SALISBURY, N.C. – A new Center for International Studies is being established at Catawba College and Dr. Kurt Corriher has been tapped as its director, effective June 1. College President Dr. Robert Knott made the announcement at the annual President’s Circle Dinner held May 12 on campus.
“I’m a great believer in foreign study and international experiences,” says Corriher, a Rowan County native who grew up in a rural farming community near China Grove.
“My junior year of study abroad in Marburg, Germany was life-changing for me. It made me a completely different person and opened the world to me. I suppose you could say, it taught me my ignorance.
“I thought the United States was the world, as most Americans do. It made me realize what a small part of the world the United States actually is, and how much my own world view is a product of my nationality, my homeland,” he continues.
Corriher, who currently serves as program coordinator for Catawba’s Lilly Center for Vocation and Values, will transition from those responsibilities into his new role with an “ultimate goal to deepen the intellectual experience of a Catawba education.”
Over the summer, he will be putting together an advisory board for the Center for International Studies, as well as developing a strategic plan and budget for it. Part of his challenge, he admits, will be to find patrons, because unlike Catawba’s Lilly Center, this new one is not fully funded. He also hopes to utilize the presence of international students on Catawba’s campus in a way that is beneficial to both Catawba’s students and to them.
A former Fulbright Fellow to Vienna, Austria, Corriher earned his undergraduate degree in German and history from Davidson College, his master of fine arts degree in drama and his Ph.D. in German from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He taught German at Mercer University and Catawba College, served as the director of education programs at The Sequoia Institute in Sacramento, California, and as director of computer services at Catawba. Additionally, he was employed as a technical writer and hardware services supervisor by Food Lion, Inc. and has worked as a business software consultant and developer.
Outside of his varied jobs, Corriher has worked as a contract writer for various area businesses and agencies. His first novel, “A Time to Kill,” was published in February, 2002. A second novel, “The Diary of Ranson Brede,” is currently being shopped by his literary agent.
Corriher makes his home in the community where he grew up and is married to the former Alicia Ziadie. The couple has two children, Maria, a student at South Rowan High School, and Adam, a student at Salisbury Academy.