Amy Dooling

Amy Dooling

Dean of Strategic and Global Initiatives

Amy Dooling, Professor of Chinese, was appointed inaugural Director of the Otto and Fran Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement and Associate Dean of Global Initiatives effective July 1, 2016. Dooling works with offices and individuals across campus to coordinate the College's global education efforts. She provides leadership and vision for the Walter Commons, overseeing a wide-ranging portfolio.

In addition to partnering with senior administrators and directors to advance the goals of full participation, she contributes to the development of the global-local engagement dimensions of Connections, promotes curricular integration of global experiential learning and the development of new international partnerships, and advances innovations in the College’s world language programs.

In her role, Dooling serves as the College’s institutional liaison to the Institute of International Education’s Scholar-Rescue Fund program and the New University in Exile Consortium. As scholar of modern Chinese literature, Dooling’s research, translations, and publications focus on 20th-century women’s writing and feminist literary culture.

Melissa Ryan works with faculty, students and staff to further the goals of the office of Global Initiatives and the Global Commons.  She administers the International Curriculum Development Fund, is a member of the Committee for Refugee Relief and Education, and manages the day-to-day programming in the Global Commons.

Melissa Ryan

Director of the Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement and International Fellowships

Melissa Ryan has been with the College since 2016 and brings extensive international experience, a Master’s degree in Intercultural Management, and training as an academic life coach to her work supporting global education efforts across the college. As director of the Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement, she works to support the Dean of Global and Strategic Initiatives and collaborates with entities across campus to build institutional partnerships, support international students and visiting scholars, and to administer internationally focused grants for students and faculty.

Melissa advises students on globally-focused off-campus learning opportunities and international internships and is the campus advisor for major fellowships including Fulbright, Marshall, Critical Language Scholarship and others. She is an active member of the National Association of Fellowship Advisors and has participated in selection committees for both undergraduate and postgraduate awards. Students interested in applying for fellowships and grants will find strong support in her office and should make an appointment to discuss these opportunities early in their College career.

Lauren O'Leary

Assistant Director of the Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement

Lauren O'Leary is the Assistant Director of the Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement at Connecticut College. In her role, Lauren helps facilitate global learning experiences on and off campus. She advises students through the study abroad process, supports global events and discussions on campus, and works with colleagues across campus to advance institutional global partnerships. Lauren received her master's in International Education from New York University and has participated in academic programs abroad in Italy, India, Spain, and South Africa. Lauren is passionate about intercultural learning and supporting students to make the most out of their time at Connecticut College.



Laura Little


Laura Little directs the Global Learning Lab, a multifunctional space that provides materials and programming to support language study at Connecticut College. She helps to coordinate the Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) program and to promote globally networked teaching and learning at the College. She works with the Walter Commons Fellows to host events that showcase students' linguistic skills and cultural expertise, such as International Poetry Night and World Languages Day, annual student-led events.

A student of multiple languages, she brings her enthusiasm for new languages to the Structured Independent Language Study (SILS) program, which offers students the chance to study languages not taught in the formal curriculum. She also coordinates language lunches in the dining halls and works with the Academic Resource Center to offer weekly drop-in group study/tutoring for language learners in the Walter Commons.