A born and raised Midwesterner (South Dakota), Roger Ludeman has found that his life journey has taken him to over 60 countries. He attended college in his hometown and became a school music teacher. In 1965 he was selected to participate in a U.S. government sponsored program to study counseling and psychology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Pitt) where he received his second master’s degree and a Ph.D. in counselor education/educational psychology. He worked as a dean of students at the Penn State Beaver Campus and The University of Toledo before moving back to the heartland to become Vice President for Student Affairs at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota. From there he moved to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he became Assistant Chancellor for Student Affairs where he served until retirement in 2001.
Over the years Roger’s interests shifted more toward international education. While at UW-Whitewater he oversaw their study abroad program in Sweden. He served on the first NAFSA (Educators International) committee that developed the guidelines for health and safety in study abroad. He also worked to internationalize his professional associations, ACPA-College Student Educators International and NASPA-Student Affairs Adminstrators in Higher Education. Roger created the NASPA International Symposium in 1996, the NASPA International Exchange Program and helped initiate the global colloquium of the ACPA Commission on the Global Dimensions of Student Development.
He has written several book chapters and articles on student affairs and services. His latest book, Student Affairs and Services in Higher Education: Global Foundations, Issues and Best Practices, Third Edition, is being published by UNESCO (over 200 authors coming from about 100 countries). It is a special writing project of the organization that Ludeman founded, the International Association of Student Affairs and Services (IASAS). IASAS has over 1,000 members from nearly 100 countries.
Roger is a Fulbright Scholar, having been awarded grants to teach and do research in Germany (1993), Japan (1887) and South Africa (2001-02) where he and his wife, Sandy, lived for a year. He credits these experiences with inspiring him to travel and study globally. All of this has contributed to his interest in international students and global education. He and his wife retired to Eugene in 2002 and soon found out about the Friendship Foundation for International Students (FFIS). He served on the FFIS Steering Committee in the early to mid-2000s, serving as Chair for a year. He left the committee for several years but continued to serve as a Conversation Friend. He has just rejoined the Committee.
Being a FFIS volunteer and Steering Committee member is a natural extension of Roger’s work in international education during his work life. He believes that the Conversation Friend program is the Jewel in the FFIS “crown.” He has had conversation friends from China, South Korea, Turkey and an ethnic Tibetan from Nepal. Just like our own students, each is unique and proud of her/his home country. Conversations translate into activities and, eventually, lifetime friendships. He likes being called “dad” again.