As the new director of SMU Abroad, Catherine Hutchison Winnie brings to the University expertise in developing diverse global experiences for students, including programs for research, internships and service abroad.
Winnie, who began her appointment at the start of the fall term, comes to SMU from Harvard University, where she most recently served as director of the Office of International Education at Harvard College. Winnie holds a doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Swarthmore College.
“Students and faculty at SMU interested in study abroad will find Cathy Winnie’s know-how and enthusiasm contagious and empowering,” says Associate Provost Harold Stanley, who oversees the Office of Education Abroad. “Such interest is increasingly central to SMU’s mission. SMU’s Centennial Strategic Plan includes the goal of increasing participation in study abroad, and in the University Curriculum faculty adopted a global engagement requirement for all undergraduates. Dr. Winnie brings an impressive record of enhancing study abroad and is the right person at the right time to help SMU fulfill its goals.”
Winnie is responsible for overseeing SMU Abroad’s 148 summer, semester and yearlong study abroad programs in 50 countries. More than 500 students participate every year in SMU Abroad programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, South America and Australia.
“This is an exciting time to be at SMU and to be part of its mission to shape world changers,” Winnie says. “SMU has a strong commitment to a global education both here in Dallas and abroad that helps students succeed in our increasingly interdependent world. The direct global experiences offered by SMU Abroad are not only enriching students’ education, but also building bridges between communities.”
Winnie says she is looking forward to partnering with students, faculty and staff to explore their international goals and help them open doors abroad. “Some students may benefit from a semester or year of coursework at a foreign university, while others may choose an international internship, service work or independent research,” she says. “In all cases, they are gaining new perspectives on problem-solving, leadership and culture, as well as important life skills such as adaptability. When students bring this knowledge back home to SMU and Dallas, our entire community benefits.”
Winnie’s prior appointments include director of Academic Enhancement Programs at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, where she was founding director of the RIT Honors Program as well as the Study Abroad and Fellowships offices.
At Yale University, Winnie was assistant dean and founding director of the Office of International Education and Fellowships of Yale College. In addition, she served as associate dean of international study at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she also created an office for graduate international fellowships.
Winnie has traveled extensively and speaks several languages, including German, French and Spanish. She is the recipient of a DAAD Fellowship, a Berlin Airlift Scholarship, and an alumna of the Management Development Program of the Harvard School of Education. She has lectured at the University of Mainz in Germany and at Instituto Meyer in Bogotá, Colombia. She and her husband, Larry Winnie, are the parents of two school-age daughters, Lidya and Samerawit, whom they adopted from Ethiopia in 2005, and a son, Matt, an aspiring screenwriter.
Written by Sarah Hanan