Dr. Opal Leeman Bartzis Accepts Role as Executive Director of Education Abroad at MSU

August 14, 2018

After 20 years and a dozen roles held at IFSA, Dr. Opal Leeman Bartzis is stepping down as Vice President for Academic Affairs to accept a position as Executive Director of Education Abroad at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. 

The evidence of her legacy goes far beyond the continuing quality of IFSA academic programs. Under her leadership, IFSA enriched student learning and outcomes through the adoption of key educational practices, including appreciative advising, individualized learning plans, and inclusive pedagogy.  

“Serving as IFSA’s Vice President for Academic Affairs has truly been my ‘dream job,’” says Opal. “With President Heather Barclay Hamir’s support, shaping our curricular directions and appreciative advising practices, developing the academic affairs department, and working with faculty and staff worldwide have been the most rewarding experiences for me.” 

Opal will start her new journey as Executive Director of Education Abroad at Michigan State University at the end of September.  

“In my new position, I’ll expand my professional portfolio beyond academic affairs to all aspects of education abroad,” says Opal. “And, I’ll aim to build on MSU’s already rich history, in part utilizing many of the important ideas I’ve learned about equity and inclusion from IFSA to accomplish that. With sincere thanks to my outstanding IFSA colleagues, I feel well positioned to take on these challenges and to help increasing numbers of state university students thrive in their personal, professional, and academic lives.”  

We are indebted to all that Opal has brought to IFSA and wish her luck on this new chapter.