Jay Wilkinson

Director of International Education

Email:
jay.wilkinson@simpson.edu
Phone Number:
515-961-1288
Office Location:
Kent Campus Center 223
Credentials:
Master of Science in Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, 1995.

I am passionate about study abroad and the incredible learning which can occur when students venture beyond the safe confines of their home campus to experience another part of the world. I studied abroad on one summer program (in Edinburgh ,Scotland) and two different semester abroad programs (one in London, England and one in Heidelberg, Germany) as an undergraduate, and those experiences opened up the world to me and help shape me into the person I am today.

I majored in Political Science and Humanities in college and was fortunate to secure an internship working for a Member of Congress in Washington, D.C., between my junior and senior years in college. That was a great learning experience. After college, I decided to combine my love of politics with my interest in international experiences by moving to London, England, and working two jobs: in one, I worked in the cash office of a large “outdoor leisure” store (similar to a small scale Scheels) and in the other, I interned for a Member of Parliament. These positions offered me fascinating glimpses into British culture, society, and government. Following these overseas experiences, I returned to Washington, D.C., where I worked on the staff of Congressman Tony Hall for two years. After this third stint in government service, Sharon (Simpson French Professor) and I got married and while she completed her doctorate at Penn State University, I earned a master’s degree in Human Geography in bucolic “Happy Valley” (aka, State College, PA).

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to travel to more than 25 countries in Asia, North, Central and South America, Europe, and the South Pacific region. One of the things I love to do most when I visit another country is to go to a grocery store. I find such experiences to be culturally fascinating as I’m able to see what types of foods local people like to eat and to compare that to what one can find in a typical American supermarket.

I love my job here at Simpson because it allows me to help students achieve their dreams of study and living abroad. If you have even just an inkling that you’d like to study abroad, I’d love to talk with you to help you make that dream become a reality.

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