Director of international health safety and security
Barbara was named MU's first director of international health safety and security in January 2018. She joined MU in July 2000 as the director of study abroad from Georgetown University, where she served as assistant director of study abroad. Her background includes two years teaching English and studying Mandarin Chinese at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan, and studying at Beijing Language and Culture University.
Barbara has served in several leadership positions in the field of education abroad. She is a past chair of the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Education Abroad Subcommittee on Health and Safety and past dean of the NAFSA Core Education Program workshop Health, Safety and Risk Management in Education Abroad. In addition, she serves on the Interassociational Task Force on Health and Safety in Study Abroad, which developed the first standards for health, safety and security in the field of education abroad. Barbara views the health, safety and security of students participating in study abroad as the baseline for teaching and learning abroad. She frequently presents and publishes about health and safety issues, risk assessment and mitigation, and legal issues impacting the field of education abroad. She also is interested in and has made national and international presentations about managing growth in education abroad participation and maximizing cross-cultural learning abroad.
As a first-generation college student, Barbara is committed to encouraging historically underrepresented students to study abroad. In response to an increase in mental health diagnoses among U.S. university students, she edited and co-authored "Best Practices in Addressing Mental Health Issues Affecting Education Abroad Participants" (NAFSA 2017). She also works with Mobility Abroad USA and Diversity Abroad to develop resources. She is an active member of Pulse: Higher Education International Health and Safety Professionals, Forum on Education Abroad and the the U.S. Department of State Overseas Security Advisory Council's Academia Working Group and Women in Security group, and she serves on the SAI Programs Academic Board.
Barbara holds a master's degree in student development with an emphasis in adolescent and adult counseling and a bachelor's degree in English. She has traveled to nearly 40 countries and has more than 25 years of experience in the field of education abroad. She is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and also speaks French (intermediate) and Spanish (intermediate). She enjoys spending time with family and friends, gardening, baking, visiting national parks and traveling off the grid.