Rosalyn Berne Appointed Senior Academic Officer for Semester at Sea

May 20, 2009 — Rosalyn W. Berne, an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at the University of Virginia, has been appointed vice president and senior academic officer for the Institute for Shipboard Education and Semester at Sea program.

Institute president Les McCabe announced the appointment, which is effective June 1.

"Rosalyn will play a central role in enhancing our academic program in conjunction with our University of Virginia colleagues," McCabe said. "Her understanding and support of the ISE mission, coupled with her academic and professional achievements, make her an ideal match for our organization."

In this newly created position, Berne will recruit academic faculty and support staff for Semester at Sea voyages, design curricula, evaluate the performance of the academic program and personnel, and manage the extensive international field program. She will collaborate with U.Va., Semester at Sea's academic sponsor, on all aspects of the academic program.

Berne believes global education has the power to equip undergraduates with a deeper knowledge of emerging international issues at a time of "growing despondency."

"It seems to me that a program such as Semester at Sea might actually make a difference for today's learners by expanding the boundaries of what is thought, understood and known about one's self and the world," she said.

"The Institute's mission to 'develop leaders who have the knowledge and perspective necessary to promote greater understanding of all peoples and all cultures' is one that speaks directly to who I am as a person, and reflects an essential aspect of my teaching," she said. "I see tremendous opportunities for weaving a strong academic focus through all elements of the Semester at Sea program."

In a career spanning more than 28 years of teaching, scholarship, educational administration and management, Berne has served as the head of school for Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville, assistant vice president for administration at U.Va., director of admissions at the U.Va.'s Darden School of Business and executive director of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics at the Darden School.

Berne's research focuses on the ethical, cultural and societal implications of the emergence and convergence of nanotechnology, bio-technology, information technology and cognitive sciences. She has published widely on nanotechnology ethics.

She holds multiple degrees from the University, including a B.A. in speech communication, an M.A. in rhetoric and communication studies and a Ph.D. in religious studies/bioethics.

About The Institute for Shipboard Education

The Institute for Shipboard Education is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that administers the Semester at Sea program. The University of Virginia is the academic sponsor of Semester at Sea, which is one of the longest-standing and most well-known study abroad programs in the United States today. The institute is committed to providing challenging and creative study abroad programming to help students prepare for the demands of an ever-changing world. Undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the U.S. and abroad participate each semester, earning academic credit through the University of Virginia.