In July 2017, Jane Thiele joined the expanding GEO Institutional Relations (IR) team as its Senior Institutional Relations Representative (Midwest & Southeast Regions) to work closely with GEO’s partners in delivering customized, personalized solutions to their internationalization needs. Read on to learn a bit more about her.
You’ve been in the field of international education for over a decade now; how did you get started?
As so many of us have in this field, I Forest Gumped my way into international education. I studied abroad twice in undergrad and worked abroad for a bit after graduation. After returning from abroad, I started working in the non-profit sector before returning to my alma mater, Texas A&M, as a Study Abroad Advisor. Also, like so many of us, I am a Ph.D. dropout in History, so feel free to find me for a trivia night – I am full of useless information! After graduate school, I worked for a provider as a program manager and then as an IR representative. Then, I worked for the Gilman Scholarship program as Outreach Manager for many years since study abroad access is important to me. After leaving Gilman, I worked at a provider again for four years before joining the GEO team.
You mentioned studying abroad; where did you go and what did you study?
As a Francophile, I studied in France twice, but never Paris. First, I went on a faculty-led program at Texas A&M studying World War II in Caen. This program was fully funded by the James Earl Rudder family for honors students and sparked my passion not only for study abroad, but also for thoughtful scholarship programs. After my experience in Normandy, I studied for a semester in Cannes since I am a pop culture buff and am solar powered. After graduation, I taught English and tennis in Lampang, Thailand, for about a year and then returned to my beloved state of Texas.
Enough about work! What do you do for fun?
As a history nerd, I love to read. Since I live in Austin, the live music capital of Texas, I am frequently at concerts. My summers are spent at swimming holes and I head to Barton Springs just about any time I am not on the road. A majority of my free time is spent with my three dogs, BB, Willie & Waylon, who are also known as the “trio of terrier” – and have their own cut-outs for photos while traveling, so they have been to Australia, Wales, Scotland & Britain. As an international educator, I love to travel and am a certified diver so any time I can head to a beautiful beach, I am a happy woman!