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Inaugural International faculty and Staff

News & Events


Four UNCW employees have been awarded a Global Travel Grant to pursue professional development opportunities abroad.

The Office of Global Partnerships and International Education has historically awarded two grants each year. However, this year, it made an exception to double award funding to promote the professional development opportunity and encourage interest in staff travel after the pandemic. Each recipient will receive $2,500 each to offset expenses.

This year’s grant recipients are:

Samantha Lashley, circulation technician in the Randall Library, will travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, to meet with the University of Edinburgh staff to discuss student staffing success in October 2023. She plans to delve deeper into how to create high-impact employment practices for students and ensure diverse and equitable hiring practices.

Diana Perez, administrative associate in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, will travel to Ubud, Bali, in Indonesia, to continue her yoga teacher training program through Bali Yoga Ashram, accredited by Yoga Alliance. She plans to bring yoga to the specialized populations dealing with trauma, recovery, and seniors and share with fellow yogis, faculty, staff, and students, beginner levels through advanced.

J. Shawn Spencer, alternative transportation supervisor, will attend the North American Bikeshare & Scooter Association’s annual conference in Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The association provides resources and education and advocates for the shared micromobility industry and a more equitable and sustainable transportation ecosystem.

Courtney Townsend, instructor in the Watson College of Education’s Betty Holden Stike Education Laboratory, will co-lead a study abroad course next spring in Italy with Dr. Laura Szech, assistant professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Literacy, and Special Education. She will observe examples of teachers using foundational education philosophies such as the Reggio Emilia approach, a student-centered and constructivist self-guided curriculum, and Montessori.

“I would like to thank the Staff Senate Scholarship committee for the time they spent reviewing the applications this year,” said Dr. Michael Wilhelm, associate provost for global partnerships and international education. “The Office of Global Partnerships and International Education is proud to be able to help provide these international professional development opportunities for staff. We have seen over the years that these experiences offer tremendous benefits when staff return to campus.”