We would like to give a warm welcome to our newest Co-Chair, Dr Yana A. Cornish. Over the last 15 years Dr. Cornish was directly involved in a variety of activities in a public and private higher education setting in the US and abroad. During this time she carried out administrative duties, taught, conducted research, published, worked on grants, and served on committees among many other activities.
While currently at the University of Georgia as their Director of Education Abroad, previously Dr. Cornish spent over 10 years leading the University of Northern Iowa Study Abroad Center. Initially in a one-person office, Dr. Cornish was closely engaged in development and support of faculty-led and semester programs, including bilateral exchanges, academic internships and research for undergraduate and graduate students utilizing various technologies. Under her leadership, the number of faculty-led short-term programs increased from 2 in 2004-05 to nearly 40 being offered currently. The Study Abroad Center has grown to 8 full-time staff and 40 part-time student staff, with several international exchange students among them. During her tenure, overall student participation in study abroad programs at UNI increased from 157 students (in 2003-04) to 605 students (2013-14). In recent years, the Open Doors report listed UNI in the top 20 in overall participation among MA-level universities.
In addition to expanding education abroad program offerings and increasing student participation, Dr. Cornish focused her efforts on utilization of information technologies. To facilitate operations of the UNI Study Abroad Center, StudioAbroad software was acquired in January 2013. With Dr. Cornish serving as a campus lead for the software implementation, the new campus-wide portal was successfully launched in August 2013. Most features offered by the software are being utilized, including website management, participant application portal, program evaluation, reporting, on-line pre-departure orientation, faculty-led program proposal submission portal, travel registries for students, staff and faculty, a scholarship portal, and a credit card payment portal among several other features. During Dr. Cornish strongly believes in a supportive and transformative role of modern technologies and media in international education and higher education in general.
We hope you will join us in welcoming Dr Cornish to the Tech MIG and we look forward to seeing you all over the course of the next year!