Grossman enters new world of responsibility
By Charlotte Crystal
by Peggy Harrison
Grossman seeks to make it easier for U.Va. students to
earn credit for foreign study.
Grossman expected her new position as vice provost for international
affairs to be demanding. She didn’t expect it to be
a second full-time job.
just wish there were another 24 hours in a day,” she said.
Not that she’s complaining.
Grossman loves her work in pediatrics — teaching clinical pediatrics, pediatric
infectious disease and serving as an inpatient-attending physician in the pediatric
She also continues to publish in the field of public health,
working on the seventh edition of “Infection Control for Daycare Centers and Preschools” and
keeping an eye on new translations of “Infection Control for the Health
Care Worker,” now out in Spanish and Japanese and soon to be available
in Portuguese and Chinese.
Grossman wasn’t looking to add to her responsibilities when the position
as vice provost opened, but once she starting thinking about the goals she might
like to pursue, “the idea of being able to make fundamental changes, to
leave something better behind, was too seductive an opportunity to pass up,” she
said, particularly in the field of international studies, about which she is
Grossman spent her childhood in India and travels frequently
to Haiti as a practicing pediatrician. Both of her sons
spent part of their
college careers abroad — Nick,
now 24, spent a semester in Kenya, and Jeff, now 22, spent the fall of his junior
year in Nepal.
believe that every student at this University should have an
experience abroad,” she
Just a few months into her two-year term, Grossman is still
thinking through her priorities and how to go about addressing
a few ideas are
Grossman would like to expand the number of study-abroad
programs open to U.Va. students to increase the likelihood
also like to work with faculty and administrators to explore ways of liberalizing
credit restrictions to make it easier for students to earn credit for courses
At the same time, Grossman would like to boost the number
of international students at the University, admittedly
in the current
political climate. But
she sees foreign alumni as an underutilized resource in recruiting
students, and perhaps in sponsoring foreign students who
want to study at U.Va.
but need assistance to do so.
Once here, foreign students have to hurdle language and cultural
barriers to feel comfortable in their new home. Grossman
would like to see 105
the 105 nationalities of U.Va.’s international students, flying around
Grounds as visible signs of welcome.
She also supports an increase in international activities — speakers, visiting
scholars, the arts, programs, conferences. And she is launching a Diplomat Scholars
Program that would bring Washington-based diplomats to Charlottesville to lecture
and mentor students interested in foreign-service careers.
initiative was requested by students and is a natural, given
our proximity to Washington,” Grossman said.
Grossman realizes that her job involves salesmanship,
and persuading students to leave the known world
for the unknown
to be a challenge.
think our students are ready for this,” Grossman said. “International
study takes you out of your comfort zone. If you’re totally comfortable,
you’re probably not learning much,” she said. “If you’re
uncomfortable, your learning curve is steep.”
Regarding her new responsibilities, Grossman added, “My learning curve