Lauren Franson first came to JMU as a graduate student, earning her M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology as a part of the College Student Personnel Administration program. At JMU, she spent her time working for offices such as Community Service-Learning, Career & Academic Planning, as well as the Office of International Programs.
After graduating, Lauren moved to New York City and began working as an Academic Advisor and Study Abroad Advisor for Marymount Manhattan College, a small liberal arts college on the upper east side. While in New York, her appreciation for different cultures, foods, and traditions grew. This appreciation, paired with her own study abroad experience to New Zealand, led her back to work in oIP.
Starting in the Fall of 2010, Lauren rejoined the Office of International Programs as the Assistant Director of Study Abroad, where she continues to encourage international education and cross cultural experiences for students. As the Assistant Director, Lauren’s duties include the overall promotion of study abroad across campus and majors, coordination of pre-departure orientations, study abroad fairs, information sessions, and International Week events. She works closely with the exchange and external programs for study abroad, while liaising with faculty on short-term programs.
Lauren believes Twain said it best, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”