Who We Are

Center for Global Education team members; Heidi Fancher, Virginia Rowthorn, Lori Edwards, Bonnie Bissonette

Virginia Rowthorn, Executive Director
(410) 706-3098 | virginia.rowthorn@umaryland.edu

Virginia Rowthorn Executive Director Center for Global Education InitiativesVirginia Rowthorn, JD, LLM (Global Health Law), is executive director of University of Maryland, Baltimore's Center for Global Education Initiatives and an adjunct professor in the Law and Health Care Program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. In her role as executive director, she manages the interprofessional activities of the campuswide center that focus on community-engaged research and service projects in international and U.S. settings.   

Rowthorn was managing director of the Law and Health Care Program for 10 years and served as co-director of the Center for Education Initiatives for three years before becoming executive director. Rowthorn teaches the Health Law Practice Workshop at the law school and Global Health Law for the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School. She has led national workshops and written articles and book chapters on legal barriers to reverse innovation and bi-directional learning as well as on topics relating to global education such as competencies, service learning, and program development. Rowthorn is on the Board of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health and is an ex-officio member of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research. Rowthorn is the lead on the Maryland Carey Law collaboration with Chancellor College Faculty of Law in Malawi.

Before joining Maryland Carey Law in 2006, she was an attorney in the Legislative Division of the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and an associate at the law firm of DLA Piper. In addition, Rowthorn spent several years as a legislative assistant for the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and two years as a health educator in the Marshall Islands as a Peace Corps volunteer. Rowthorn is an Honors graduate of Maryland Carey Law and completed her LLM in Global Health Law at Georgetown Law Center.

Lori Edwards, Senior Director
(410) 706-1929 | edwards@umaryland.edu

Lori Edwards Senior Director Center for Global Education Initiatives headshotLori Edwards, DrPH, MPH, RN, PHCNS-BC, is assistant professor in the Department of Family Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She also is senior director for the Center of Global Education Initiatives, addressing local community engagement for University of Maryland, Baltimore. As a public health researcher, she has developed innovative community-based initiatives in partnership with communities to address the effects of poverty and health disparities. She is board certified as a clinical specialist in public health nursing and has been an educator and practitioner, winning numerous awards. She serves as president of the board of the Julie Community Center in Southeast Baltimore and volunteers on the board of the North Harford Community Association. Dr. Edwards also has worked in global health in countries such as Libya, Lebanon, Haiti, and Guatemala. She is the coordinator of the Returned Peace Corps Fellows Program at the UM School of Nursing. She received her BSN from the UM School of Nursing and her MPH and DrPH from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Bonnie Bissonette, Director, Education Abroad and International Safety
(410) 706-6331 | bbissonette@umaryland.edu

Bonnie Bissonette Director Center for Global Education InitiativesBonnie Bissonette, MA, EdD, has been the director of the Student Center for Global Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore since March 2012. She works to strengthen international opportunities for students at all seven schools at the University by working collaboratively with faculty and staff. Bonnie works to develop processes and procedures, appropriate safety and security mechanisms, and other logistics relevant to student international experiences.

Before coming to UMB, Bissonette was the associate dean of Business and International Education at North Central Technical College in Wausau, Wis., for 10 years, and, prior to that, a U.S. foreign service officer (management), serving for 13 years at U.S. embassies in England, Madagascar, Mauritius, Eritrea, and Qatar. She served on the board of directors of NAFSA-Association of International Educators (2008-2011) and is a frequent presenter on international education leadership topics. At present, she is serving as a public member of the governing body of the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). She received her BA at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.; her MA at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; and her EdD at the University of Minnesota.

Monica Bradik, Global Program Specialist
(410) 706-0882 | mbradik@umaryland.edu

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