Center for International Education
Spring 2011

McCurdy says farewell to CIE and UNH after 28 years

When I walked in the door in August 1983, the center consisted of one room in the New England Center Administration Building (behind Stoke Hall), a few files, a couple of pieces of furniture, and Professor Frank McCann.  Connected to this spare operation were a handful of Frank’s colleagues, from all five schools and colleges, who shared a dream: to internationalize UNH across disciplines.

Frank hired me that day in August, and off we went on an exciting adventure that included organizing and hosting the New Hampshire International Seminar series, preparing lots of funding proposals, enticing faculty members to develop internationally focused courses, and creating records and advising systems for a brand new Program in International Perspectives (now International Affairs) and a fledgling study abroad endeavor.

Twenty-eight years later, as I prepare to retire, I am heartened by the growth of the center, its student programs, and its highly dedicated staff.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of it -- and of course, I can’t help being amused that we are still dreaming about internationalizing the university!

What has occurred to me again and again over the years is that Frank and his colleagues were way ahead of their time.  In the 80s and 90s, I sat through conference discussions, here and abroad, in which colleagues were wrestling with the details of establishing international programming on their own campuses, and I was able to tell them how UNH had solved these same problems (often a decade earlier).  It was an eye-opening experience that convinced me we had something very special here at UNH.

You are invited

If you are available on Friday, May 13 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., University Honors Program colleague Chris Sohl (also retiring) and I will be enjoying some farewell hors d'oeuvres and drinks with friends at an open house in the Piscataqua Room at Holloway Commons. I’d love to see you.

Among the memories I will treasure most when I leave are the relationships with hundreds of wonderful faculty and staff members, international affairs students and alumni, Fulbright and Boren scholarship candidates, and special friends of the center. Many, many thanks for a wonderful time.

Sheila McCurdy