Michele Petrucci, assistant vice president for International Education and Global Engagement in the Office of International Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has been selected to serve as one of six U.S. Global Dialogue Partners for the inaugural cohort of Global Dialogue Fellows.
The program is sponsored by the premier international education professional organization, NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
Through this program, Petrucci will work with five other international education leaders in the United States to support six African university leaders. She and her fellow Dialogue Partners will meet with the Global Dialogue Fellows at the annual NAFSA conferences. Petrucci will also welcome “her” Fellow, Zainab Ali Iddi from the State University of Zanzibar, Tanzania, to IUP in 2016.
“Being accepted to participate in this NAFSA initiative focused on sub-Saharan Africa is an honor and a unique professional development opportunity in the field of international education,” Petrucci said.
“Personally, it’s also a reconnection with my African past, when I spent one year teaching in the Peace Corps in Botswana and nearly six years living, working, and studying in South Africa. Africa is often overlooked in the field of international education, so I am especially proud to be a Global Dialogue Fellow.”
Petrucci is active in several other international leadership groups, including serving on the Fulbright National Screening Committee to review applications for the Fulbright International Education Administrator (IEA) programs in Japan and Korea. In 2005, Petrucci was one of
five U.S. administrators awarded the Fulbright IEA to Japan, which focused on the country’s education system (preschool through postgraduate), with a special focus on governmental reforms occurring at the time.
The Fulbright National Screening Committee is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education. The IEA reviews are conducted in Washington, D.C.
Petrucci also was selected in 2014 by the Institute of International Education to be part of a new initiative in Myanmar.
The program, “Connecting with the World: International Relations at Higher Education Institutions,” aims to help university and ministry representatives in Myanmar learn how to establish an international office and learn the role an international office can play in linking with other institutions, establishing an international presence, and achieving other institutional goals.
Petrucci was selected as one of 40 professionals worldwide to be paired with participants in Myanmar and provide virtual mentorship.
The training she and others in her cohort provide will be essential for enabling universities in Myanmar to connect with institutions in the United States and other countries, so that they can build institutional capacity and prepare students to meet current work-force needs and support rapid economic development.
Petrucci also was selected to be a reader for the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program’s Tunisia Undergraduate Scholarship Program for the past two academic years, joining other distinguished professionals in helping to select the most qualified students for the program.
This academic year, Petrucci reviewed approximately 50 applications from Tunisian STEM undergraduate students. Selected students will receive scholarships to support one year of undergraduate study at an American university.
The program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Department of State and administered by IREX.
She also has been an invited presenter for the national and regional Association of International Educators Conferences.
Petrucci has led IUP’s Office of International Education, formerly the Office of International Affairs, since 1997. She completed her undergraduate studies at Kenyon College, in Ohio; received a master’s degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa; and earned her PhD from IUP.
On an annual basis, IUP welcomes more than 1,000 international students from more than 60 countries.