Butler University’s international studies program is passing its reins to a new director.
Eloise Sureau, an associate French professor, will step into the position in June when the current director, Antonio Menendez, steps down.
“It’s time to move on with my career and take more responsibility in leadership levels,” Sureau said. “This position is new and challenging. I’m excited to bring my expertise to the students and meet new people.”
Sureau and Menendez anticipate the transition will go smoothly because of their friendship. They will continue to collaborate after the position trades hands.
The international studies program consists of 50 to 60 students. It is a program that joins forces with many different Butler departments to educate their majors about the global market.
It’s a flexible major in which students can pick and choose classes that cater to their individual interests. The program is entirely staffed by other departments.
Sureau will have many different responsibilities under her overarching director position.
“My job entails a gathering of everything,” Sureau said. “Mostly advising the students and making sure that the courses are taken care of.
“I’m a liaison between IS and the other departments. I’m the go- to person.”
The International Studies Club has initiated forums to express students’ concerns and questions about the transition and Sureau herself.
“The club is trying to facilitate the discussions because we know Menendez well and we are getting to know Eloise,” said Nicole Neuman, club treasurer and IS major, said. “We are giving her insight about what the program is like. We wanted students to have their voice heard now instead of overwhelming Eloise later.”
Their thoughts are taken into account as Sureau considers what she wants to bring to the program.
“I want to bring new ideas and bring the students together,” Sureau said. “I want to use what’s already there and move forward.”
Menendez said Butler’s IS program introduces students to the real world and globalization to equip them in all areas for a future job.
“We need to know more about the world,” Menendez said. “There aren’t many jobs where you don’t need to know about international things. This is a program for the future. It’s a disciplinary program that gives different perspectives of the world.”
Sureau’s major plan for change in the program involves recruitment.
“Recruiting is what I do best,” Sureau said. “That’s the plan. I want the program to grow and become more stable.”
Getting more students involved in the program would help it become more noticeable to incoming students and at conferences around the country. Sureau said she wants to show Butler’s IS students off to the world.
Although transition is sometimes scary, this change is getting off on the right foot with everyone talking, listening and helping the new director.
“This change takes the students, advisers and professors,” Neuman said. “Eloise is ready to listen and ready to make changes to make students happier. She is definitely very ready, very passionate, and she’s learning very quickly.”