Summerfield is relinquishing her position as director, but will remain at Linfield as professor of intercultural communication and international programs consultant on a half-time basis through January 2004. Sandy Soohoo-Refaei, associate director of International
Programs, has been named interim director.
"In her 18 years at the college, Ellen has built International Programs into a major focus of pride for Linfield College," said Marvin Henberg, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. "Thousands of students are in her debt, many without knowing that their international experience was made possible by her efforts. Of her many accomplishments, I would cite as the most long-lasting her successful effort to raise awareness of and support for international understanding among Linfield's faculty members."
When Summerfield came to Linfield in 1984, the college had four study abroad programs, in Austria, Costa Rica, France and Japan. Under her leadership, the college now offers 10 semester abroad options, including Beijing and Hong Kong, China; Nottingham, England; Galway, Ireland; Cuernavaca, Mexico; and Seoul, South Korea. She has developed strong working relationships with the many individuals around the world who have been instrumental in helping guide Linfield students through their study abroad experiences.
In addition to strengthening the program in McMinnville, she has worked with the Portland Campus to develop the Transcultural Nursing program. Portland Campus faculty regularly lead January Term courses dealing with health care issues, and the campus has developed a strong relationship with the Nursing School at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
When Linfield's January Term travel courses were incorporated into the Office of International Programs four years ago, Summerfield helped expand not only the international offerings, but those in the United States as well. Popular local travel courses such as Career Exploration and American Sign Language are now offered on a regular basis, and the expanded program provides opportunities to approximately 250 students yearly.
From 1985-1991, Summerfield helped Linfield secure five grants, totaling $1.4 million, to develop and expand the college's international offerings. Two of the grants provided scholarships to bring Latin American students to Linfield, and one was the foundation for the China program that still exists today.
Summerfield is recognized throughout the Northwest and nationally for her expertise in international study. She has presented at numerous conferences and workshops and has published a variety of articles.
She has written three books while at Linfield. "Crossing Cultures through Film" was published in 1993 and "Survival Kit for Multicultural Living" was published in 1997. Last year, she co-authored, with Linfield colleague Sandra Lee, "Seeing the Big Picture: Discovering American Cultures on Film."
Prior to coming to Linfield, she worked in international education and taught German at Middlebury College and at Kalamazoo College. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.