Elizabeth Barajas might be one of the only Indiana natives who can discuss Bauhaus German architecture, in Spanish, while baling hay. She is eclectic to say the least.
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 first caught the study abroad bug 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 and set off looking for her next challenge.
In her current position as Global Programs Coordinator, Elizabeth is able to combine her passions for language, travel and learning 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, and new partnerships or programs that haven’t been created yet.
When she is not busy making the world smaller, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her husband, Phil, her daughter, Olivia, and Luna the black lab, – when they happen to be in the country at the same time.