A message from the dean

Guido PodestaAs you know, in a couple of weeks, after ten years and one semester, I will be stepping down from my role as vice provost and dean of the International Division.

I want to extend my deepest thanks to the International Division staff for their work, their commitment, and their support over these years in which we dealt with expected and unexpected challenges—challenges that never stopped us from fostering new ideas and projects. Together, we have been able to accomplish things that have greatly benefitted the residential experience of our students, all while supporting our colleagues and elevating campus engagement in the international arena. It has been a privilege to work alongside such committed professionals, and I have great appreciation for their contributions, whether they took place at center stage or, most often, behind the scenes.

The division is also fortunate to have many outstanding supporters and partners, not just on campus, but also at the community, state, national, and international levels. These individuals and organizations have my gratitude for their continuing efforts and willingness to work toward shared goals.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank our alumni for their tireless commitment and amazing contributions. It has been extremely rewarding being in contact with and befriending an extraordinary group of people who have always been ready and willing to support UW–Madison and our students. Their passion for the university is both energizing and humbling.

Personally, I am extremely grateful to UW–Madison for the opportunity to work as faculty and to serve in positions where I found the perfect conditions to contribute and be directly involved in the direction of my home department, the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program, and most recently, the International Division.

I have felt at home at UW–Madison thanks to a few things that happened along the way. I greatly enjoyed teaching and pursuing research. However, being involved in the affairs of the university in different settings and with different responsibilities, also made a big difference. Additionally, engaging in civic service at a public university so unique like UW–Madison was instrumental in deepening my roots and sense of belonging here in Madison.

As a student and as faculty, my life has always been entwined with public universities, both in Peru and in the United States for good reason. Values that I carried with me since I was an undergraduate student at the Universidad de San Marcos in Lima have been congruent to those of public institutions of higher learning.

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work closely with UW–Madison chancellors, provosts, and fellow deans that value the work of our campus international community and show it in multiple ways during both good and difficult times. They have been extremely supportive, collaborative, and receptive to the International Division’s needs and have not hesitated to assist in the realization of our mission.

This is a time of renewal for campus as a whole, with many important changes in leadership taking place. This is also a time of renewal for the International Division. I am confident that the International Division has been and continues to be in excellent hands.

I finish without naming names, but I hope you all know the many, many people in my thoughts when I simply say THANK YOU!