(Mar. 3, 2015) -- Lisa Marie Gomez has been named executive director of the UTSA Office of International Programs.
Gomez has served as associate director of the Center for Student Professional Development in the UTSA College of Business since 2013. From 2010 to 2012, she was director of the college's Office of International Engagement.
In the Office of International Programs, Gomez will oversee education abroad services, international undergraduate admissions, international student and scholar services, and global relations and agreements. She says she is committed to helping to raise the profile of the university globally by fostering partnerships with compatible foreign universities; supporting the university's international student/scholar population; and being a resource for faculty interested in developing international programs within their respective colleges.
Of particular interest to her is increasing opportunities for UTSA students to have an international experience as part of their college education.
"Going to college itself is a life-changing experience," says Gomez. "Adding an international element to the academic experience can open a student's mind about how global economies work and how to communicate across cultures."
As an undergraduate at the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies, a specialized program at the University of Redlands (Calif.), Gomez's first study abroad experience was to Uganda to study sustainable economic development and to neighboring Rwanda where she became interested in studying peace and conflict transformation. She also spent a semester at American University that included traveling to the Balkans to research the region's recovery from civil conflict.
Gomez believes her own, nontraditional study abroad experiences are good examples of how study abroad can be customized to meet a student's academic interests and career goals.
"International experiences can add value to any course of study—whether you're a science, engineering, education or business major," she said. "One of the most beneficial skills you cultivate when living abroad is the ability to connect and work with people from different backgrounds. We live in an increasingly interconnected world, demonstrating a global mindset is becoming highly valuable to employers across industries."
Gomez earned her master's degree in international peace studies from the International University of Japan in Niigata, Japan. In addition to her work at UTSA, Gomez also served as district director for U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett and legislative director for Texas State Representative Kevin Bailey. In 2008, she was part of a United Nations Development Programme devoted to democratic institution building and strengthening electoral processes in Cambodia.
"Lisa Marie has a solid track record of creating opportunities for our students at UTSA, both in terms of career development and international experience," said René Zenteno, vice provost for international initiatives and senior international officer. "She brings tremendous international experience, skills and knowledge to the Office of International Programs, and she will play a valuable role in our continuing efforts to make UTSA one of the most international universities in the state of Texas."
Gomez replaces Charles Crane, who retired in January.
To learn more, visit the UTSA Office of International Programs.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.