The UO’s Study Abroad Program has a new champion.
The program’s new associate vice provost and director, Stephen Wooten, brings strong skills as an administrator backed by front-line research experience in rural areas of developing countries.
Wooten, who served as interim in the post for five months, is a UO associate professor of international studies and anthropology.
He intends to expand international opportunities for UO students from families of modest means and reach out to students who aren’t aware of the importance of studying abroad. At the same time, he will maintain and enhance the UO’s well-established base in traditional, long-term, language-intensive programs.
“I have been fortunate to meet and work with people around the world, from Panama to Italy to Uganda and many other places in between,” Wooten said. “These global experiences have shaped who I am as a person and as professional.
“What I love most about these encounters is the way they have helped me become a more thoughtful and effective global citizen,” he added. “The memories and relationships I made along the way are touchstones in all I do. I am eager to help make this possible for more and more UO students.”
Wooten says alumni and friends can make a big difference right away.
“In order to develop and sustain the kinds of transformative experiences we want for our students, we need sage and experienced partners,” he said. “Global Ducks are exactly the kind of people we look to for guidance. I would love to hear what ideas folks have for new sites and programs.”
In that spirit, Wooten is making a “listening tour” of departmental faculty meetings and talking one-on-one with colleagues. He looks forward to applying what he learns as part of a mandate to reorganize study abroad this year.
"The opportunities are especially exciting in Asia, where we are very fortunate to have so many passionate and well-established alumni," he said.
Since joining the faculty in 2001, Wooten has built new UO academic and internship programs in Europe and Africa. He also helped establish and direct the UO’s African Studies Program and food studies graduate specialization.
Previously, he served as associate director for National Resource Centers at two other major research universities (Illinois and UCLA). Early in his career, he received two Fulbright research awards and launched a project on the global appropriation and commodification of indigenous arts in North America, Europe, and Africa.
Contact Stephen Wooten