Dean and Chairwoman of International Education, Uliana Gabara hopes to spend time with her grandchildren and travel for pleasure during her retirement after working for 26 years at the University of Richmond.
Gabara began her career at Richmond as the director of international education before she became the associate provost, and eventually, dean.
"She has worked really hard through various administrations," said Michele Cox, a study abroad adviser who has worked with Gabara for 22 years. "She has a clear vision of how the university should internationalize and has been very successful at doing that."
One of Gabara's biggest contributions to the school of international education is the implementation of faculty seminars. Gabara said she had wanted to change the faculty's approach and knowledge of international education, so she implemented the seminars.
"We began with a great focus on making it possible for faculty to study parts of the world which they didn't know," Gabara said. "That made a huge difference in the way people were teaching and thinking about their work."
Faculty seminars also changed the culture of Richmond "and the fun," said Gabara. The seminars are discussed in the book "The Twenty-first Century University," by Lisa Childress, and are used as a model for international education programs at other schools.
Gabara said that she began working in international education for a few reasons. The first was because there were few jobs in Russian literature, which she had taught. She also said she realized that she had already been training for international education.
"I've migrated between different cultures and languages," she said. "I am very much an activist. Doing some active work with various people appealed to me by comparison to doing research."
Gabara also began the study abroad program at Richmond. "An international education in general is one of the very important things that Richmond has to offer," she said. "Having faculty and students from all over the world and having courses with international content is important."
Associate Dean of International Education Joe Hoff described Gabara as "very eloquent on the outside, and a lot of fun on the inside." She is always willing to challenge someone with her own perspective, "which is a quality I admire," he said.
Gabara has written articles and presented at conferences about the Richmond model of international education. Cox said Gabara had taught her to look at the entire field in an academic way. "She pushes really hard, but not in a bad way," Cox said. "She expects a lot out of you because she wants you to realize your potential."
Gabara said that in the future, she hoped that Richmond's partnerships with other schools around the world would evolve and grow. "I hope to see more of our students study abroad," she said, "and to have that influence the education here on campus."
Contact reporter Molly McGrath at firstname.lastname@example.org