College announces new leadership in International Programs

SUNY New Paltz has appointed Beth Vargas as the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs.

Vargas steps into a new position created as Bruce Sillner, long-time dean of the Center for International Programs, enters a phased retirement and assumes a new title as senior advisor on global strategy.

As the Center’s new Executive Director, Vargas will serve as the senior international officer for the campus, administering the College’s many study abroad and exchange programs, and providing oversight for a host of international services and programs. These include international student recruitment and admission; the Haggerty English Language Program; the Institute for International Business; dual diploma programs with partner institutions in Turkey, Brazil and China; and, in conjunction with other departments, the SUNY Global Engagement Program in New York City, the SUNY Institute for European Union Studies, and the East-West and Romance Languages Living and Learning Communities.

Vargas joined SUNY New Paltz in 1999 as the international student advisor, advanced to director of international student programs in 2001, and assumed the role of associate dean of international programs in 2010. As associate dean, she worked tirelessly to bolster programs and services for international students at SUNY New Paltz, while assuring the College’s compliance with federal regulations governing such programs.

She is a highly regarded expert on immigration regulations affecting international students and scholars. She has lent her expertise in these areas to members of the campus community, filing petitions on behalf of the College with the Department of Labor and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. As part of the reorganization of the Center for International Programs, these functions will shift to the Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion; Vargas will remain available during this transition to support the immigration-related needs of faculty and staff.

She frequently represented SUNY New Paltz abroad, working to develop new opportunities for collaboration with partner universities around the world, and will continue to do so in her new role.

Since 1987, Vargas has been an active member of NAFSA, the Association of International Educators. She has helped coordinate conferences and workshops, attended the NAFSA AASCU Institute for Senior International Officers, and organized immigration workshops that were precursors to the NAFSA Core Education Program.

She has served on the SUNY Global International Student and Scholar Health Insurance Committee since 2004, and made key contributions to the Power of SUNY – SUNY and the World strategic plan.

Vargas holds a master of arts in international educational development from Columbia University Teachers College, and a bachelor of arts in sociology from Wheaton College. She is married to Professor Michael Vargas of the Department of History. They have two sons.