University names program director for education abroad
November 3, 2008
Matthew McMullen of Christiansburg, Va., formerly a Presidential Management Fellow at the United States Department of Health and Human Services in Washington D.C., has been named program director for the Office of Education Abroad at Virginia Tech.
With a background in health law, international law, and education in an international development context, McMullen brings a rich set of experiences to the education abroad office.
Prior to his post at the Department of Health and Human Services, McMullen served as director of study abroad for engineering students at the University of Pittsburgh and as assistant director of that university’s Center for International Studies Study Abroad Office. He has worked on projects for the United States commercial service in Belgium and Amsterdam, and has served as a visiting professor at universities in Eastern Europe.
A special area of interest for McMullen is higher education in transitional economies: He has taught at Charles University in Prague, the Czech Republic; at Lodz University in Lodz, Poland; and has conducted research in Hungary under the Soros Foundation. McMullen has led student and faculty trips and has taught courses focusing on conflict and post-conflict issues and their political, economic, and social ramifications. He has worked on a Nations in Crisis team for a UNESCO-USAID [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-United States Agency for International Development] collaboration that collected best practices in teaching methods to assist countries in upheaval.
“We are thrilled to welcome Matthew McMullen to Virginia Tech,” said Associate Vice President for International Affairs S. K. De Datta, who also directs the Office of International Research, Education, and Development. “McMullen’s depth and range of experience in the area of international education will be a true asset as we expand our education abroad programs.”
McMullen received bachelor’s degree, his juris doctorate with a certificate in health law, and his Ph.D. in administrative and policy studies and comparative education from the University of Pittsburgh. He has studied multiple languages, including French, Spanish, Polish, Slovak, and Czech.
“What has been built here so far has been tremendous,” McMullen said, referring to Virginia Tech’s growing education abroad opportunities for students, “and the potential for what could come next is what makes this position so exciting. The strengths of Virginia Tech are in global demand.”
Virginia Tech’s education abroad office sends more than 1,100 students overseas annually to as many as 40 countries around the world.