One of his top priorities early in his term, he said, is to find solutions to a challenge that his predecessor, Jeff Sharp, also faced.
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on study abroad numbers, so my short-term goal is to increase the numbers to pre-pandemic levels,” he said.
“Longer term, I would like to expand our portfolio of semester, summer and integrated courses to give students the maximum flexibility to study abroad at least once during their time at Smeal. My goals for the International Business minor are similar as I believe it is very important for Smeal graduates to better understand the global business environment in which they will soon be working.
Guay already had a full plate with his teaching and CGBS duties, but a combination of factors made the position of associate dean attractive to him, he explained.
“I am starting my 19th year at Smeal. I have been extensively engaged in teaching International Business (IB) courses, researching the field, and leading study abroad programs for Smeal undergraduate and MBA students” , did he declare.
“I felt that at this point in my career I could have a more direct impact on shaping the IB within Smeal and developing a culture that emphasizes a global perspective with an administrative position like this. I also knew that the staff in the Office of International Programs (OIP) at Smeal did an amazing job helping our students study abroad and get the IB minor, and I would love to work with them.
Guay said he was grateful that his decades of international business experience and his passion for the job were recognized as a good fit.
“My first reaction was to thank the dean’s office and the search committee for having confidence in my ability to take on this role,” he said. “My second reaction was, ‘OK, where do I start?’ There is no guide to being an administrator, so it will be my task to initiate what I believe are the IB priorities for the college, particularly with regard to study abroad and the minor of the IB. But I will look to my fellow faculty and staff for plenty of advice! »
Fortunately, Guay sees opportunities to merge some of what CGBS offers with OIP.
“I see a lot of synergies between the two positions. CGBS can sponsor guest speakers such as business executives and academics to discuss current opportunities and challenges they see developing in the global economy. These could be of great interest to the Smeal community. In particular, they could spark student interest in studying abroad and taking IB courses,” he said.
“I am currently working with the Business Career Center at Smeal to host a panel with members of the CGBS Advisory Board to advise students on how to prepare for and embark on a career at the IB. I will also be at a vantage point that will allow me to enhance the College’s IB capabilities by leveraging the combined resources of CGBS and OIP. For example, CGBS provides funding for undergraduate students to conduct research with Smeal faculty members, which I hope will lead to increased interest in the IB among students and teachers.