. My new home is wonderful,” she said.
A week ago, Rowe moved with her family to Branford, a ten minute commute by train from New Haven.
But Rowe hasn’t ruled out moving to New Haven at some point.
“I think New Haven has a lot to offer as a city.”