Sarah Wagner | Director

Sarah Wagner is the Director of the VIH Program in the Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.  In her current role, she oversees a large grant from The Heinz Endowments that offers international experiences, leadership development, and community engagement experiences to underrepresented women at fifteen colleges and universities throughout Pennsylvania.  Conducting field research on decentralization in El Salvador and completing an intensive Portuguese language course in Fortaleza, Brazil were the highlights of her M.A. in Global Political Economy.  Currently, Sarah is completing a doctorate in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research centers on predeparture preparation and cultural competency development for engineers and underrepresented students. For the past three years, she has taught a course on Cultural Competency Development.  As a certified facilitator in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), Sarah enjoys working to improve team dynamics and organizational culture.  Sarah has been invited to speak about VIH as well as various aspects of international education in Barcelona, Prague, Shanghai, and Colombia as well as at conferences across the United States.  She was recently nominated for the ATHENA Young Professional Award.  In her spare time, she volunteers for Strong Women; Strong Girls, and tutors in ESL.           

All student newspaper articles are to be approved by the VIH Director.

Sarah Wagner | University Center for International Studies | 1209 Cathedral of Learning | Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | 412.624.0276 direct | sewst29@pitt.edu




Bethany Hallam | GSA

Bethany is an alumna of the 2013 VIH cohort. With the scholarship provided by the VIH program, Bethany was able to travel to Paris, France during the summer of 2013 to study French language. When she was not in classes, Bethany enjoyed exploring French culture with her diverse classmates. Bethany most enjoyed speaking with fellow students from different cultures about misconceptions regarding their backgrounds while breaking stereotypes associated with Americans. When she returned, Bethany and her CEE team were able to utilize those conversations to help educate the Pitt-Greensburg community about the different types of cultural intolerance through an event titled One Love: A Discussion of Cultural Intolerance. The event featured skits exemplifying cultural intolerance, conversations regarding how to avoid thoughts and acts of intolerance, and a panel discussion with international students from Pitt-Greensburg. Bethany graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in December of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Bethany spent over a year working in a local emergency department before deciding to study chronic disease prevention. Bethany will be pursuing a Master of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology. When she is not studying, Bethany spends her time hiking, fishing, reading, attempting new recipes, and relaxing with family and friends. Bethany is thrilled to join the VIH program as the Graduate Student Assistant for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years and is eager to assist future cohorts with their journeys with  the VIH program.


Bethany Halllam | University Center for International Studies | 1209 Cathedral of Learning| Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | vihprogram@pitt.edu






Jean Ferketish | Faculty Advisor

B. Jean Ferketish, PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Education as well as the Faculty Advisor for the VIH Program, working with the program since 2007.  Prior to joining the School of Education fulltime in 2015, she served as Secretary of the Board and Assistant Chancellor for the University of Pittsburgh for 13 years.  During this time she also taught Leadership in the Graduate School of International and Public Affairs, the School of Education, the School of Public Health and the School of Social Work.  In addition, she led a variety of projects requiring the ability to build consensus across constituency groups, affect the image of the University and provide advice on sensitive and complex situations.


Throughout her career, Jean has helped people develop their leadership abilities and improve the effectiveness of their organizations in multiple settings including industry, healthcare, education and non-profit human services.  She introduced the first organization development methods to the University in 1995. Before joining Pitt, Jean was a consultant for Development Dimensions International, where she worked with clients across the country to implement major culture change strategies.  She is a recipient of the company’s Presidential Award and co-authored the book, Organization Change that Works:  How to Merge Culture and Business Strategies for Maximum Results.  Jean spent the first 10 years of her career at Westinghouse where she directed efforts in organizational development, total quality management, and internal communications.


Jean has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa and has taught in Qatar.  She is a frequent speaker on women and leadership. She learns so much from her clients and is particularly pleased to work with young women who are at the beginning of their leadership journey in a world that is very different from the past.   


                                                                                              Jean Ferketish | WWPH 4309 | Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | 412.648.7177 | ferkjean+@pitt.edu

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