Global Health Initiatives

The Global Health Initiatives team is part of the Office of Research and Development. We work closely with the Office of International Services and with other key experts at UM to support and promote UM's global engagement.

Jody OlsenJody Olsen, PhD, MSW, Director, Student Center for Global Education (410-706-5696)
In addition to directing the new Student Center for Global Education to advise UM students about overseas work and study opportunities, Dr. Jody Olsen is a Visiting Professor in the School of Social Work. She brings experience from her many years of leadership in the Peace Corps, most recently Deputy Director and Acting Director, and from her travel to more than 80 countries globally organizing, reviewing, supporting, and managing international development and academic programs.  She also directed the Fulbright Senior Scholar Program and has lived two years each in Togo and Tunisia.   Dr. Olsen has spoken extensively throughout the US and the world on international education, culture, volunteerism, management, and roles of international serving organizations.

Marjorie Forster, Assistant Vice President, Research and Global Health Initiatives (410-706-6631)
Marjorie Forster oversees the activities of the Global Health Initiatives team as well as several committees and working groups focused on UM's international activities. Her expertise as a research administrator coupled with her extensive travel gives her an in-depth understanding of the complexities of international program contracting and administration.

Marjorie Forster
Marjorie Forster (right) and Phoebe Haddon (center), Dean, School of Law, host visitors from Kenya

Bonnie Bissonette, Associate Director, Student Center for Global Education (410-706-6331)
Bonnie Bissonette has been instrumental in creating the new Student Center for Global Education, which provides information and support to UM students about overseas work and study opportunities. Bonnie is an international educator with over 9 years experience working with international student programs, admissions, coordination, study abroad, and community organizing, whose previous experience includes work as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State.

Janet Simons, MBA, Director, Research Policy (410-706-5632)
Janet Simons joined ORD’s Sponsored Programs Administration in 1991 and moved to the Research and Global Health Initiatives team in 2008, working to facilitate UM’s international collaborations and in-country programs. In addition to coordinating the research administration training curriculum (Guide to the Administration of Sponsored Projects), Janet has developed training on grant management essentials for UM’s overseas field offices and assisted with writing policies and procedures related to international activities. She is an export control officer for the University.