In the waning days of her six-year term as Director of the International Studies Program, Dr. Janie Leatherman is doing what she has always done – advise students on their writing and their research ambitions. Dr. Leatherman, a Professor in the Politics department, has spent the last few weeks working tirelessly to advise several prospective Fulbright applicants in lieu of the campus deadline, September 14. This is the image of her that Dr. Leatherman hopes all of her students will retain when they reflect on their time in International Studies.
Dr. Leatherman leaves the directorship having led a revision of the International Studies curriculum, which included the development of the IL Foundational Courses that are required for all majors (and minors) – IL 50, IL 51, IL 52 and IL 53. Under her leadership, the IL electives were streamlined into three thematic areas – Global Development, Conflict, Peacebuilding and Diplomacy, and Social Justice and Humanitarianism. Also during her tenure, the International Business major experienced an increase in majors under the new IL curriculum.
Aside from the curricular accomplishments, Dr. Leatherman will also likely be remembered for her ability to be optimistic when most of us would probably scowl or have a less than sunny perspective. This is perhaps an extension of a career dedicated to the study and teaching of diplomacy. Her most recent work, “Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict” certainly compels readers to be cognizant of how we as educators, practitioners and students can serve as advocates and protectors of the most vulnerable.
Dr. Leatherman’s research will continue during an upcoming sabbatical where she intends to uncover what she calls “the collapse of safe space” for the most vulnerable and what our role should be in rediscovering and protecting that safe space. She will also continue advising and coaching Fulbright applicants with plenty of optimism and anecdotes from her Fulbrighter days in Helsinki, Finland. Perhaps most important is that Dr. Leatherman will remain available for her wisdom, guidance, and healthy perspective on the privilege we enjoy to study and/or teach International Studies.
On July 1, Dr. Terry-Ann Jones will assume the directorship and will be located in Donnarumma Hall Room 251. Dr. Leatherman and Jaspar, her adorable service dog, will now be based in Donnarumma Hall Room 202.
Thank you and Congratulations, Dr. Leatherman!!!