August 25, 2000 GENEVA, NY – Thomas J. D'Agostino, a professor of political science, recently joined the staff at Hobart and William Smith Colleges to lead a collaborative study abroad program with Union College in Schenectady. The collaborative effort marks a trail-blazing initiative in higher education that will join the management of the study abroad programs at the two institutions.
Through the program Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Union College have established teleconferencing capabilities that link the campuses as well as the off-campus sites. This allows students to take courses together before traveling and stay in contact with their home college while abroad. D'Agostino will also establish new program locations, train students who have already traveled abroad to be peer mentors, and oversee student pre-departure and re-entry programs.
“This kind of partnership with Union is cutting edge. The consortium is one of the first programs that combines programs between two small colleges,” D'Agostino says. “It's exciting being in on the ground floor.”
Hobart and William Smith President Mark D. Gearan, former director of the U.S. Peace Corps and strong advocate of the value of international study, welcomes D'Agostino to HWS. Gearan believes the consortium will broaden student access to study abroad. “This is an exceptional opportunity for us to expand an already impressive offering of international experiences for our students and faculty,” Gearan says.
Combined the two institutions have more than three dozen faulty-directed programs that annually allow more than 500 students to travel abroad. Hobart and William Smith and Union are among the nation's leaders in study abroad programming with the majority of their graduates participating in an abroad program during their four years. The consortium is being funded through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
D'Agostino started at HWS in July. He comes from Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. where he worked as an associate professor of political science and the director of international programs. He received his B.A. from St. John Fisher College, and his M..A. and Ph.D. in political science from Syracuse University. D'Agostino, a native of Rochester, lives in Walworth. He is married to Dawn D'Agostino and they have two children, Adriana and Alex.
# # #