CLEMSON — Clemson University’s Office of Global Engagement has named Jim Bennett the director of Global Education Initiatives. In the new position, Bennett will develop a series of flexible format programs that enable the university to expand educational opportunities for international students who want short-term exposure to Clemson.
“I’m excited to join the Office of Global Engagement to strengthen Clemson’s existing international relationships and develop new ones,” said Bennett. “Our goal is to create flexible, innovative programs that allow faculty and academic units across campus to pursue international opportunities that don’t currently fit into one of our existing programs.”
Prior to stepping into this role on July 1, he was the director of International Programs for Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute (YLI). In this role, Bennett developed Global Connections, a series of high-impact learning programs for K-12 students around the world. As the director of Global Education Initiatives, he will continue overseeing YLI initiatives while expanding this flexible model to the university.
“The university’s academic reputation and commitment to public service made it an ideal place to develop a premier international youth program and I’m excited to replicate that vision and expand it to benefit the entire university,” said Bennett.
One of the projects he will oversee is a summer enrichment program for international undergraduate students who want to come to Clemson during the summer to attend academic sessions or engage in research with professors and academic departments.
He will also facilitate special projects an example of which is as a joint effort with the College of Education and several of its professors to strengthen kindergarten programs in China. As a part of this initiative, a group of Chinese kindergarten directors will visit Clemson to attend training sessions and visit area schools, then professors from the College of Education will travel to China to consult with educators and reinforce these training sessions. Faculty and academic departments with an interest in developing new international initiatives are encouraged to contact Bennett.
Bennett has spent the last 25 years working in higher education with a growing focus on international opportunities. He completed an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and later pursued post-graduate study in the field of cultural engagement. Prior to joining Clemson, he held several faculty and administrative positions at different colleges and universities.
His interest in international exchange and partnerships has taken him to six continents and nearly 50 countries to lecture at universities, lead study-abroad programs, develop teacher training programs, contribute to ethnographic research projects, participate in humanitarian efforts and consult with officials on both regional and national issues.