The former Office of Global Programs has officially announced its transition to the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement, introducing enhanced support and dedicated study-abroad advising for undergraduate global opportunities at Columbia.
In September, Shannon Marquez was announced as the new Dean of Undergraduate Global Engagement, two years after the departure of Michael Pippenger left the OGP without a permanent head. In the interim period, the office was overseen by Kavita Sharma, who simultaneously served as the Dean of the Center for Career Education. An 85-page report commissioned by high-level administrators in 2016 pointed to serious concerns about the office and the state of Columbia’s global education for undergraduates, citing a lack of faculty involvement and shrinking funding opportunities as obstacles to ensuring the academic quality of students’ experiences abroad.
While the center is currently in the midst of a transitional period, there will be several long-term changes to the office’s mission, most notably increased opportunities for undergraduate students to work with faculty in global programs, such as through internships and research. The UGE aims to serve as the “hub of global activity at Columbia,” according to the center’s website, which also includes information about peer advisers and dedicated study abroad advisors for advice on global programs made available annually to undergraduates.
The Center’s transition process will continue throughout the summer and more detailed plans for the transition will be released in the fall of 2019.