Selma Haghamed joins the Global Education Office as the faculty support associate. She comes to Virginia Tech from Qatar University in Doha, Qatar.

In this new role, Haghamed will offer support to faculty members who are preparing and leading Virginia Tech academic courses overseas and will advise students on these programs.

Nearly 80 percent of the 1,200 Virginia Tech students who study abroad annually participate in programs that are led by faculty members rather than other program types, such as exchanges, direct enrollment in an institution abroad, or programs offered by third-party providers.

"They offer a unique opportunity to examine topics in a global setting while closely working with faculty beyond the 90-minute classroom session," Rachel Fitzgerald, assistant director for program management, said of the appeal of faculty-led programs.

Most of the more than 60 faculty-led options at Virginia Tech take place during the summer sessions. The programs span every continent and represent 30 countries, including Ghana, China, India, Costa Rica, and New Zealand.

Haghamed will also work with faculty to create new programs.

"Getting a study abroad program off the ground is a lengthy and complex process that can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months," Fitzgerald said. "This new position is a resource to aid faculty throughout the entire course of their programs from development to assessment."

At Qatar University, Haghamed established the Center for Academic Advising and Retention in 2009. She was appointed director a few years later and served there until 2015. Under her leadership, student satisfaction rates and advisor effectiveness increased.

Hagahamed also worked with the National Academic Advising Association, where she earned four awards, including the Outstanding Advising Program Certificate of Merit Award in 2014. She launched the association's first conference in the Middle East.

A native of Sudan, Haghamed received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Khartoum and a Ph.D. in educational studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Written by Alexa Johnson, a junior from Richmond, Virginia, majoring in public relations in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Rommelyn Conde Coffren contributed to this story.

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