Randy Penson has been named assistant director for global safety and risk management in the Global Education Office.

Penson will play a key role in coordinating procedures and communications relating to international travel. He will support the university policy issued last December to safeguard faculty and students traveling overseas for study, engagement activities, or research.

"Randy's arrival marks a significant milestone in the university's progress toward consistent, effective policies and protocols surrounding international risk management and emergency response," said Global Education Director Theresa Johansson. "His previous experiences –  from risk analysis and policy advising and implementation to predeparture training and emergency response coordination – will serve Virginia Tech's students, faculty, and staff abroad well."

Previously, as associate director of the Center for International Education at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Penson monitored more than 100 study abroad programs and developed a database for tracking the university's international travel. He also chaired an international travel committee that brought together campus units including risk management, health services, and legal counsel.

Penson also has served in various leadership roles in the U.S. Air Force. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, and a master's degree in teaching from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. He also holds a master's of military operational art and science from Air University in Montgomery, Alabama.

Penson explains the importance of preparation for travel abroad in this video clip:

The Global Education Office, part of Outreach and International Affairs, supports an average of 1,300 students a year, including exchange students from partner institutions around the world. The office also provides faculty with resources and incentives for the development of international initiatives. 

Written by Rommelyn Conde.