Patrick Frazier: from Cairo to Cali to Q.U.
As students moved onto the Quinnipiac campus for the start of the new school year, Patrick Frazier started his efforts to move them back off. But no one should take offense because he is only doing his job.
On August first, Frazier began his position as the director of international education. His responsibilities include promoting awareness of cultural diversity and encouraging students to receive their educations globally. In other words, he wants students to go from living in Irma to living in Ireland, from Dana to Denmark, from the Ledges to London.
Frazier believes that not only will studying abroad enhance one’s educational and professional experiences, but that it will teach students more about themselves as individuals.
“Studying abroad can bring you to that level of personal growth where you can realize differences in your own way of thinking,” said Frazier.
Frazier’s own “personal growth” and desire for progression is what has led him on his journey to Quinnipiac with stops along the way in Washington D.C., New York, Egypt and California.
Originally from Rochester, New York, Frazier graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University and taught an eighth grade class at the Options School in Washington D.C.
After experiencing teaching, Frazier moved to New York, New York, where he became the program director for the International House-a residence home for foreign graduate students, who represent about 80 countries around the globe.
Frazier’s yearlong stay at the residence facility taught him an awareness of the world and its multiplicity.
“Being at the International House showed me that it’s a very big world with very diverse views and opinions,” said Frazier.
With that realization came the need for progression and the desire to do more. So, Frazier packed up and moved to Egypt, where he earned his Master of Arts degree at the American University in Cairo. While there, he worked as an international recruiter for the university.
“Being a recruiter enabled me to fly all over, which became my passion,” said Frazier.
And it’s a good thing Frazier isn’t afraid to fly because after his time in Egypt, he flew back to the states where he worked in Manhattan as a study abroad financial aid advisor for the American University in Cairo. He then became the study abroad advisor for 32,000 students on the Fullerton campus in California.
However, his desires to return to the hubbub of the east coast where the seasons change is what led Frazier to Quinnipiac.
“There is a nice feel to this university, and there is a commitment to education. It is not just Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is all the time,” said Frazier. “Quinnipiac has students who want to learn and there is a lot of potential.”
Now that he is here, the new director has goals to reach and methods to reach them. According to Frazier, there are three tiers involved in encouraging the study abroad program.
“Firstly, the students need to be exposed to international studies in order to start thinking about the world as a whole,” he said.
To do this, Frazier plans to set up lectures and invite guest speakers who will come to the campus and educate students about other cultures.
Also, a study abroad fair, where students can ask questions and obtain information about studying abroad, is in the works for the Spring semester.
In addition, Frazier has organized information sessions twice a week where students can learn more about international education. These sessions cover scholarship possibilities, credit transfers, and personal concerns that students may have.
The second tier needed to promote international awareness is that of the staff members at Quinnipiac.
“The staff must work with an international spirit because there are students on-campus from all over the world,” said Frazier. “My job is to provide an awareness and to inform the Quinnipiac community that there are different methods for operating within a diverse student population.”
The third tier that is essential to fostering international education is the faculty.
“It is important for the faculty to explore all the different paths to teaching, so that, in effect, they can teach students to explore differences and to recognize that diversity exists,” said Frazier.
According to the director, an understanding of different cultures and the desire to study abroad will only flourish if the students, faculty, and staff all work together.
Along with providing awareness to American students about other cultures, Frazier believes it is just as important for American students to study abroad as a means of spreading awareness about the culture of the United States.
“We have to protect ourselves from foreign perceptions and notions that we are ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ Americans,” said Frazier. “I’m confident that if a Quinnipiac student goes out and works with someone from a different country, they will dispel any negative feelings towards our country,” he continued.
For students interested in studying abroad it is important to keep grades up and to prepare to go away during sophomore year, before major-specific classes are required.
Frazier also suggests to students not to let language be a limitation in deciding whether or not to study abroad.
“Whether you speak English, French, or Spanish should make no difference, in choosing where to travel to,” said Frazier. “There are courses offered in English everywhere.”
Frazier welcomes any questions about studying abroad. His office is located in the faculty office building in room six. He encourages people to stop by.
“This is an open door office and it is a resource area,” said Frazier.
“We want to make this school internationalized and it is going to take everyone, but I’m willing to direct.”
For additional information about international education, please contact Patrick Frazier at Patrick.Frazier@quinnipiac.edu or stop by the Office of International Education in the Faculty Office Building.