Group of people planning

Strategic Planning Process

Over the last several years, Virginia Commonwealth University has seen a great number of successes in international education. From growth in study abroad enrollment to a fully-enrolled and award-winning VCU Globe living-learning program, to diversified offerings in the English Language Program, together, we have accomplished so much.

As we move forward with Quest 2025: Together We Transform, VCU’s strategic plan, it is important for the Global Education Office to develop a path forward that considers the present, but embraces the future. We must take stock of our assets, and determine how we best use them to advance international education at VCU.

To support this goal, in September 2020, GEO began developing a strategic plan that will guide international education at VCU over the next five years.

Through this process, we seek to build on our success and to reimagine the ways that GEO serves VCU into the future. We seek to leverage current and discover new opportunities to integrate international dimensions across campus, explore connections around the world for faculty, staff, and students, and develop global solutions for challenges in an environment of discovery.

Steering Committee

Jessica Abernathy Global Education Office Executive assistant/HR coordinator
Jill Blondin, Ph.D. Global Education Office - Chair Executive director
Sarah Carrier Global Education Office - Facilitator Academic advising coordinator
Moe Greene, Ph.D. Global Education Office - Facilitator Associate director, English Language Program
Elizabeth Hiett Global Education Office - Facilitator Special programs coordinator
Renee Russell Global Education Office - Facilitator Director of communications and marketing



The Global Education Office at VCU must be nimble and align with the needs of the institution. To that end, the campus-wide GEO Strategic Planning Committee is divided into four workgroups that determine how GEO can develop internationalization tactics that support VCU’s strategic goals and objectives.

Global engagement and student success

This workgroup will identify global engagement and student success initiatives such as study abroad, aligning with VCU R.E.A.L., experiential learning, the Peace Corps Prep program, "glocal" volunteering and reimagining the ways that we provide global opportunities to all students.

Leigh Ann Brekenridge, DNP, FNP-BC, MSN, RN  School of Nursing  Clinical assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Health Nursing 
Denise Burnette, Ph.D.  School of Social Work  Samuel S. Wurtzel Endowed Faculty Chair in Social Work and professor 
Sarah Carrier  Global Education Office - Facilitator  Academic advising coordinator 
Caroline Comey Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success Student-athlete tutoring coordinator
Megan Hodge, Ph.D.  VCU Libraries  Head of teaching and learning, Assistant Professor Research and Learning, Teaching and Learning 
Erin Webster-Garrett, Ph.D.  Academic Affairs/REAL  Assistant vice provost for REAL 
Jeff Wing, J.D. Honors College  Assistant dean and director, National Scholarship Office 


International collaborations and partnership services

This workgroup will examine international collaborations and partnerships at VCU and the ways that they can better support faculty and students. This will include developing strategy for international partnerships and agreements, sponsored programs, research, grants, and professional development opportunities for faculty such as the Fulbright Scholar Program.

John Accordino, Ph.D. L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs Professor
Elissa Armstrong School of the Arts Assistant professor
Angela Duncan, Ph.D. College of Allied Health Professions Assistant dean for diversity, inclusion, and equity
Elizabeth Hiett Global Education Office - Facilitator Special programs coordinator
David Holdford, Ph.D. School of Pharmacy Professor, Department of Pharmacotherapy & Outcomes Science
Anne Sorenson Audit and Compliance Services Deputy director, University Audit and Management Services
James Vonesh, Ph.D. VCU Life Sciences Associate professor, Population and community ecology, conservation biology, aquatic ecology, Center for Environmental Studies


International student recruitment

This workgroup will identify ways that GEO can effectively collaborate with Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success, as well as with academic units to increase international student enrollment at VCU. This includes clarifying target markets where VCU should focus its international recruitment efforts and identifying benchmarks, goals and measures of success.

Elizabeth Bass Office of Development and Alumni Relations Assistant vice president for alumni relations
Mariah Crilley, Ph.D. University College Instructor, Department of Focused Inquiry
Mary Lee Magee School of Medicine Assistant clinical professor and director, International / Inner City / Rural Preceptorship Program
Mas Mastriyana Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success Assistant director, International Admissions
Renee Russell Global Education Office - Facilitator Director of communications and marketing
Yaoying Xu, Ph.D. School of Education Professor, Counseling and Special Education
Wenheng Zhang, Ph.D. College of Humanities and Sciences  Assistant professor, Biology 


International student support

This workgroup will focus on supporting and engaging international students in innovative ways, the role of the English Language Program as it relates to helping English language learners succeed at VCU, and immigration services.

Romana Bucur School of Business Director, ICP & Dean's Special Projects, School of Business
Daniel Bullard, Ph.D. Graduate College Dean, VCU Graduate School
Moe Greene, Ph.D. Global Education Office - Facilitator Associate director, English Language Program
Michael Healy, D.D.S., M.Ed. School of Dentistry Senior associate dean for student services and assistant professor, School of Dentistry
Yiyun Jie, Ph.D. Division of Student Affairs Director of assessment and planning, Division of Student Affairs
Vamsi Yadavalli, Ph.D. College of Engineering Associate professor, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering