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Amini leads international studies

Mariela Patron
News Editor

Gitty Amini, assistant professor of political science, will replace Kenneth Marcus, professor of history, as director of the International Studies Institute starting in September.

Amini hopes to continue Marcus’ legacy and focus on increasing ISI’s awareness on campus to provide more funding for the organization.

“Dr. Marcus has left it in such great shape,” Amini said.

“I don’t want to be the one to ruin it.”

ISI is an intercollegiate organization that provides scholarships and research in international studies, along with bringing speakers to the University of La Verne.

As a political science professor, Amini will bring her interest in crisis to ISI.

“I’ll be indulging my preference for that a lot,” she said.

She plans to host more events that focus on international conflict and conflict resolution, while striking a balance with topics like global economy.

“In an ideal world we would fund more conferences and round tables,” Amini said.

For the Hot Spots lecture series, Amini wants them to be more robust and bring speakers from outside learning communities.

“I anticipate we’ll see some changes that would get students more interested in foreign relations,” Al Clark, associate vice president of academic affairs, said.

Clark hopes ISI will have more involvement in the study abroad program.

This is something Amini intends to do by providing more student support for international students, and with enough funding, more scholarships for students to study abroad.

As Marcus is on sabbatical in the Netherlands, Amini currently serves as interim director of ISI, and was previously associate director.

“I’m excited, but also really nervous,” Amini said.

With newly acquired responsibilities, Amini will count on her advisee committee for support in budget and creative decisions.

“I think she will build on Ken Marcus’ success,” said Jonathan Reed, dean of college of arts and sciences.

This change in leadership is part of an instituted program that rotates directorships on a three-year term that can be renewed, Reed said.

For ISI, directors will be rotated from faculty in the history and political science departments.

“I’m excited for all the possibilities we can do,” Amini said.

Mariela Patron can be reached at mariela.patron@laverne.edu.

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