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University of St. Thomas-Houston Expands Global Footprint

PRNewswire September 17, 2022

HOUSTON, Sept. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — International Studies Professor and East Asia Scholar Dr. Hans Stockton has started a new professional chapter taking on a newly expanded leadership role as Associate Vice President for International Relations and Engagement at University of St. Thomas. The development of this post coincides with UST’s launching of its eight-year strategic plan “Greater Things.” Two of the four focal points of that plan are to leverage international partnerships and be known worldwide for innovative Catholic education.

Expanding a Bridge for Global Connection

In his new role, Stockton will expand upon UST’s long tradition of serving as a bridge of encounter and dialogue that connects the UST campus and the world. 

“We will accomplish this by more deeply cultivating current international relationships, establishing new relationships and engaging the UST campus and community,” he said. “Central to this will be securing the resources to serve our international students and making an international experience possible for all Celts.”

Creating a Convenient Resource for Students and Faculty

Along with creating this position to raise UST’s profile globally, the University combined the Office of International Student and Scholar Services with the UST Study Abroad Office. The result is a new Office of International Services & Study Abroad located in Crooker Hall.

“Students and faculty will have a one-stop shop to visit for assistance on matters of international partnerships, studies abroad and student and faculty mobility,” Stockton said.

“A big part of my job is to increase the number and variety of international partnerships such that students and faculty from any discipline will have options. At the same time, we want to increase the opportunities for international students to study at UST.” 

Capitalizing on a Legacy of Experience and Accomplishments

Over his 20-year tenure beginning in 2002, Stockton taught and served in many administrative roles, including director of study abroad for ten years, as well as the director of UST’s Center for International Studies for ten years.

“I became Study Abroad director in summer 2001,” he said. “My second month as director was the 9/11 attacks, so that was an intense start to my new position.”

As an international studies scholar, Stockton’s research, teaching and professional development place him in the best possible vantage point for expanding international relations. His expertise, talents and resources for this engagement encompass a robust global network of universities, scholars and governments, well-developed entrepreneurial and cross-cultural communication skills, and the ability to speak to and connect with diverse international audiences. 

Leveraging his East Asia expertise, he was the founding director of UST’s Taiwan & East Asia Studies Program from 2017-2022 and founding director of the Mandarin Center of UST & WZU from 2021- 2022.

“Joining him on the international recruiting side is Ryan Konkright, who is a natural fit to rounding out Hans’ team,” Vice President for Marketing and Admissions Student Services Jeff Olsen said. Konkright has served the University as Director of Admissions for several years. Dora Zhang, director of International Student and Scholar Services, is also on Stockton’s team.

Moving Forward: Excited and Grateful

“The support and mentoring over two decades by faculty and staff colleagues, various UST administrators and community friends gave me the confidence to engage the wide world around UST and garner some successes,” he said. “Equally important have been generations of Celts who contributed their energies and talents to our international initiatives. As Center director, I had the pleasure of negotiating a variety of international memorandums of understanding. Also, I hosted a wide-range of visitors from partner universities, local and foreign governments, local consular corps and international companies.

“I’m excited and thankful for this new opportunity to commit full time to building international education and relationships for UST,” Stockton said, “but stepping away from the Center after two decades has been an adjustment. My faculty and staff colleagues, students and alumni will continue to hold a special place in my heart.”

For more information about the International Relations and Engagement Office at University of St. Thomas, contact stockth@stthom.edu 

About University of St. Thomas

University of St. Thomas is a comprehensive university, grounded in the liberal arts. Committed to the unity of all knowledge, UST offers programs in the traditional liberal arts, professional, and skills-based disciplines. Graduates of the University of St. Thomas think critically, communicate effectively, succeed professionally and lead ethically.


SOURCE University of St. Thomas-Houston

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