|- Dr. Christopher Keller|
"Chris has a passion for international programs. He will work diligently to expand and improve study abroad experiences for our students and faculty," Buckman said. "He will also work to heighten our international profile at UTPA through developing our international relationships with other institutions throughout the world and seeking funding and grants which strengthen and enhance our international initiatives."
Keller came to UTPA as an assistant professor in 2004 and served as interim chair of the Department of English from Fall 2007 to Summer 2008. He has served on numerous departmental committees and also filled the roles of director of the First Year Writing Program; writing assessment coordinator; and chair of the task force of composition class size at UTPA.
He was previously a faculty member at the University of Hawaii-Hilo and the University of Hartford in Connecticut. Keller earned his B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin; M.A. in English from Kansas State University; and Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida with a concentration in rhetoric and composition.
Keller said he is thrilled with the appointment, which took effect March 19.
"One of the main goals at this point is to bring greater awareness of these programs to the UTPA community since so many can benefit from the wonderful travel and enrichment opportunities available through the OIP," Keller said. "It’s both exciting and rewarding to be involved in an office that helps connect the UTPA community with other students, faculty, scholars, and researchers from around the globe."
The OIP promotes international and multicultural awareness on campus and the community through programs such as student study abroad experiences, teach abroad by faculty, academic exchange programs, international events, presentations and conferences. They also facilitate the development of international programs in the areas of research, publications, continuing education, faculty development and community outreach and assist in establishing linkages between UTPA and universities in other countries.
Nominations for a permanent OIP faculty director will close April 20. An OIP Advocacy Committee comprising faculty and staff will review the applications and make a recommendation to Buckman, who oversees the OIP. Buckman said the appointment of the permanent director will be made before the end of the Spring 2012 semester and will be effective September 1, 2012.