Program delving into social justice issues in Chile chooses WUSTL staffers

By Julie Kennedy
Six staff members will be traveling to Santiago, Chile, June 10-14 as part of the second annual Global Diversity and Overseas Seminars (GDOS) Program. 

The GDOS program is a staff-development opportunity that examines diversity from a global perspective. The 2013 program will focus on social justice and racial, ethnic and economic disparities in Santiago.

The 2013 GDOS group:

  • Abby Kruszynski, Residential College director
  • Belinda Lee, assistant director of special programs for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
  • Bill Larson, operations manager of the Edison Theatre
  • Julia Macias Garcia, assistant director of Campus Life and assistant dean of Arts & Sciences
  • Lloyd Garcia, zone manager (Purple Zone), Facilities Operations
  • Warren Davis, assistant dean of Arts & Sciences 

While in Chile, participants will meet with WUSTL students and faculty at the WUSTL Overseas Program location in Santiago, including Evelyn Vitagliano, the resident director for Washington University in Chile. They also will meet with local nongovernmental organizations working on issues related to the themes.

Santiago, Chile

Larson says he applied for the GDOS program last year and decided to try again this year.

“I found myself thinking about what I would need to do if I was chosen — sort of like you do when you buy a lottery ticket and plan your winnings, knowing chances are slim to none,” he said. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this opportunity.”

In preparation for the weeklong trip, participants will attend a series of meetings during the spring semester to discuss diversity issues and current events in Chile. Other topics will include cross-cultural learning, the study-abroad process for Washington University students and the logistics of international travel.

The program is geared toward creating a globally educated staff and faculty who can share newly acquired viewpoints on multiculturalism, difference and advantage/disadvantage with colleagues, students and communities. The GDOS returnees will conduct campus education and outreach throughout the fall 2013 semester.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be chosen to represent the university while in Chile,” Larson says. “There are so many qualified faculty and staff that would make excellent ambassadors of the GDOS program, so I want to make sure that I am an excellent representative.”