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Southern Oregon University

Dr. John B. Richards

Coordinator, International Studies
Office: Taylor 121
Email: richards@sou.edu
Phone: 541-552-6281
Fax: 541-552-6439 

Dr. Richards teaches introductory courses in Geography and International Studies, upper division courses in global, urban, and environmental issues, and regional courses on Latin America and Asia. He also studies Post-Soviet geographic issues.

foreign student photoInternational Studies Mission
Our mission is to help students connect their own life experiences with people, places, and events around the world and to assure our graduating majors are well prepared for creative and socially-responsible engagement with a globalized world.  To this end, International Studies offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that examines economic and political systems as connected within specific geographical, cultural, historical, and social contexts. International Studies is the academic heart of University efforts to understand global events and contemporary world conditions. Our faculty are educated in diverse disciplines and collaborate to mentor students and provide them with rich academic and experiential learning opportunities.

SOU's Hannon Library and students

Vision
International Studies aspires to become a dynamic, well-integrated, and influential academic focus for student learning opportunities and campus international engagement, providing essential support for the University’s mission. Specifically, the program holds the following vision:

  • Energetic leadership for program development and sustainability as provided by the appointment of a tenured International Studies coordinator
  • Secure staffing for International Studies' core courses, creating a comprehensive, rigorous, and coherent learning structure for majors
  • Faculty from diverse disciplines contribute courses and support to International Studies, enhancing program vitality and broadening course offerings
  • A broad variety of well-vetted academic and experiential learning opportunities for students, in concert with individualized mentoring by program faculty, enhancing students' intellectual development and depth of global understanding.
  • International Studies assumes its natural leadership role on campus, collaborating with other internationally-focused programs to promote interest in and understanding of global events and structures.
  • Strong, mutually-beneficial partnerships with relevant community groups and individuals enhance International studies' resource base and its contribution to the region.

International Studies majors are expected to work closely with the program Coordinator or with an adviser from the International Studies Committee. Students must plan ahead to ensure optimal access to the courses that match their individual interests and areas of desired expertise while also developing language proficiency and allocating time for study abroad. While many potential course combinations exist, upper division courses are usually available in rotation and require prerequisites. Careful advising is essential.

Majors are expected to seek personal experience of global conditions through participation in a study abroad or international internship program. Many possibilities exist. Contact the Office of International Programs in SU 303 for current information.

The International Studies Program suits students who envision creative work in a globalized world. It provides appropriate knowledge and perspectives from which to develop careers in areas such as government service, business, law, journalism, social science teaching, or other endeavors emphasizing global connections and understanding. An International Studies major also provides a foundation for graduate study in a social sciences discipline, an area study program, or an International Studies program.