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Meeting Off-Campus Study Needs

By Susan Cousins Breen


The staff of the relocated Off-Campus Study Office—(left to right) Assistant Director Rosa Bernard, Director Patricia Martin, Assistant Diana Malick, and Faculty Adviser Sharon Friedler—enjoy their idyllic new digs.

Students returning to campus this fall found that the Foreign Study Office has undergone several changes. In addition to relocating to Cunningham House, the office has been renamed. Now known as the Off-Campus Study Office, it meets needs for all study opportunities abroad.

Patricia Martin became the new director of off-campus study in July. With 25 years experience working in international education, Martin will work with faculty members and students on planning off-campus opportunities and ensuring the health, safety, and security of students in study-abroad programs.

“I know first-hand how important off-campus studies can be to the academic and personal lives of students,” says Martin. “As a first-generation college student at Williams College, I had the opportunity to study in the Soviet Union. That opportunity opened up the world to me.”

Sharon Friedler, Stephen Lang Professor of Performing Arts and director of the Dance Program, has taken on the role of faculty adviser for off-campus study. A faculty member since 1985, she is familiar with a variety of cultural norms because of the collaboration and travel involved with her own research. She has worked for years with Professor of Anthropology Steven Piker, the first faculty adviser for Foreign Study, and Rosa Bernard, who is now assistant director for off-campus study.

Friedler played a major role in setting up the College’s foreign study program in Ghana, where students can enroll in regular courses at the University of Ghana as well as study independently. She was also involved in launching and maintaining the Swarthmore program in Poland and has become increasingly involved with the Northern Ireland Program. “I’m passionate about enabling global citizens, and this job seems like a very good way to encourage that in our students,” Friedler says.

International students at Swarthmore will also see some changes this year, following the unexpected death of International Student Adviser Gloria Evans last December, after 50 years of service to the College. Jennifer Marks-Gold, an international student adviser at Cabrini College for 16 years, has been named the full-time adviser to international students and scholars. She also has assisted many area educational institutions as a consultant on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration regulations.

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