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Sara Tully chosen to lead new study abroad office

EVANSTON - Sara Tully, an expert in promoting international education from both a University perspective and a government policy level, will join Northwestern University as director of the recently integrated study abroad office.

“Sara’s leadership experience reflects the goals for the new integrated study abroad unit and creates a strong brand for undergraduate study abroad programs,” said Ron Braeutigam, associate provost of undergraduate education.

Northwestern recently combined the Office of Study Abroad and the Office of International Program Development, based on recommendations from the Global Task Force Report.

Tully previously led a collaborative effort to integrate five offices related to international education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she worked as the executive director of the university’s Center for International Education.

“There’s an inherent connection between internationally-focused teaching, research and outreach,” Tully said. “International students and exchanges play an important role in building a university’s international presence and reputation.”

Tully’s efforts to build a more international curriculum at UWM resulted in triple the number of undergraduates enrolled in internationally-focused majors, minors and certificates. She also secured $3.5 million in grants to support international programing, and she supported strategic recruiting efforts that more than doubled international enrollment at UWM during her tenure.

In addition, Tully led efforts to increase the number of partnerships with overseas universities, creating more than 100 new agreements supporting collaborative research, teaching and exchanges and contributing to a 125 percent increase in the number of UWM students participating in study abroad.

At Northwestern, the new international studies unit maintains strong ties to Global Engagement Programs through the Buffett Institute for Global Studies. The integration of international departments drives an overarching strategy to increase international education opportunities for Northwestern students both on campus and abroad.

Early in her career, Tully worked at the U.S. Department of Education as a program officer for the Title VI National Resource Centers, Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowships and Language Resource Centers Programs. This work provided her with an overview of all aspects of international academic program development, administration, student advising and faculty engagement in U.S. colleges and universities. She has also served as an independent consultant for multiple non-profit organizations, universities and government offices.

Tully received her M.A. in German and European studies from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and she earned a B.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University.

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