Published on 12/26/15

2015 was a year of new partnerships and new plans for Office of Global Programs

By Merritt Melancon

Building the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' international reputation and a robust global community of support are the main goals of the college’s Office of Global Programs. With a full slate of research, academic and outreach activities and the introduction of a new strategic plan, 2015 has been a banner year for the office.

More than 200 CAES faculty, staff, and students traveled abroad during 2015.

Whether it was to attend or teach classes, work on an outreach project, complete an internship or perform field research, each trip helped to expand CAES’s international community, enhance its partnerships and extend its reach.

CAES faculty and administrators traveled to Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Qatar, Senegal, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam to recruit graduate students and to develop outreach and exchange programs. To read more about one of these recruitment programs visit

The office hosted international scholars through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development (BHEARD) Program and supported the Feed the Future Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation Lab (PMIL), a multipronged research program. To learn more about these programs visit and

“Looking ahead (into 2016), we will continue enhancing our international footprint,” said Amrit Bart, director of the CAES Office of Global Programs. “We hope to provide more students with immersive intercultural experiences and intensify our efforts to promote research collaborations with international partners.”

Guided by a new strategic plan that was finalized in early 2015, the office is working to support more international experiences for Georgia-based students and faculty and to recruit more international students and scholars to the college. This includes increasing financial support for student and faculty travelers and developing new partnerships in Asia and Africa, Bart said. For more details about the strategic plan visit

“Too often strategic plans collect dust on a shelf. In the case of the Office of Global Programs, we’re referring to our plan on a daily basis as we decide how to assist CAES students and faculty to achieve their goals,” Bart said. “We are laying the groundwork for partnerships that will impact the University of Georgia from a student’s first day of class to a faculty member’s entire career.”

Here are more highlights from the Office of Global Programs’ year:

  • About 162 faculty and staff members from the college made 249 international trips, either as part of a research or outreach project or as part of a study abroad program.
  • CAES welcomed 143 visiting scholars this year.
  • Approximately 75 CAES students studied abroad this year, visiting a total of 26 countries. The top five most popular destinations were Costa Rica, Italy, Australia, France and New Zealand.
  • The college organized and led four specific study abroad programs, including “Europe: The Grand Tour – Art and Gardens;” “Costa Rica: Coffee from Bean to Cup;” “Italy: Viticulture and Enology;” and “France: French Food Production, Culture and the Environment.”
  • Dozens of international graduate and undergraduate students came to study at the college’s Griffin, Tifton or Athens, Georgia, campuses.

To stay up to date on the CAES Office of Global Programs, visit

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.