New frontiers: First female dean expanded Notre Dame’s global footprint

Author: Carrie Gates

Isabel Charles wanted others to see the world as a bigger place than they’d known—and to see that they had a place in it.

As Notre Dame’s assistant provost and director of international studies in the 1980s, she significantly expanded the University’s international presence and reputation—building the number of study abroad programs from six to 16 during her tenure.

And, as the first female dean in Notre Dame’s history and one of the first women to join the central administration, she wanted to show other women that their world—and their impact on it—was growing, too.

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