President Christensen to Serve as Mentor for International Education Program

By Purnell T. Cropper | October 16, 2014

The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) has selected Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen, president of Arcadia University, as one of four academic and administrative leaders to serve as a mentor for the Neal Presidential Fellows Program.

Dr. Christensen will be matched with Barbara Simmons, inaugural dean and associate professor of international education at William V.S. Tubman University in Liberia. During the 2014-15 academic year, Simmons will visit Arcadia, shadow Dr. Christensen, and learn about the Arcadia’s policies and procedures, according to AIEA.

“We are delighted to offer this unique professional development opportunity for promising new/early senior international officers,” said Dr. Darla Deardorff, AIEA executive director. “The 2014-2015 cohort of AIEA Neal Presidential Fellows represents the diversity of senior international officers.”

Dr. Christensen is the first president to serve in the mentor role. After joining Arcadia as a vice president in 2008, she led the Center for Education Abroad’s transition to become The College of Global Studies, a full-fledged college of the University. Dr. Christensen also led innovative initiatives such as creating a Center for Research and Assessment, a unit that would go on to develop the award-winning international education program assessment model ATLAS; appointing a full-time health and safety director dedicated to overseeing all Arcadia programs, staff, and centers worldwide; and expanding Arcadia’s global footprint by establishing new centers in Barcelona, Dublin, Edinburgh, Havana, Istanbul, London, Melbourne, Rome, and Sicily.

“It is an honor to serve as a mentor for the Neal Presidential Fellows Program,” said Dr. Christensen. “Each year, AIEA selects an extraordinarily talented group of individuals to serve as presidential fellows, and this year is no different. AIEA’s commitment to improving and advancing the international dimensions of higher education is crucial to the collegiate landscape right now. I welcome the opportunity to help the association move forward in this mission.”

Dr. Christensen’s appointment reflects her commitment to Arcadia’s emphasis on providing students with an education with a global perspective. Arcadia has been ranked #1 in the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Report for five of the past six years, including in 2013. The College of Global Studies, the first College of its kind dedicated to the delivery and development of education abroad, sends nearly 3,000 students from more than 300 schools abroad each year.