Julie Fratrik Director, Global Academic Exchange Office: Center for Global Academic Exchange Campus: Manhattan
Member of NYIT Since: 2008
Inspired by a love of travel and a passion for studying abroad, Julie Fratrik joined NYIT three years ago as the director of NYIT's Center for Global Academic Exchange. Since then, she has watched NYIT's first cohort of Nanjing students attend classes in Manhattan and graduate in May 2011 as well as facilitated several trips for New York students to study in China for the experience of a lifetime.
Prior to NYIT, Julie ran democracy and diversity institutes for graduate students in South Africa and Poland for the New School and developed faculty-led international programs for Eugene Lang College. But it was her hands-on experience as a high school exchange student and college study abroad experiences that made Julie realize her gift for working with students worldwide and helping them to embrace new ideas, cultures, and methodologies.
"I know firsthand of the support and attention that is required to make programs successful," she says. "I feel a sense of accomplishment when I have an impact on the lives of students, whether it's encouraging them to spend a semester abroad or helping international students realize they have a support network at NYIT."
Julie created that network, and it's her volunteers and colleagues who've helped sustain it. She recalls a particularly busy Labor Day weekend, when she had to go to the airport twice to welcome nearly 160 new students from Nanjing and Huajing. At the end of the weekend, she received a text from one student volunteer, thanking her for the opportunity.
"What a gratifying message to receive," says Julie. "It reinforced why I work in international education, and how crucial this field is to foster global understanding."
To continue that mission, Julie's upcoming plans include sending students to the Institut Polytechnique de Lyon summer engineering program in Lyon, France; launching new study abroad opportunities in other countries; and working on a New York City-based summer program in 2012 for NYIT's global students.