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Barbara Gorka: Penn Abroad Director

October 19, 2010, Volume 57, No. 08


Dr. Barbara Gorka has recently joined the Office of International Programs at the University of Pennsylvania as the director of Penn Abroad. Dr. Gorka will oversee Penn’s programs for undergraduate study abroad for the academic year or a semester. Dr. Gorka comes to Penn from Colgate University, where she was the director of Off-Campus Study/International Programs since 2007. Prior to that, Dr. Gorka served as associate director of International Programs at Temple University and was previously a faculty member at Muhlenberg College. Dr. Gorka received her BA from Dickinson College. She earned her MA and PhD in Spanish language and literature from the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn’s Study Abroad programs enroll over 600 undergraduates each year. In the 2009-2010 academic year, Penn undergraduates participated in 119 different approved programs in 41 countries. In addition, Penn’s exchange programs bring about 150 international undergraduate students to campus each year.

Dr. Gorka was selected at the conclusion of a national search and an exceptionally strong candidate pool. As Anne Waters, executive director of the Office of International Programs (OIP) noted, “The selection committee was immediately impressed by Dr. Gorka’s academic training and the depth of her experience managing a complex portfolio of study abroad programs. We are delighted to have her join us here at Penn.”

Dr. Rudie Altamirano, director of OIP’s division of International Students and Scholars Services,  said he is pleased to welcome Barbara to OIP and he knows Dr. Gorka is, “interested to partner with faculty and departments to enrich the Penn Abroad experience for students.” Dr. Gorka will be working closely with OIP’s Director of Risk Management for International Programs, Erika Gross, on student safety while abroad. Ms. Gross mentioned that, “Barbara is an excellent addition to the talented team at OIP.”


Almanac - October 19, 2010, Volume 57, No. 08