Administering an expanded scholarship program is one of the duties of Marielle Wijnands, newly appointed assistant director for student services in the Global Education Office.
Wijnands' addition to Global Education, part of Outreach and International Affairs, is the latest in an office that, since 2013, has tripled the number of its full-time staff.
"With a full complement of staff, we are now poised to build on our efforts to serve faculty in their internationalization efforts and work to make study abroad a reality for a much larger, more diverse portion of the student body," said Theresa Johansson, director of Global Education.
By the end of the academic year, the office will have awarded nearly $250,000 in scholarship assistance to bring study abroad within the reach of more Virginia Tech students. Currently, 16.5 percent of students at Virginia Tech graduate with a study abroad experience. Often, students cite program costs as a contributing barrier in the decision to turn away from international opportunities.
To clarify and streamline the study abroad process for students, Wijnands will coordinate with campus offices, including those devoted to financial aid and academic advising.
Wijnands joined Global Education in 2015 as the study abroad advisor, counseling students about overseas options and supervising the student peer advisor program. In her new position, she will oversee all advising activities.
Previously, Wijnands held several positions at the Rivierduinen Mental Health Institute in Leiden, The Netherlands, including head of admissions and liaison for the Leiden University internship program.
Originally from Holland, Wijnands received a master's degree in child and adolescent studies from Leiden University. She also participated in the Erasmus Study Abroad Program, studying in Ghent, Belgium, and Padua, Italy.
Wijnands replaces William Pruitt III, who left Virginia Tech for a position at the University of South Carolina.
Written by Rommelyn Conde Coffren and Alexa Johnson, a junior from Richmond, Virginia, majoring in public relations in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences