By Monica Chapman
Global experience and global perspectives seem to be the mantra of Daniel Weiner's curriculum vitae. And though his research has taken him around the world, a state line is the only thing standing between Weiner and his new position at Ohio University.
Weiner will join the university Aug. 1 as executive director of the Center for International Studies. He is currently at West Virginia University, where he has been director of the Office of International Programs since 1997 and a professor in the Department of Geology and Geography since 1990.
Weiner succeeds Drew McDaniel, who has served as interim director of the center since April 2006. McDaniel will return to his faculty position in the School of Media Arts and Studies.
"Dan is ideally suited to lead the Center for International Studies," Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl said. "As an administrator, he brings a wealth of experience in all of the areas critical to a successful international interdisciplinary center. As a faculty member with a specialization in the geography of developing nations, he will be a resource for students and faculty interested in issues relating to agriculture, energy and land use. I look forward to working with him as he explores ways to advance an international heritage that is fundamental the university."
As executive director, Weiner will oversee the Center for International Studies' research, outreach and six academic programs. His responsibilities will include developing grant proposals, managing curriculum development, supporting recruitment of students and faculty, and promoting the center and its endeavors. Weiner also will coordinate with the Ohio University Press in publishing the Research in International Studies monograph series, which presents research, translation and opinions on international issues relating to Latin American, Southeast Asian, and global and comparative studies.
"I'm very pleased and excited to come to Ohio University," Weiner said. "OU has a long tradition of high-quality international programming, and I'm honored to participate and provide leadership in this context.
"The transition to Ohio University allows me to more closely connect my administrative and academic worlds," he added. "There are good synergies for my academic work, intellectual interests and my desire to provide administrative leadership in the area of international studies."
Weiner said his main goal is to provide academic leadership and ensure that students get the kinds of coursework and training they need in the 21st century global environment.
"We're all part of the globalization process. My approach is a global approach," Weiner said.
Weiner's global perspectives help to explain his research -- development geography with a focus on eastern and southern Africa. His work in the 1980s for the Beijer Institute, the environmental branch of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, took him to Kenya and Zimbabwe to study rural energy utilization. Weiner also has spent considerable time studying land reform in South Africa.
His most recent research centers on participatory geographic information systems (PGIS), in which a researcher documents local knowledge using advanced geographic information technologies for the purposes of community development.
In a recent project, Weiner and his colleagues used a PGIS methodology for comparable regional research in Appalachia and southern Africa. Though the regions are geographically distant, he explained, there are interesting similarities in rural peoples' dependence on local natural resources and in how ecotourism has become a popular economic development strategy.
"Dan Wiener's experience in international education administration and senior status as an Africanist researcher impressed the committee," said Director of African Studies Steve Howard, who chaired the search committee. "We also found him knowledgeable about grant-seeking processes and faculty recruitment and retention."
Weiner studied geography at Clark University, where he earned his doctorate, master's degree and bachelor's degree. In addition to his 18 years at West Virginia University, Weiner served as an assistant professor at the University of Toledo from 1986 to 1990.
The only degree-granting center at Ohio University, the Center for International Studies offers programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its graduate program is the largest at Ohio University, with an enrollment of about 160 students. Courses of study through the master's program include Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, communication and development, and international development.
Based on course offerings, faculty expertise, languages taught and library resources, the Center for International Studies is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Resource Center in the areas of African and Southeast Asian studies. The center also houses the Institute for the African Child, the Ohio Valley International Council, the Tun Abdul Razak Chair in Malaysian Studies and a regional Peace Corps recruitment strategy contract.