The Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning at The University of Texas-Pan American has selected Dr. Sandra Hansmann, associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation, as the new faculty director of The Office Of International Programs (OIP).
"I am very pleased to accept the position of Director of International Programs," Hansmann said. "I look forward to the many opportunities the position presents, and I am eager to make a positive contribution."
Dr. Kenneth Buckman, associate provost of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning, said Hansmann brings to the position a commitment to help students, vigorous administrative experience and a strong international portfolio.
"She has a very broad profile with regard to international experiences ranging from study abroad, international exchanges, agreements of cooperation with international institutions, and the development and implementation of international grants," Buckman said. "Moreover, Dr. Hansmann, as a member of the UTPA faculty, brings a mindset and a familiarity with the role and challenges that confront faculty who conduct individually led study abroad programs. Her work ethic is impeccable."
Hansmann is currently the director of UTPA's Integrative Global Knowledge and Understanding Collaboration (IGkNU) and has been working in several positions within that unit since 2007.
"I look forward to enhancing international study and exchange for our students and faculty, and to promoting enhanced diversity and intercultural understanding," Hansmann said. "As Texas and the Rio Grande Valley become increasingly globalized, the need for informed international viewpoints is critical. Scholarship without borders has never been more important to a transformative educational experience at UTPA."
Hansmann said she will work to heighten UTPA's international profile by developing global relationships with other institutions throughout the world, and by seeking funding and grants which strengthen and enhance the University's international initiatives.
"I am committed to supporting globally educated learners and scholars through campus internationalization so that we in the Rio Grande Valley are well prepared to participate fully in our increasingly interdependent world," she said.
Hansmann earned her master's degree in rehabilitation counseling and her Ph.D. in special education/rehabilitation counselor education from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research agenda focuses on the applicability of analytical methodologies in intelligence and security to social and health sciences. Hansmann will continue teaching in the UTPA rehabilitation program.
The OIP promotes international and multicultural awareness on campus and the communities through academic exchange programs, student study abroad experiences, teach abroad by faculty, international events and conferences. The department also assists with the development of international programs in the areas of research, continuing education, faculty development and community outreach in establishing relations between UTPA and universities in other countries.
Dr. Christopher Keller, associate professor in the Department of English, has been serving as the interim faculty director of the OIP since March.
Hansmann's appointment will begin Sept. 1, 2012.