Global Connections Professional Development Initiative accepting applications for second cohort

For the second consecutive year, the Office of Global Opportunities is offering the OHIO’s Global Connections Professional Development Initiative, an innovative program that provides OHIO’s faculty and staff the opportunity for global engagement and international travel. 

This program was founded in 2019 and developed by the Office of Global Opportunities with the support of the Office of Global Affairs and the University International Council’s Global Mobility Subcommittee. OHIO initiated Global Connections with the overall goal to strengthen university-wide global engagement efforts, promote outbound mobility of students, faculty and staff, encourage strong global partnerships and foster a diverse and inclusive environment for the university community.

After travel, participants apply what they have learned to initiatives designed to foster further global engagement at OHIO.

In May 2019, 14 faculty and staff participants traveled across the globe with two group leaders to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Chiang Mai, Thailand where they sought to make their own global connections. Participants learned about the historical and political context of their host countries while immersing themselves in each country’s culture. 

The itinerary included networking with international universities and colleagues and participating in both alumni and recruitment events. Additionally, faculty and staff learned more about study away, internship and exchange programs and participated in a service project, volunteering at an elephant sanctuary and learning about these amazing animals.

Traci Fetherolf, a classified employee in the Graduate College, was very excited to represent her office in May 2019 Global Connections Professional Development Initiative. 

“The cultural experience in Vietnam and Thailand provided valuable insight to expand my role as a Records Management Specialist,” Fetherolf said. 

She is applying the knowledge she learned abroad to enhance the international graduate student application and admission processes. Fetherolf will be conducting an international graduate student survey this semester. She plans to use the survey data to improve cross-cultural communication.

Dr. Greg Obi
Dr. Greg Obi relaxing with the view of the Mekong Delta River in Vietnam.


Dr. Greg Obi, assistant professor of business technology at Ohio University's Chillicothe campus, also participated in the first Global Connections program. Upon returning home, he shared his Global Connections takeaways in a Compass article. The experience emphasized in his mind the idea of “Glocal Thinking” and the interconnectedness of everything. Obi also noted an opportunity for regional campuses to attract international students who are seeking
a high quality, affordable education.

Looking forward to this year’s Global Connections program, applications are now being accepted for the 2020 cohort. Selected participants will travel to South Africa and Botswana in May of 2020.

Participants will connect with colleagues at local universities, learn about the culture and history of the host countries, engage with OHIO alumni and participate in community service. Other experiences will include learning about study abroad and
internship possibilities and exploring partnerships for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL).

Catherine Marshall, the director of the Office of Global Opportunities, and Yegan Pillay, associate professor in counseling and higher education, are honored to lead the second Global Connections program that will be full of international experience, knowledge, and opportunity.

All full-time OHIO staff and faculty are eligible to apply by the Oct. 11 deadline. Applications are open and can be found at:

September 24, 2019
Staff reports