By Holly Ober
DAVIS, Calif.; March 6, 2018 – Rosalind Christian has been selected as the staff awardee of the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for International Engagement. She was presented with the award at the UC Davis Global Affairs’ annual International Connections Reception on March 2.
Through her service to students as an undergraduate advisor in biomedical engineering, Rosalind Christian exemplifies the role of department advisors in making Global Education for All possible through study abroad programs for undergraduates in STEM fields. Aside from short-term, faculty-led summer programs, it is not easy for engineers to work time abroad into their schedule during the academic year. The UC system offers incredible opportunities to spend time at top-tier institutions such as National University of Singapore, Tsinghua University, and King’s College London, but these opportunities are rarely taken by engineering students because of the inflexibility of their academic schedule, complexity of the application and course approval process, and lack of support from knowledgeable advisors.
“We are lucky to have an undergraduate advisor with Rosalind’s dedication. Skillful advising plays an important role in student success, and she is one reason our students do so well,” says Alyssa Panitch, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Rosalind adapted the biomedical engineering curriculum to remove obstacles for students wishing to study abroad for an academic quarter. She invested the large amount of time and effort required to assess the numerous available study abroad programs, and to identify the ones that would best fit biomedical engineering students at various stages of their academic standing.
“I really enjoy matching a student’s academic and personal needs to the perfect Study Abroad experience. And thanks to the continually evolving creativity at Study Abroad, my choices are plentiful. Global Education for All is achievable,” Rosalind says.
Rosalind also champions global connections and represents the needs of UC Davis students beyond the university. She served on the engineering panel at the University of California Education Abroad Program annual meeting in Santa Barbara. Working with Study Abroad program coordinator Cristina Siracusa, Rosalind met with two Universidad Carlos III de Madrid professors to discuss ways to make the Madrid engineering curriculum more appealing to UC Davis biomedical engineering students.
Finally, Rosalind advocates for individual students, and brings the benefits of her advocacy to all students in her department.
“Not only is Rosalind’s advising support for students complete and holistic, her granular expertise of the various engineering programs and her eager collaboration and openness to new offerings that promote student opportunities abroad, exemplify her grasp of the importance of international engagement, and her resolve in making these opportunities real,” says Christina Siracusa, Global Affairs program coordinator and advisor.
Fadi A. Fathallah, professor and associate vice provost for global education and services says, “Rosalind has been the ideal advisor who has gone beyond the calling to assure that biomedical engineering students have the opportunity to study abroad. She has embraced the mission of Study Abroad and the importance of providing our students with an unparalleled experience to engage and learn in an international environment. Rosalind has actively and successfully incorporated the study abroad concept as an integral part of her advising approach to biomedical engineering students.”