The Center for International and Cultural Education welcomed new Study Away Program Coordinator Matthew Hirman on Thursday, September 12, with a reception open to the campus community.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the team here at Gustavus,” Hirman said.
Hirman was an International Coordinator for Faculty Directed Programs at Arizona State University
“I’ve come to Gustavus due to my long-standing relationship with the college. My father graduated [from Gustavus] in 1958 and my son graduated in 2018. I’m a strong believer in a liberal arts education, and I identify closely with the college’s core values. I’m excited to be joining a small liberal arts college and to have the opportunity to work more closely with students,” Hirman said.
“My goal during this job search was to find a place where I could become part of a college community while working closely with students. I’m confident that I’ve found that here at Gustavus,” Hirman said.
“I don’t have an agenda for changing anything just yet, but I’ll be looking for areas we can
expand opportunities to study away and engage internationally.” Hirman said.
The reception also recognized the work of Roger Adkins, who had been the Director of International and Cultural Education since 2015. He is leaving for Indiana to take a position as the Executive Director of Global and Career Education at Earlham College.
“I’m most proud of increas[ing] access to study away participation for students with higher financial needs. and the creation of new scholarship opportunities, as well as having been a part of the team that created the Multilingual and Intercultural Program Coordinator position, which lead to new support for international and multilingual students,” Adkins said.
“I’m also proud of working to create the Global Affairs and Cultures requirement in the new general education program replacing Liberal Arts Perspectives in 2020,” Adkins said.
The Study Away Program offers over 475 programs in total, around ten of which are personally led by Gustavus faculty every year. Programs are available both around the United States and internationally, and over fifty percent of Gustavus students participate in study away programs before graduation. Junior Kati Williams went on the first summer IEX trip, Melting Mountains: Glaciers, Climate Change, and Society in the European Alps, this past summer.
“I really enjoyed a J- term offered in the summer and hope it is an option that is offered again for students. Considering that it was the first time a J-term had been organized, it went really well… I feel like everyone in charge put in maximum effort given the circumstances, and the trip went off smoothly. I would love to study abroad again, but can’t currently afford it,” Williams said.
“The CICE office administers all the Gustavus- sponsored study away activities, work with admitted, current, alumni, and international students, and provide academic and other support and advising for multilingual students,” Adkins said.
The International Student Services and Study Away Programs have always been a part of the Center for International and Cultural Education, with the Multilingual Student Program being the most recent addition two years ago.
Carly Overfelt is an advisor, tutor, instructor, and advocate for the international and multilingual students.
“I work to make sure all those students have everything they need to succeed and make sure all those students have everything they need to succeed and make the most of their rich backgrounds and skills they are bringing,” Overfelt said.
“I’m very excited about our incoming student senate… what that could mean for expanding services and support… and the way these supports can be tied in with the needs of other historically underserved populations, like students of color, LGBTQIA students, first generation and low-income students… so that every student on campus has their needs met,” Overfelt said. “At CICE, it is an honor to be the hub of activity when it comes to international and multicultural concerns, but we’d really like to see the entire campus share that with us,” Overfelt said.