Suzie Baker, assistant director of the Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech, has been named interim director.
Baker replaces Brian Bolton, who has accepted a position with the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service officer in Ecuador.
“Suzie’s enthusiasm, compassion, and past success in advancing international diversity at Virginia Tech make her an excellent choice for this role at Cranwell International Center,” said Patty Perillo, vice president of student affairs. “Our international students and Cranwell staff will be in great hands as she advocates for the department in her interim appointment.”
Serving in her current role since 2012, Baker oversees the center's student support and immigration services. She is responsible for providing short-term counseling, crisis intervention, advocacy, case management, and advising to international students. She has also helped to coordinate events ranging from small group activities to large-scale community events such as the International Street Fair, which is attended by more than 15,000 visitors each year.
With a focus on inclusivity, Baker collaborates with university departments and community agencies to provide outreach and training opportunities relating to intercultural competency and multicultural considerations in higher education counseling and advising.
As assistant director, Baker has helped to redesign and implement a new orientation program to prepare, educate, and welcome international students as they transition to Virginia Tech.
“I am pleased to support Suzie’s role as interim director for Cranwell International Center over the next few months,” said Tom Brown, dean of students. “If you have worked with Suzie, you know she has energy and passion for the departmental work. You also know she is dedicated to working toward the best experience possible for our international students.”
Prior to joining the Cranwell International Center team, Baker worked as a school counselor for Giles County Public Schools, an emergency assessment clinician for New River Valley Community Services, and as a parent-relations graduate assistant for the Dean of Students Office at Virginia Tech. She is currently serving as president of the New River Valley Counselor Association.
Baker received her bachelor’s degree from the Huddersfield University and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech. She is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Virginia.
Written by Holly Paulette.