Global Programs streamlines strategic international engagement

Elizabeth Brady
October 09, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. -- Global Programs is re-engineering its global engagement strategy in an effort to more effectively facilitate the realization of the University’s strategic goal of building a Global Penn State.

“Global Programs provides critical support to more than 10,000 students and scholars from 140 countries, thousands of students studying abroad across the globe, and partnering with select peer institutions to facilitate international engagement of our faculty and student,” said Michael Adewumi, vice provost for global programs.

Through a network of strategic partners around the world, referred to as the Global Engagement Network, or GEN, Penn State has built multi-level relationships through research, faculty exchange and student experience. Rob Crane, associate vice provost for global programs and professor of geography is charged with leading the efforts to streamline and refocus these initiatives into a more coherent manner.

“Under the umbrella of Global Programs Strategic Initiatives, we will have coordinators serving as facilitators between Penn State faculty and our partners around the world. These strategic coordinators will actively connect faculty across disciplines with resources and people in partner institutions.

“We expect to be a resource between Penn State and our GEN partners,” said Crane. “For example, we have seed money available for faculty interested in Freiburg and proposals are due by mid-November.”

The Strategic Initiatives office will also organize a faculty workshop at the University of Monash in Melbourne, Australia, in April 2018, followed immediately by a jointly funded seed money program to develop the budding collaborative research programs.

“These are opportunities to match faculty with mutual research interests for global collaboration and they have been very successful in the past,” said Crane.

Another major focus of the office is the Water-Energy-Food Systems (WEFS) initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many research institutions are in search for sustainable solutions to diminishing water, energy, and food resources. Penn State is one of the few institutions whose goal is to address these issues in a holistic manner so that intervention in one area does not negatively affect other areas.

For more information please visit or contacts in Global Programs Strategic Initiatives:

Anne Stover ( program assistant

Global Engagement Network:

Martin Trethewey (, director

Rose Tan (, engagement coordinator - East Asia

Aissatou Nabe (, strategic engagement analyst

Water-Energy-Food Systems:

Sylvester Osagie (, director: WEFS-West Africa

Esther Obonyo (, director: WEFS-East Africa

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 09, 2017