Noteworthy News

Schiff named director of International Studies Program

Jennifer Schiff, Western Carolina University assistant professor of political science and public affairs, will take over as director of the International Studies Program on July 1 after spending the last six years on the program’s advisory board.

Schiff is replacing Niall Michelsen, who is stepping down after serving as the program’s first and only director the last six years.

Jennifer Schiff

Jennifer Schiff

“I am excited to become the new director,” Schiff said. “Dr. Michelsen did such a wonderful job building a strong foundation for the major, and now I see it as my role to come in and guide the major further and to help it grow. I think the program provides a real opportunity for our students to improve their global awareness and global citizenship.”

Under Michelsen’s leadership, the program grew to about 60 majors. He helped internationalize the curriculum and assisted many students in gaining a more international perspective, said Chris Cooper, head of WCU’s Department of Political Science and Public Affairs.

Schiff said she looks forward to seeing what lies ahead for the program.

“The advisory board is thinking about some curriculum changes to the major to give it a little bit more cohesion in terms of giving students a pathway from the major to a potential career,” Schiff said. “We’re thinking about introducing concentrations for the major such global security, human rights, poverty or development to give the students a more intentional pathway from helping them grow as global citizens to helping them find a job in the future.”

For more information about the program, contact Schiff at or 828-227-3860.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

Commencement 2017
Commencement 2017


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