Allison LeClere

LeClere recently was named the NAFSA Region VII New Professional for her work in international education.

- Staff

When Allison LeClere stepped on campus at the University of Tennessee in 2017, she felt right at home. LeClere was hired for the then-newly organized International Programs and Study Abroad (IPSA) in the Haslam College of Business.

“I was encouraged to see Haslam’s commitment to internationalizing students’ education and was drawn to the entrepreneurial spirit,” LeClere says. “IPSA was created in 2016 and presented many opportunities to create, imagine and support a new office.”

As IPSA’s program coordinator, LeClere advises students in Haslam’s study abroad programs. She works to make students aware of international education opportunities and helps prepare them for these experiences.

“The most rewarding aspect of working in international education to me is when students return from their study abroad program and can’t wait to tell me all about it,” LeClere says. “Although I do get the opportunity to travel with some of our students during faculty-directed programs, the majority of students I advise embark on their study abroad journey all on their own. When I get the chance to hear students’ stories and see their faces light up describing their experiences, that is my favorite part of my work day!”

LeClere’s passion and dedication to IPSA and Haslam students has not faded since she began her career in Haslam, which is reflected in her recent recognition by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the major professional association for international education. LeClere recently was named the NAFSA Region VII New Professional for her work in international education. The Region VII chapter includes states in the Southeastern U.S.

The New Professional award is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates significant contributions to the field of international education with their enthusiasm, leadership and accomplishments.

“I am thrilled to be this year’s recipient of this award and am humbled that my colleagues deemed me worthy of this honor,” LeClere says. “Winning this award has only reaffirmed that I am exactly where I am meant to be – supporting students in their academic, personal and professional pursuits.”

This academic year, LeClere’s enthusiasm has focused on meeting the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Connecting students with international education opportunities has looked a little different this year,” LeClere says. “We have been creating virtual international opportunities for students to continue to internationalize their degree. I spent this summer creating a Canvas course on cultural competency, and this upcoming spring we are offering and connecting students to virtual programs including international internships, international business consulting projects, independent studies and research in international business and area studies coursework.”

As she approaches spring 2021, LeClere will reach a milestone of her own – four years in IPSA.

“It is both very exciting and bittersweet as the 2021 grads are students I have advised since their freshmen year,” says LeClere. “Nothing makes me happier than to see my students successful in every aspect of their lives.”