Who We Are

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 the Executive Director of University of Maryland, Baltimore's Center for Global Education Initiatives (CGEI) and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School.  She is also the Program Director for the Global Health Innovation Program at the UMB Graduate School.


In her role as executive director, Rowthorn oversees the activities of CGEI, the campus-wide center that serves as the hub of interprofessional global health and education activities on the primarily graduate UMB campus.  CGEI provides university-wide leadership to build and sustain global education at UMB; nurtures strategic global partnerships; creates and manages student, faculty, and staff mobility programs; promotes collaborative international research; develops curricula designed to build global competency; and delivers educational and professional services that support sustainable global programs. 


Rowthorn has led national workshops and written articles and book chapters on ethical global health engagement; legal aspects of global experiential education; legal barriers to reverse innovation; interprofessional global health; and bi-directional global learning.  Rowthorn is leading the global strategic planning process on campus and recently developed the innovative GLOBALtimore Fellows Program to encourage faculty to include global concepts in their courses and clinics.  Rowthorn co-developed the Maryland Carey Law collaboration with Chancellor College Faculty of Law in Malawi.  She serves on the Board of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.


Rowthorn was Managing Director of the Law and Health Care Program at University of Maryland Carey School of Law for 10 years. 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

Monica Bradik, MBA, is the global program specialist for the Center for Global Education Initiatives. She provides administrative and financial support for the center's directors and advises UMB students. Bradik manages the CGEI grant programs, creates new programs, coordinates program logistics, prepares students with pre-departure orientations, and follows up with them upon their return. Bradik has been working in higher academia for over 10 years in the Maryland area, including working at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Maryland Institute of College Art, and Towson University. She received her BS and MBA degrees at the University of Baltimore. While completing her MBA, Bradik had the opportunity to study abroad in Mexico and Germany. Her time abroad ignited her passion for working in international education, which inspired her to teach English abroad in Nepal, India, Thailand, and Colombia for more than three years. Besides teaching English abroad, Bradik has advised international students on their visas and applications and helped design short-term programs. In addition, she served on the board of Center for Music Connections, a nonprofit that organizes trips to Portugal to preserve the traditional music of fado. In her free time, Bradik is the program coordinator for Boomerang Geospatial, a nonprofit that organizes study abroad programs to South Africa and Botswana. To date, Bradik has visited 39 countries.