New Global Experience Office Combines Talent and Services of IGSD Staff in Support of Student and Employee Global Travel

August 3, 2020

The staff within IGSD (Interdisciplinary & Global Studies Division) responsible for the complex administration of the university’s signature Global Projects Program, as well as other domestic and international travel, has been restructured and renamed. The Global Experience Office (GEO), which lives within The Global School, will serve students, faculty, and staff across the university.  

Intended to advance the role of this experienced team in the operations, logistics, and support of all WPI-sponsored off-campus travel, the newly formed Global Experience Office is led by Erin Bell, serving as interim director, and reporting to Kent Rissmiller, longtime associate dean of IGSD now serving as Dean ad interim of The Global School.  

(While an external search for The Global School dean is under way, he is providing leadership for the more than 30 faculty and staff working across both the Global Projects Program and the Great Problems Seminar, which now compose the university’s newest school. Dean Rissmiller and Provost Soboyejo, fellow school deans, and faculty and department heads are immersed in ongoing work to define the structure, the programs, and other academic and operational aspects of the Global School, including the GEO.)

The GEO will provide risk management, travel education and preparation, and administrative support to students, faculty, and staff participating in WPI-sponsored off-campus travel. This includes faculty-led off-campus residential projects, athletic teams and student organizations traveling internationally, and support for employees who are traveling.

A key aspect of its work, led by Gary Collins, was the development and approval of an International Travel Registration Policy that requires WPI students, faculty, and staff to register their WPI-Sponsored International Travel on the WPI My Trips Travel Registry. The registry provides registered travelers access to critical international insurance coverage, and emergency medical and security assistance during their travels.

Office operations will remain largely the same. The team is still located on the 2nd floor of the Project Center and can be reached at global@wpi.edu or extension 5547.