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 works closely with the Director of the Walter Commons to support global education efforts across the college and is the first point of contact for students interested in learning about major fellowship opportunities.

In her work with the Office of Global Initiatives, she develops and implements programming to support institutional partnership initiatives, the integration of international students on campus, and pre-departure and re-entry programs for students participating in study away.

Melissa advises students on opportunities for globally-focused off-campus learning and funding for international internships and language study. Melissa is a core member of the Global New London Summer Practicum team, serves as the Staff Advisor for the Student Refugee Alliance, and provides support to visiting scholars who are at the College through our partnership with the Scholar Rescue Fund.

Lauren O'Leary

Assistant Director

Lauren provides general support across the Walter Commons. She manages budgets, meeting and event schedules as well as reservations for the Global Learning Lab and the Walter Commons Collaboration Space. She also manages the digital display on the lower floor of Blaustein and supports the promotion of events. She works with the Office of Study Away to support students through the Study Away application, pre-departure, and re-entry process.



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.