Staff Spotlight: Jason Scorza

Vice Provost for International Affairs


Jason Scorza didn't study abroad when he was in college because, he claims, he wasn't told that was "a thing." Today, as Vice Provost for International Affairs at FDU, he is committed to making sure that this doesn't happen to you.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I would actually like to share my second favorite travel memory, which was the first time I visited Wroxton College. Groggy and befuddled from an overnight flight, I recollect being picked up at Heathrow Airport with a group of colleagues by a kindly member of the College staff and whisked away by a waiting "motor coach" (as the Brits insist on calling their buses). An hour later (more or less), we were passing through the College gates. Viewing Wroxton Abbey for the first time, it felt like we were waking up in a fairy tale.

After being welcomed by more friendly staff, given our room keys (and warned to stay awake at least until lunchtime), we were given a presentation on fire safety by the Dean (it's actually more fun than you would expect) and a tour of Wroxton Abbey (which barely scratched the surface of its secrets and mysteries).

Notwithstanding what we'd heard about British food, the welcome lunch buffet was bountiful, varied, delicious, and most definitely worth staying awake for. Following lunch (after being warned to stay awake at least until afternoon tea) we explored Wroxton's verdant grounds, gardens, and woods which, years later, still astonish and inspire me.

Years later I came to understand that the welcome I received during my first visit to Wroxton College is exactly what each and every one of our students experiences when they arrive. This helps explain the fierce loyalty of Wroxton's 3,000+ alumni and why so many return for reunions and support the College financially, whether or not they are alumni of FDU.

If you're still reading this, you may be wondering what my favorite travel memory is. While in China, I visited the Chengdu Panda Research Station and got to hold an actual, baby panda in my lap. It was, you will not be surprised to hear, extremely cute. At one point, it looked up at me with its big panda eyes and I'm pretty sure that it called me "mama". Although the panda was clearly confused, I did not have the heart to correct it. If you are wondering why this is my favorite travel memory, it's because I cuddled a freaking baby panda.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Before joining FDU, as an assistant professor of political science, I didn't even have a passport and the full extent of my international travel experience were two short trips to Canada - once for an 8th-grade French club trip and once, some years later, to attend a party. Since joining FDU, I've traveled to 40 different countries and have made it part of my personal and professional mission to help young people explore the world.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Actually, professors probably don't get to hear the really good stories. But I always like to hear about where students go for "travel break" (ten days during the Fall and Spring semester when students can, but aren't required to, travel around Europe on their own or in groups). Between really cheap flights and an excellent train system, it's possible to visit two or three countries during travel break and possibly more after the semester ends.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I'm pretty much sold on Wroxton College and I visit just about every chance I get. This is largely because I'm a convicted Anglophile (i.e., I love British music, literature, landscapes, beer, history, beer, etc.), but also because from the UK it's really easy (as mentioned above) to get to other places in Europe. So, I often combine a trip to Wroxton with quick visits to France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, etc.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Both the staff at Wroxton College and the study abroad team at Fairleigh Dickinson University are amazingly dedicated and supportive of students. And, because the Wroxton semester program is on the small side - we enroll fewer than 60 students each semester -, they are truly able to provide personal attention.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Since the campus opened in 1965, we've welcomed students from more than 200 colleges and universities, whose pennants are proudly displayed in the Wroxton College pub. Maybe yours is one of them?