Professor Jeremy Hourigan joins the Division of Global Engagement (GE) as Faculty Director with expertise shaped by years of experience in international education. Hourigan’s relationship with GE began when he chaired the Committee on International Education (CIE) and grew with the development of the ACE Internationalization Lab.
“Global Engagement is poised to play a fundamental role at UC Santa Cruz, making sure we as a community value intercultural exchange and collaboration,” Hourigan said.
Early in his academic career, Hourigan discovered the importance of expanding his worldview through international experiences. During his undergraduate degree, his studies took him to Russia, where he found that full immersion in the culture brought new understandings about how the study of geology benefited from international collaboration.
Hourigan would go on to spend a total of two years in Russia, working alongside international teams in some of the most remote areas of the world. While earning his PhD at Stanford, Hourigan conducted research in Magadan. He later followed that experience with a postdoc in Kamchatka. Reminiscing about these experiences, and the connections he made with faculty and staff, reminds him of the influence faculty have had on his life, deepening his love for both geology and international collaboration.
“International study can foster deep relationships and an appreciation for an intercultural exchange of ideas. These things work to build knowledgeable citizens. Faculty and staff play an important role in facilitating those opportunities for students,” Hourigan said. “Not only does social mobility and collaboration improve academia, but also the fabric of our community, the culture of learning and understanding at UC Santa Cruz.”
Hourigan’s experience provides him with more than personal revelation, but a framework for his work in international education at UC Santa Cruz. At GE, his work includes the growth of global learning opportunities for all students through developing virtual exchange programs, developing faculty leaders, and exploring new international frontiers.
Faculty-led study abroad programs that are deeply-steeped in the Santa Cruz tradition of creativity and mentorship and building faculty mentors that can alter the trajectory of a student’s life.
For many students, study abroad opportunities are difficult to visualize. Hourigan looks to improve faculty engagement in virtual exchange programs that will expand intercultural opportunities to all students.
Engaging in the ACE Lab gave Jeremy a glimpse of the possibility of interdisciplinary collaboration at UC Santa Cruz as it relates to student connectivity, and bringing people together from diverse backgrounds and interests to work together.
Jeremy’s strong liberal arts background with a STEM focus highlighted for him the importance of understanding the social and economic backdrop in which scientific problems are set.
“The geoscientist traveling to Tibet needs to understand the history of the region. Evolutionary biologists need to understand the economic and social factors that compromise ecosystems,” Hourigan said. “Bringing together international research faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students is one mechanism through which we strengthen our community around UC Santa Cruz’s academic mission.”
In this role, Hourigan intends to improve faculty engagement at all levels of Global Engagement, including domestic and international exchanges. He hopes to become a strong advocate for Global Engagement, bringing a faculty perspective to the table alongside the impressive leadership already in place.
We at the Division of Global Engagement welcome Jeremy Hourigan and have great expectations for his new role as we continue to inspire and facilitate global learning and research at UC Santa Cruz.