KNOXVILLE—Mark Bryant, who has worked at various universities and traveled the world, has been named the new director of the International House at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Bryant, who will also serve as an assistant director for UT’s Center for International Education, has twenty years of experience in higher education student affairs, having worked as assistant director of student life at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida, area coordinator for men’s housing at Carson-Newman College, associate dean of students at Belmont University, and instructor and project manager at Iliria University in the Republic of Kosovo.
He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Baylor University, a master’s degree in student affairs from Florida State University, and a doctor of education degree from Vanderbilt University.
Bryant has traveled the world, and during 2008 and 2009, taught leadership theory and English at a university in Kosovo.
“I love international education and international students,” Bryant said. “When I came back from Kosovo, I knew I wanted to work with internationals on a college campus.”
Bryant said he feels well-equipped to help international students adjust to UT, because his own experiences living overseas taught him what it is like to try to integrate into a foreign society not knowing the language or culture.
In addition to helping internationals living in Knoxville, Bryant loves to encourage local students to spend time overseas.
“Anytime I can talk to an American student about studying abroad, before they leave my office, I try to have them convinced it is something they should do,” Bryant said. “I am such an advocate for international education, broadening perspective, and preparing students to be global citizens.”
As the programming arm of the Center for International Education, the I-House is the campus hub for international programs on campus, hosting events such as a weekly global hour, culture nights, a film series, and language practice sessions. As its leader, Bryant said he hopes the I-House can “bring the world to UT,” by hosting events both independently and in collaboration with other organizations on campus.
Bryant looks for these programs to be great opportunities to dialogue about culture and world issues, bringing together international students, traditional students, and Knoxville-area organizations and by reaching outside of the I-House to engage the community and students on campus.
“I think an American who does not think of himself as an ‘international’ can still be a global citizen,” Bryant said. “UT owes it to its students to give them a global perspective so that they can see themselves as a part of a bigger, global community.”
For more information about the I-House and its programming, visit http://web.utk.edu/~ihouse/.