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Office of International Strategy and Partnerships

About the Office of International Strategy and Partnerships

Guelph’s strategic framework identifies connecting communities as a key theme, which includes advancing the university’s partnerships, and furthering internationalization in all its forms across the university. The Office of International Strategy and Partnerships plays a key role in strategically advancing this priority on behalf of the university.

The assistant vice-president international (AVPI) is responsible for working across academic and administrative units to develop and implement a new integrated international strategy for the university. The AVPI acts as an advisor to senior leaders on a range of opportunities and strategies including: developing university, faculty, and student partnerships internationally; recruiting and supporting international students; increasing outreach to the international community, and coordinating international agreements and visits to campus. The AVPI reports to the Vice-President (External) and the Provost.

Our Mission

The Office of International Strategy and Partnerships connects the University to global partners - leveraging U of G’s international expertise and deepening our global impact, with the purpose of creating meaningful learning and research opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.

Our Vision

We are building a connected, coordinated community that is globally minded and aligned with the University of Guelph’s global engagement goals and values.

Our Team

Stuart McCook

Stuart McCook, Assistant Vice-President International

Stuart McCook began his term as assistant vice-president international (AVPI) at the University of Guelph in August 2019. Since 2003, he has been a member of university’s history department, and currently holds the rank of Professor. From 2009-2015, he was Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) for the College of Arts. Before joining the University of Guelph, he taught for six years at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), and held an NSF postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota. He completed his PhD at Princeton University in 1996. His historical research focuses on the environmental history of agriculture in the Global South — especially the history of coffee cultivation.

Natasha Fernandez

Natasha Fernandez, Manager, Global Engagement and Partnerships

Rooted in over a decade of international education experience across both the private and public sectors, Natasha joined the University of Guelph in January 2021 as the Manager, Global Engagement and Partnerships. In her current role, she is focused on partnership development with institutions, organizations and governments abroad while integrating the University’s strategic plan for global engagement and global impact. Natasha is passionate about strengthening the sector of international education nationally and is the current Co-Chair of the International Relations, Professional Learning Community (IR-PLC), through the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE).  

She is also a proud U of G alumna, holding an honours bachelor’s degree in international development studies from the University of Guelph as well as a certificate in adult education from George Brown College in Toronto. Fluent in Spanish, she has lived in Cuba, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Vancouver. 

C. Smith

Caitlin Smith, Coordinator, Global Engagement and Projects

As a proud U of G alumna and 3-time study abroad participant in Brazil, Ghana, and Guatemala, Caitlin is a committed advocate for the academic, career, and civic impacts of global learning. As coordinator within the OISP team Caitlin supports the global engagement strategy implementation across the university.