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New Director of International Programs Brings Diverse Background to Role

Leila Bradaschia will replace Syedur Rahman as the new director on July 1.

by Pamela Batsonbradaschia_leila .jpg

Leila Bradaschia, Ph.D. will be joining the College of Education faculty as the new director of International Programs, as of July 1. She will be replacing Syedur Rahman who is retiring after 30 years with Penn State.

In this role, Bradaschia will direct the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program and will also coordinate the development of new relationships between the College of Education and institutions in other nations, including, but not limited to, student and faculty exchange programs. In the coming year, she will develop the College’s application to renew its Humphrey Fellowship Program.

The Humphrey Fellowship Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is for mid-career professionals from other countries to enrich their academic careers by spending a year at a university in the United States. Penn State is one of only fifteen universities chosen to participate in the program.

"I look forward to strengthening and initiating new and exciting international programs at the College of Education at Penn State,” said Bradaschia of her new role. “These programs change lives as people come to see the world from another's perspective. And as we embark on the journey to internationalize the curriculum and opportunities afforded to Penn State College of Education students and faculty, we will be fostering concepts of global citizenship in an increasingly globalized world."

Bradaschia received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, in History, Philosophy, and Policy in Education with a concentration in International and Comparative Education. While completing her degree, she was an associate instructor in the university’s School of Education Cultural Immersion Projects, a program that allows education majors to conduct part of their student teaching in another country. Previously, she was Program Director at International Visitors Council in Columbus, Ohio and an intern with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Washington, D.C. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese, has completed graduate coursework in international and cultural studies and traveled extensively. Bradaschia’s dissertation research was on non-governmental organizations (or NGOs) working in public primary education in Nicaragua. 

"Dr. Bradaschia is a perfect match with the College of Education's international goals and priorities" said Dr. Kyle Peck, associate dean for Outreach, Technology, and International Programs. "She brings experience, energy, and good ideas to a faculty with lots of ideas of its own."

As she relocates to State College, she is joined by her husband, Giancarlo “Nick” Bradaschia who works in information technology. The two enjoy travel, cooking, sports, being active, and spending time with family and friends.