We are always looking for ways to make our leadership and influence more global and expansive, and we realize that this work starts with having a dynamic and dedicated team at home to service the students studying abroad. That's why IES Abroad is so pleased to announce the appointment of Noelle Baldwin as our Associate Director for Diversity Recruiting & Advising. In this new role, Noelle will be expanding experiences and empowering students as a member of the Diversity Relations team. Noelle has been with IES Abroad for seven years, previously holding the position of Senior College Relations Manager covering the Mid-Atlantic region and advising for Paris summer programs.
We connected with Noelle for a short interview to learn more about her committment to diversity and inclusion, as well as how her personal story factors into her work, making it all intrinsically motivating. Noelle's insight in this interview shines a light on what makes her story unique and reinforces the importance of representation, accessibility, personal/professional values, and service to "paying it forward" to others.
IES Abroad: What has your experience been like working with IES over the years? How has it led to you filling this role?
Noelle Baldwin (NB): My experience with IES Abroad over the past seven years has been dynamic! Managing relationships across the Mid-Atlantic region, advising, connecting with students on a personal level, it’s all informed my experience and desire to champion for as much access as I can in whatever roles I step into. From large state institutions, to small liberal arts colleges, Historically Black Colleges & Universities to Predominantly White Institutions, I have been able to support a wide crosssection of students, but in particular underrepresented students. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism (DEIA) has always been a core value for me and when given the opportunity to partner on initiatives around this topic, I have jumped in head first. Seeing our IDEA initiative continue to grow and having worked so closely with our Diversity Team over the years, it felt like an organic fit!
IES Abroad: What are you most excited to create or work on in your new role?
NB: I am excited to reach even more students across the United States, and expand beyond the Mid-Atlantic region. The idea of collaborating on new projects and challenging myself to create new pathways for historically marginalized groups is fueling so many ideas! I am excited to be a part of the effort to make lasting change in what study abroad can look like. If journeying through this pandemic has taught me anything, it is the knowledge that there has to be a new normal and I am so excited to uncover what that will mean for DEIA within the space of international education.
IES Abroad: What values will you uphold or bring the DEIA team as you become the Associate Director?
NB: Our team is outstanding and I am honored to work with these phenomenal humans! So I hope to uphold values that are paramount to this team and organization. I believe those to be authenticity, empathy, creativity, and collaboration. These are some of my personal/professional values and I hope that comes through as I step into this role of Associate Director.
"Whether unknowingly or not, I have been on a journey throughout my life to build bridges, unlearn, and be a force for equity. Whether it be through courses in my graduate program or my 13 years of experience in this career, my identity is a key aspect in how I see and navigate spaces."
IES Abroad: What does representation mean to you in relation to this work with IES Abroad?
NB: To me, representation means that communities who have always had a voice, but historically have not been heard, are a part of the narrative. I hope that our work at IES Abroad continues to champion for representation across all levels because it matters!
IES Abroad: How has working with IES Abroad aided your own self-definition journey as a Black woman or your experiences of DEIA work?
NB: I have always had a strong sense of my cultural identity and heritage. Growing up in South Florida as a first-generation American (my parents and grandparents all hail from the beautiful island of Jamaica), I was taught from a very young age to be proud of my cultural heritage. Through my experiences as President of the United Black Students organization at my Alma Mater, the University of Miami, I gained an even deeper sense of my identity and what that meant in the greater context of the African Diaspora. Being a Black woman and working in this DEIA space, for me, is natural. Whether unknowingly or not, I have been on a journey throughout my life to build bridges, unlearn, and be a force for equity. Whether it be through courses in my graduate program or my 13 years of experience in this career, my identity is a key aspect in how I see and navigate spaces. Working with IES Abroad has allowed me, as a professional, to take my life experiences and channel them into a tool that I can use to keep building more opportunities across systemically ignored communities. Representation matters and I am excited to take up space and move the work of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism forward in this new role.
We happily congratulate Noelle on her new role and look forward to her continuing to transform global experiences at IES Abroad.
To learn more about Noelle and the work of IES Abroad's Diversity Relations team, visit our Diversity Commitment page.