About GEO

Global connectedness is a cornerstone of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Education. Connections to students, scholars, colleagues, and organizations around the globe drive the ways we conceptualize and seek solutions to problems that we face locally, nationally, and globally. These connections inspire the creative visions and bodies of work produced by the artists, educators, researchers, and scholars within our school.

As a top ranked School of Education nationally and internationally, we value the incredible connections we have with alumni, colleagues, partner institutions, and friends of the School of Education around the globe. The Global Engagement Office’s aim is to support our School in thinking, working, innovating, and partnering with individuals, communities, and groups around the globe. We also seek to ensure the School of Education is an inclusive space that celebrates the diversity of perspectives and lived experiences that are present in the School.

The Global Engagement Office’s work is guided by the Global Education Strategic Plan (September 2018), and focuses on:

  • Ensuring a global perspective is integrated in the School’s coursework and programs, and that departments and units are able to create programs open to students and visitors outside of the United States
  • Cultivating a School of Education community where international students and international visiting scholars find the supports needed to flourish in Madison
  • Supporting School of Education students’ efforts to pursue study abroad, study away, global internships, and fieldwork outside of the U.S., and working with faculty and departments to lead study abroad programs
  • Managing the School of Education’s institutional partnerships

Guiding Principles

The School of Education’s research, scholarship, creative endeavors, teaching, and service will have a global scope and impact.

The School of Education’s global initiatives will reflect and reinforce the core values of reciprocity and solidarity among all participants.

Faculty, academic staff, and students will be able to carry out their work outside the United States with targeted support from professionals who are knowledgable about what is involved in carrying out international research, scholarship, and creative endeavors.

People within the SoE will sustain rich relationships with school districts, clinics, groups, institutes, galleries, performance venues, and community partners around the world.

Geographic boundaries will not prohibit innovative research, scholarship, creative endeavors, programming, and teaching with colleagues inside and outside the United States. Technologies will be leveraged to remove barriers and encourage diverse forms of collaboration and engagement.

The best students from around the world will be supported to study in the School of Education and all students will have the opportunity to learn from scholars, researchers, and artists from around the globe.

People who come from other countries to visit, study, collaborate, or work at the School of Education will be fully involved in shaping and participating in School programming and university life.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about their fields of study in ways that challenge and make them consider alternative viewpoints and theories, specifically through study abroad and globally-focused coursework.

Meet the GEO Staff

Photo of interim directorAydin Bal, PhD | Faculty Director | 181E Education Building

Aydin Bal is a professor of special education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Bal’s research focuses on the interplay between culture, learning, and mental health across local and global education systems. He examines the racial disparities in school discipline and special education, family-school-community-university partnerships, and systemic transformation. He has developed the Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports framework and the Learning Lab methodology. Dr. Bal has published in leading journals in education, learning sciences, and behavioral health. In 2017, Dr. Bal received the American Educational Research Association (AERA) review of Research Award. In 2018-2019, he was awarded a Fulbright fellowship. Dr. Bal is the recipient of the 2019 AERA Scholars of Color Early Career Award and the 2022 AERA Cultural Historical Special Interest Group Early Career Award.

Jamie Welling headshotJamie Welling, MPA | Associate Director | 181G Education Building
+1-608-265-6023 | jwelling@wisc.edu

Jamie manages the day-to-day operations of the Global Engagement Office and offers support to departments, units, faculty, students and visiting scholars engaged in globally-focused work. Jamie is the responsible officer for the Fulbright TEA Program and coordinates the logistics. New to UW-Madison, but not new to academia, she has previously directed global programming at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and American University’s Washington College of Law. Before her work in higher education, she worked in the world of NGOs both in the US and abroad dealing with legal and economic policy, community economic development programs, and grants. Jamie holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a specialization in International Management from the American University, a B.A. in International Economics & Cultural Affairs / Spanish from Valparaiso University, and an Advanced CTESOL certificate from Transworld Schools. She has lived, worked, and/or studied in Turkey, Palestine, Israel, Mexico, and the UK.


Headshot of Christina Eddington, Coordinator

Christina Eddington, MA | Coordinator | 181F Education Building

+1-608-890-1254 | meddington@wisc.edu 

As coordinator, Christina plays a key role in office operations, manages academic events and community programming, collaborates with departments to host visiting scholars, and supports the Global Education Committee. She also oversees web-based resources for the Global Engagement Office. A former English language instructor, Christina enjoyed eleven years at Beloit College teaching English as a Second Language, a TESOL class, and leading first-year orientation initiatives. Relationship-building among international and domestic students is central to her work. She also has experience in community and language school (IEP) environments in the United States and in South Africa. Christina values her work in international education as it enables her to be a connector for the students, scholars, and colleagues to their community, institutions, and partners around the globe. Her academic interests focus on second language acquisition and comparative and international education.