Morgan enters first full semester in Gateway

Q&A with International Education Director Morgan

The Campus: What is the International Education Office?

Lucinda Morgan: “I kind of describe it in three parts. One is providing the services and sort of all the paperwork, all the technical sides for international students coming and support for international students, so helping them make the transition and adjustment and get integrated to the fabulous Allegheny campus. The other part is working with Allegheny students to study away, which could be abroad in another country or at one of the locations in the [United States] where students also go for a semester. So part of that is working with career education for internships abroad and working with the students to get that figured out and then another part is working with Civic Engagement for students who want to do service abroad, so helping them figure that out and do the paperwork. And then of course the sponsored programs for student study abroad through Allegheny and the [Experiential Learning Seminars] that happen throughout the year now. The third is working with faculty to enhance the internationalization of the curriculum and what’s offered on campus. So whether that’s with global health, modern and classical languages, international studies, environmental studies, so just working with the different departments and units to see how we can internationalize further.”

Campus: Where is the International Education Office located?

Morgan: “We are in the green node in the gateway.”

Lucinda Morgan, director of international education.

Campus: What programs does the International Office oversee?

Morgan: “With international students it’s definitely orientation and it’s even before they arrive. Once they get admitted by admissions, Lenee [McCandless, assistant director of international education] starts working on getting in contact with them, getting them registered for classes, arranging airport pick up, all of that. So the orientation then and different activities throughout the year and if the student has work-study we need to get them [Social Security] numbers and take them to the hospital for immunizations, so a lot of things that domestic students don’t have to go through because it’s already set for them. So getting their insurance in place, just making sure all the legal stuff is handled for the international student. And then we advise the International Club and we have an International Student Advisory Board, so trying to get lots of feedback from students to make sure there’s activities for them to do, for them to kind of present their own home culture to the campus and community and get plugged in that way. For students going away, we try to make them aware of different opportunities to study abroad, so whether that’s strictly academic or for internships or for civic engagement kind of work, or for research too. We’re going to be working with [the Undergraduate Research Scholarship and Creative Activities Office] more to try to get students to plug in research more when they’re abroad and possibly into their comps.”

Campus: What goals do you have for this year as Director of International Education?

Morgan: “I want more students to know that we will work with them to make study abroad or going abroad financially possible, so working further ahead of time to plan out finances for study abroad. Hopefully working to create a summer term with the campus, it has to be a campus effort with the registrar’s office and financial services, to better finance our study abroad for students, our ELs for students, by having a summer term and the ability to have financial aid year round that way. Then trying to make sure that ELs are offered during spring break and then during the winter break that way it’s not always at the end of May that students can go abroad on an EL and trying to integrate ELs more into the coursework that happens in the semester. So, financial improvements and then just timing of opportunities. A third goal too is once students come back from studying abroad, working more with career education for them to better utilize their experience and thinking about future jobs and how they can speak about that and include that experience in the interview process. A lot of that was probably being done before, but just trying to keep improving on that.”

Campus: What were your academic interests in school?

Morgan: “I majored in East Asian studies and I minored in religion back in college. And then my graduate degrees are mostly in global studies in education with a focus on Chinese education and the politics of education.”

Campus: Why did you choose to come to Allegheny?

Morgan: “I was coming from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, doing international education work there. I was just looking for a change, a new opportunity. I went to Wittenberg [University] for my undergraduate, for my bachelor’s degree, so when I saw the Allegheny posting, I wasn’t really looking, actually, for a new position or a new job. I just happened to see it in one of the email publications that goes around in international education. I recognized Allegheny College from playing sports — I didn’t play sports — but from our sports team at Wittenberg playing back in college. So I looked into it and the job description sounded like a really good fit for the kind of work I wanted to do. And I thought going from a big university back down to a smaller, more intimate campus atmosphere would be a lot more satisfying, just being able to get to know students better instead of just counting them as a number.”