Natalie A. Mello
Director of Global Operations
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Natalie A. Mello is the Director of Global Operations in the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and oversees all aspects of the administration and management of WPI's global perspective program, including student recruitment, risk management, health and safety issues, participant orientation and faculty advisor training. WPI's award winning program is noted for sending more engineering, science and technology students overseas than any other US university or college.
Her experience in international education began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Belize in 1984 and continued as she worked in K-12 education in Costa Rica. She has taught ESL at Clark University and Anna Maria College. Mello holds a Master's of Liberal Arts Degree, awarded by Clark University. In 1993 she joined the administration at WPI as Program Manager of the Product Realization Consortium. This Consortium, made up of Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tuskegee University, North Carolina A&T and WPI, was funded through the Technology Reinvestment Project and made significant changes in the curriculum for undergraduate manufacturing engineers.
Mello is involved with national study abroad organizations particularly in the areas of risk management and has become recognized as developing a model for responsible risk management for off-campus experiences. Her work in creating faculty development workshops was recognized by the TIAA-Cref's Hesburgh Award committee in 2003. One of only four schools awarded a Certificate of Excellence for its enhancement of undergraduate teaching and learning, WPI was commended for equipping its faculty to handle unconventional roles beyond the classroom necessitated by the global program, making sure educators have the skills to help students succeed educationally as well as cope with safety, social, and behavioral issues – this training was developed by Mello. She has organized day-long interactive workshops that have been presented at various conferences. She was also invited to co-write with David Larsen the chapter on Safety and Security in the 3rd Edition of NAFSA's Guide to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators. She has also taught workshops in educational outcomes assessment, and is part of WPI's outcomes assessment coordinating committee and first year task force.