A new Study Abroad director has been named after the prompt resignation of Dee Dee Hudson in the fall of 2016.
Hudson and her husband, former A-State chancellor Tim Hudson, were the subjects of an extensive series of audits that revealed a state of disarray within the study abroad department.
Jeanne d’Arc Gomis took the position at the beginning of February, and has worked to revitalize the study abroad program after the scandal that surrounded it last year.
Gomis holds a Master’s degree in comparative and international developmental education, has over 13 years of experience in international education, fluently speaks six different languages and was once an international exchange student during her college years.
Born in Dakar, Senegal in West Africa, Gomis was first exposed to the international education field in college. After graduation, she worked with a U.S.-based study abroad program out of Senegal, dealing directly with students. She came to the United States on an exchange scholarship and studied at the University of Minnesota. She then spent six years working at Appalachian State University in the Study Abroad program.
“I enjoy the diversity, I enjoy meeting people…I am so excited when I am in a situation where I force myself to learn another language,” Gomis said. Gomis says that studying abroad helps students listen to others, and learn from them.
“I like to exchange ideas, to hear what others have to say about a topic…in this world it’s not just about us. It’s about others as well, and how we can make this world a better place… What you learn in the classroom is one thing. When you go abroad, you get to practice what you learn,” Gomis said.
Gomis says that it is important for college students to study abroad because of the exposure they get to other cultures. It not only teaches you about others, but also about yourself.
She also said that it provides students with the skills they need to compete in the job market.
“Study abroad helps you grow intellectually, personally,” Gomis said.
The new Study Abroad director says she hopes to grow the numbers of the Study Abroad program by working with former constituents and learning from them. She wants students to be aware of everything the study abroad program has to offer, and says that A-State is very supportive of the Study Abroad program.
“I am very humbled by the opportunity to be here and work with a campus that is supportive of Study Abroad. I’m really honored and I look forward to working with everyone. I invite every student to come and meet with us. It’s possible, it just takes planning,” Gomis said. “The moment you think about studying abroad, come and meet us. Opportunities are out there, there are many, and it takes more than one meeting.”
She plans to eventually have hours that students can walk-in and speak with someone. Gomis recommends to plan at least a year ahead of time. She recommends that freshmen and sophomores come visit the study abroad office, but advises upperclassmen that it’s never too late. Students that are interested should contact the study abroad office by phone at (870)972-3734 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.