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

Li-Ching Ho, PhD | Faculty Director | 181E Education Building

Li-Ching Ho is a professor of social studies education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and faculty director of the Global Engagement Office. Her research, conducted primarily in East and Southeast Asia, focuses on global issues of diversity in civic education, differentiated access to citizenship education, and environmental citizenship. She was previously a recipient of the Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Award and the College and University Faculty Assembly Early Career Research Award. Dr. Ho’s most recent publication is Curriculum for Justice and Harmony: Deliberation, Knowledge and Action in Social and Civic Education which she co-authored with Keith C. Barton. She is a co-editor of The Palgrave Handbook of Global Citizenship and Education and has published research in Theory and Research in Social Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Teachers College Record, and Teaching and Teacher Education.

Photo of interim directorAydin Bal, PhD | Interim 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.

Kate McCleary, PhD | Associate Director | 181G Education Building

+1-608-265-2604 | kate.mccleary@wisc.edu 

In her work with the School of Education, McCleary 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. McCleary was a key collaborator in the development of the School’s strategic plan for global education, and co-led the launch of the Global Engagement Office in 2018. She previously served as an Associate Researcher with the LEAD Center in the Wisconsin Center for Education research, and was the Director of Global Education at Washington College in Maryland. Her own research interests focus on gender, youth, and education. She worked on project teams in the U.S. that have collaborated with scholars, practitioners, youth, and communities in Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Turkmenistan, and Uganda, and was a Fulbright Research Scholar to Spain. McCleary received her PhD in Comparative International Development Education from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development at the University of Minnesota. She did her MEd in Educational Leadership at Lehigh University, and has a BA in Spanish and History from Muhlenberg College.

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 the 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 both the Global Engagement Office and the Career Center. A former English language instructor, Christina spent 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 being 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.