Elizabeth Barajas, Purdue Polytechnic's Director of Globalization, believes that we are products of our experiences. She values the eclectic nature of her life experiences and enjoys utilizing the lessons learned to help create opportunities for students and faculty at Purdue Polytechnic Institute.
Elizabeth’s eclectic nature stems from the fact that education and professional life have taken her from her small family horse farm in northeast Indiana to Barcelona, Spain, and now to Purdue University (with many stops in between) where she now hopes to offer students and faculty the world (for a small amount of time at least).
Elizabeth's first meaningful global experience was as a sophomore at Manchester University in Indiana when she packed up and went to the Universitat de Barcelona to study Spanish linguistics and art. She did not know at the time how much that wonderful and challenging experience would shape her future career path and leisure activities.
“I enjoy bridging cultural gaps and helping remove communication barriers,” she says. After spending 10 years doing that as a high school teacher and college Spanish instructor she earned her master’s degree in Spanish applied linguistics from Purdue University and set off looking for her next challenge.
In her current position as Director of Globalization, Elizabeth is able to combine her passions for intercultural learning, travel and the STEM fields while helping students and faculty experience academics and collaboration on the global stage. Her daily mission is to connect Purdue to universities all over the world to create new opportunities for all involved!
Those connections for both faculty and students can take the form of study abroad experiences, dual-degree programs, faculty exchanges, virtual/online global collaborations, and new partnerships or programs that haven’t been created yet.
When she is not busy making the world smaller, Elizabeth enjoys spending time in nature with her husband, Phil, her daughter, Olivia, and Luna the black lab, – when they happen to be in the country at the same time.