New Faculty Seminar Away Program facilitates partner collaboration and connections

As UC Santa Cruz continues to build a portfolio of collaborative partnerships with institutions abroad, the Division of Global Engagement has launched a new Faculty Seminar Away Program.

Set to take place in April 2024, the inaugural Faculty Seminar Away will offer a selected group of UC Santa Cruz faculty members the opportunity to engage in short-term visits to two partner institutions in the UK, connecting them with faculty colleagues there to uncover new opportunities for research and teaching collaboration. 

The partner universities selected for the first iteration of this program, Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland and the University of Bristol in England, are jointly funding the visit along with the Division of Global Engagement. Both institutions are members of the Russell Group, an association of UK universities highly regarded for their reputations in research and teaching. Participation in the seminar will enable faculty to immerse themselves in rich discussion and exploration across research and academic landscapes. 

“The impetus for this new program came from the division’s desire to empower UC Santa Cruz faculty to aid us in the work of deepening institutional partnerships and advancing the Strategic Plan for Internationalization,” said George Sabo, Director of Global Initiatives. “Through this pilot, our hope is to establish a program model that can be replicated in many other regions in the future, to support our faculty to unlock new potential for international research grants, seed new possibilities for student exchange and teaching collaboration, and advance the multi-modal engagement that strengthens these institutional partnerships.”

The first cohort is made up of the following senate faculty members who applied to participate and were selected by a review committee composed of representatives from CIE, COR, the TLC, and the Division of Global Engagement.


  • Ben Leeds Carson, Professor, Music
  • Patty Gallagher, Professor, Performance, Play & Design


  • Marc Matera, Professor, History
  • Renee Fox, Associate Professor, Literature

Physical and Biological Sciences:

  • Shaowei Chen, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry 
  • Timothy Johnstone, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Guido Bordignon, Assistant Teaching Professor, Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology  
  • Susan Carpenter, Professor, Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology

Social Sciences:

  • Alan Spearot, Associate Professor, Economics
  • Elliot Campbell, Professor, Environmental Studies

Baskin School of Engineering:

  • Sri Kurniawan, Professor, Computational Media
  • Alvaro Cardenas, Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering

Assistant Vice Provost of Global Engagement and Senior International Officer Becky George emphasized the long-term impact of the initiative. “We believe that the connections made during these seminars will lead to outcomes that extend far beyond the week-long visit, resulting in ongoing collaborations, new and untapped funding for joint research, and expanded opportunities for students to engage in global learning activities with partners.

Faculty are encouraged to stay tuned for calls for statements of interest for future iterations of the Faculty Seminar Away. More information is available on the Faculty Seminar Away webpage

Contact George Sabo at with any questions.

Expanding & Enhancing Globally-Focused Research & Engagement is key to the UCSC Strategic Plan for Internationalization.

Last modified: Feb 29, 2024