Sarah Wagner | Director

Dr. Sarah Wagner is the Director of the VIH Program in the Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.  In her current role, she oversees a legacy program from The Heinz Endowments that offers international experiences, leadership development, and community engagement experiences to underrepresented women at fifteen colleges and universities throughout Pennsylvania. 


Sarah is also an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), and she was recently awarded a Chancellor’s award for mentorship.  She has spoken about various aspects of international education in Barcelona, Prague, Shanghai, and Colombia as well as at conferences across the United States.  


Sarah holds a doctorate in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. Conducting field research on decentralization in El Salvador and completing an intensive Portuguese language course in Fortaleza, Brazil were the highlights of her M.A. in Political Economy. As a certified facilitator in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), Sarah enjoys working to improve team dynamics and organizational culture.      


All student newspaper articles are to be approved by the VIH Director.

Sarah Wagner| University Center for International Studies | 1209 Cathedral of Learning | Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | 412.624.0276 direct | sewst29@pitt.edu




Jean Ferketish | Faculty Advisor

B. Jean Ferketish, PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Education as well as the Faculty Advisor for the VIH Program, working with the program since 2007.  Prior to joining the School of Education fulltime in 2015, she served as Secretary of the Board and Assistant Chancellor for the University of Pittsburgh for 13 years.  During this time she also taught Leadership in the Graduate School of International and Public Affairs, the School of Education, the School of Public Health and the School of Social Work.  In addition, she led a variety of projects requiring the ability to build consensus across constituency groups, affect the image of the University and provide advice on sensitive and complex situations.


Throughout her career, Jean has helped people develop their leadership abilities and improve the effectiveness of their organizations in multiple settings including industry, healthcare, education and non-profit human services.  She introduced the first organization development methods to the University in 1995. Before joining Pitt, Jean was a consultant for Development Dimensions International, where she worked with clients across the country to implement major culture change strategies.  She is a recipient of the company’s Presidential Award and co-authored the book, Organization Change that Works:  How to Merge Culture and Business Strategies for Maximum Results.  Jean spent the first 10 years of her career at Westinghouse where she directed efforts in organizational development, total quality management, and internal communications.

Jean has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa and has taught in Qatar.  She is a frequent speaker on women and leadership. She learns so much from her clients and is particularly pleased to work with young women who are at the beginning of their leadership journey in a world that is very different from the past.  


  Jean Ferketish | WWPH 4309 | Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | 412.648.7177 | ferkjean+@pitt.edu






Laura Gooding | Graduate Intern


Laura Gooding is an alumna of the 2018 VIH Cohort and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019 with a B.A. in Anthropology and a Minor in French. While participating in the VIH program Laura studied abroad in Toulouse France where she studied art and architecture as well as French language. For her community engagement experience Laura and her fellow Pitt Viras held an event entitled “Unconsciously Uncomfortable: Talking About the Things No One Wants To,” a roundtable style discussion on taboo topics in the U.S. and abroad. 

Laura is currently a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs pursuing a Master of Public and International Affairs with a concentration in Security and Intelligence Studies.


Laura Gooding | University Center for International Studies | 1209 Cathedral of Learning | Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | vihprogram@pitt.edu

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