International Service Program embraces new coordinator

Published: September 25, 2015

Staff Writer

As students returned to campus, Barbara King moved into a new office as the new International Service Program Coordinator.

AQUINAS PHOTO / MICHAEL MAZZUCA / BARBARA KING has filled Mollie Vita's position as the International Service Program coordinator.

AQUINAS PHOTO / MICHAEL MAZZUCA / BARBARA KING has filled Mollie Vita’s position as the International Service Program coordinator.

King has worked for The University for more than nine years, beginning as director of residence life before serving as the interim dean of students for three semesters. The new ISP coordinator looks at her 2009 service trip to Jamaica as “the best experience of (her) professional career.”

“When this position became open I thought I wanted to do something. I wanted to take a left turn and do something different with my career and this position fit that for me,” King said. “I love the campus ministries team.”

Men and women who participate in ISP must go to one of the four information sessions held in this month.
Senior Krista Ziegler traveled to the Dominican Republic in 2014, and to Mexico as a peer facilitator in 2015.

“The application will be available to you on my.scranton and involves answering a few questions, ranking your country choices and then an essay,” Ziegler said.

King has no intention of altering the application process. Students who are accepted are organized into small groups based on their skills and interests. Each group is designed to provide a rewarding experience for participants.

Junior Ashley Hill traveled to El Salvador this past summer as part of ISP.

“In my group, we had a common interest of hearing people’s stories…we were all very empathetic and understood each other,” Hill said.

For now, King has no plans to change ISP in any way. She stated she wants to listen to students and mentors talk about their experiences to find out areas that need improvement.

ISP has been linked to The University since the summer of 1987. Campus minister Cathy Seymour is a member of the group who spent five weeks in Mexico. The Rev. Brendan Lally S.J., who formulated the first international trip with Scranton Preparatory High School, decided to bring the program to The University.

“We went to an all-boys orphanage on the outskirts of Mexico City…It took a week to get there,” Seymour said. “We ate with them, played with them, we prayed with them every day. We got to go to downtown Mexico City and see the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

King feels honored to work as the ISP coordinator.

King said, “I think it is something that really impacts not just their current student experience, but then in their lives and I think that’s pretty inspirational and motivating.”

The University’s new strategy is based on three pillars: engagement, integration and globalization. King sees ISP as characterizing some of the school’s global initiatives.

“It’s nice to see it in writing that there is really an intention from the University to prepare students for life after college and what that means globally,” King said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *