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Seattle University

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Engaging the world

Written by Annie Beckmann
March 15, 2010

Seattle University has appointed a new associate provost for global engagement who will lead the implementation of our strategic academic initiative to extend the international reach of the university and advance the global education of our students.

Victoria Jones, who will join SU July 1, has most recently been associate dean of international relations in the College of Business at the San Antonio campus of the University of Texas. There she accomplished strategic transformation of international activities, increased participation from 30 to 600 students annually and restructured her college department so it grew from two programs to 20. Since 1999, Jones also has taught international marketing and management and conducted research in international consumer behavior and global corporate social responsibility.

In the latest President’s Report, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., described global education as central to the new era of “educational commons” in which SU strengthens its position as the premier independent university of the Northwest.

“In this new era, we must look at preparing our students to be good citizens of the world in an evolving global marketplace with emerging players,” he wrote.

With the appointment of Jones, SU continues to build its capacity for global perspectives in research and teaching and in exchange opportunities for students and faculty, according to Sundborg.

Jones, whose personal mission statement is “I create connections across cultures that improve lives,” was raised in an interdenominational Christian mission.

“When my mother told me to clean my plate because there were kids starving in China, she was referring to a direct effect,” she says. “As a community, we fasted for breakfast and lunch every Friday and used the money we saved by skipping those two weekly meals to support a refugee camp in Thailand.” 

Jones’ career spans several academic disciplines, with emphasis on business administration, social sciences and the arts. She holds a PhD focused on intercultural communications from Cornell University, a master’s in mass communications from the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate double major in broadcast journalism and political science from the University of Southern California.

She was founding director of the Institute for Global Enterprise in Indiana at the University of Evansville and served as associate dean for international relations in Brazil for the Getulio Vargas Foundation-Sao Paolo School of Business Administration. Jones’ regional specialty is Latin America, which is the subject of her recently released guide book, Doing Business in South America.

She says her global vision focuses on people as the core of organizations.

“Global engagement begins with individuals who are motivated by a shared vision and inspired by the exponential possibilities of collaboration,” says Jones. “To engage globally, we must engage personally. Global engagement with real world issues shapes leaders—their hearts, minds and hands.”