From its earliest days, Pomona College has sought to provide students with a global outlook and, over many decades, a wide range of internationally oriented programs, departments and curricula have developed on our campus. At the same time, international students now comprise more of our student population, and more of our alumni live outside the U.S.
The world itself has changed, and Pomona must evolve with it. Boundary lines dividing territory on the map should matter far less today than the ever-more-intricate ties connecting people, ideas and actions around the globe. The complexity of these connections demands new levels of intellectual dexterity and depth.
In this environment, Pomona must coordinate, connect and clarify our global efforts both within our own community and with partners around the world. The aim is to bring our liberal arts education to life in ways that reach beyond disciplinary and national borders and better equip our students to engage with people and organizations globally.
To this end, Pomona College joined the American Council on Education as a member of the ACE Internationalization Laboratory in September 2021. The ACE Internationalization Laboratory provides leadership for a systematic and collaborative approach to global engagement at Pomona College. Pomona is now one of more than 175 institutions that have made a serious commitment to comprehensive internationalization of their campuses and to the promotion of institutional goals that further global education.
In accordance with the structure recommended by ACE, the two-year process will be led by a core leadership team, which began its work in September 2021, and a larger steering group representing a wide range of campus stakeholders.
The leadership team is comprised of Seth Allen, vice president for strategy & dean of admissions and financial aid; Anne Dwyer, associate dean of the college and associate professor of German and Russian; Nicole Desjardins Gowdy, senior director of international and domestic programs; Zayn Kassam, associate dean of the college and John Knox McLean Professor of Religious Studies; Mark Kendall, chief communications officer; and Fernando Lozano, professor of economics and chair of the faculty.
The steering group is comprised of Sefa Aina, associate dean and director of the Draper Center; Mietek Boduszyński, associate professor of politics; Paul Cahill, associate professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and faculty director of Oldenborg; Carolina De la Rosa Bustamante, staff director of Oldenborg; Martina Ebert, senior director, foundation relations and strategic initiatives; Manisha Goel, associate professor of economics; Benjamin Keim, associate professor of Classics; Daniel Martínez, professor of biology; Jennifer Rachford, director of institutional research; Hazel Raja, associate dean and senior director of the Career Development Office; Shannon Randolph, director of global social impact, The Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity; José Rodriguez, vice president and chief information officer; Rosalía Romero, assistant professor of art history, Hector Sambolin Jr., associate dean for academic affairs, academic success and assessment, Shahan Sanossian, assistant vice president, advancement communications & events, and Yuqing Melanie Wu, professor of computer science.
A global perspective has long informed a Pomona education, and the opening lines of the College’s Strategic Vision reaffirm this as a core value: “At this moment, when the world is ever more interconnected in confronting vast problems and pursuing the search for solutions, the liberal arts education Pomona College offers is more essential than ever. Our focus on creative, holistic and rigorous education equips our students to lead the way in an ever-changing world. Our emphasis on building relationships and learning in a diverse community prepares our students to engage both locally and globally.”
Building on the Strategic Vision, the Global Pomona Steering Group will develop and propose a strategy for creating a stronger, more cohesive and intentional framework for global engagement through an extensive audit of Pomona’s wide-ranging international initiatives and focused conversations with stakeholders.
The goals guiding this process are:
- Every Pomona student will meaningfully engage with global learning, whether from abroad or here in the U.S.
- Students will become more self-aware in their interactions across cultures; acquire or demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English; cultivate intercultural attitudes of respect, humility and curiosity; gain deeper knowledge of international issues; and develop greater competence in navigating and engaging with a global society.
- By the time they leave Pomona, students will be prepared to collaborate effectively with global partners to address the world’s most pressing problems.
- New technologies will be deployed on campus to support global learning, research, and collaborations; and this group will contribute to the conceptualization of new spaces to support this work.
- Our definition of global learning will evolve beyond something that occurs primarily outside U.S. borders as Pomona also develops a closer connection to international communities in Southern California, a center for immigrants from around the world.
- Pomona will provide more consistent and coordinated opportunities for students and faculty to pursue research, experiential learning and other key elements of our academic mission and pedagogy within a global context.
- This work will support key elements of the College’s Strategic Vision and provide a broad framework that aligns with the ongoing development of Pomona’s future global center and the transdisciplinary programs that will take place there to address the grand challenges facing the world.
The charge of the Global Pomona Steering Group is to:
- Lead Pomona College to ensure that our community works together as a campus to develop and implement an integrated internationalization strategy;
- Ignite inclusive campus-wide dialogue that guides discernment about the meaning of global learning and its role advancing Pomona College’s mission;
- Review and assess Pomona College’s current internationalization efforts;
- Establish strategies for increasing and deepening global learning opportunities for curricular and co-curricular programs while working in coordination with focused initiatives, including development of the global center;
- Identify opportunities to bring together diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies; community engagement; and campus internationalization initiatives to strengthen and deepen connections between local and global community; and
- Prepare a draft of Pomona College’s first internationalization strategic plan, which will support implementation of the College’s wider Strategic Vision.