Happy New Year! 2018 kept us on our toes in so many ways. As we settle into a new year, let me highlight a few wonderful things that happened last year.
ATA IN THE WORLD
In 2018, we fulfilled our mission—to create unique, enriching experiences for intellectually curious adults and students—for thousands of travelers, all over the world. Some of our proudest moments of collaboration included:
- Building a basketball court for a local community in Vietnam (Duke Engage)
- Managing a culinary experience to Tuscany, led by the world’s only Pulitzer-prize-winning restaurant critic (Los Angeles Times Expeditions)
- Overseeing a Madrid-based conference for 400+ alumni, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs (Babson College)
- Winning a diversity award nomination for our Hmong language and culture short term study abroad program in China (University of Minnesota)
- Sending an enthusiastic group of adult “students” to Oxford University (Smithsonian Journeys)
- Taking a deep dive into Middle East politics and the regional effects of the Syrian refugee crisis during a trip to Jordan (The Nation)
We welcomed the following new partners to the ATA family last year: Babson College, Dartmouth, Dickinson, Leadership Greater Washington, Osher Life Long Learning Institute, and the publication The Nation.
BACK IN DC: OUR PRIORITIES AT HEADQUARTERS
We completed a two-year journey of implementing six new technology platforms across the company—from reservations to account management, to website performance, collaboration tools, and even human resources! This investment will allow us to serve our partners, students and travelers even more effectively.
Diversity and Inclusion
These concepts have informed our work since 1950, when we began to facilitate exchange between peoples of different cultures and backgrounds. However, we have been working to amplify these values within our workplace, as diversity enriches innovation and creativity, and broadens the perspective of all staff. All staff took part in a workshop this summer, and now we have a growing D&I committee to set new goals and provide additional training and resources to our teams.
OUR INCREDIBLE TEAM
Twenty one new team members joined us this year! We had fun on scavenger hunts, at parties, celebrating milestones and in the field!
Many staff and colleagues increased access to study abroad by supporting the important work of the Fund for Education Abroad. We also lobbied our Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill and discussed critical issues facing the travel and study abroad fields.
OUR THANKS AND GRATITUDE
We are so grateful for the travelers who count on us to enrich their lives by creating theme-based educational trips; for the colleges and universities who entrust us to shape their students into global citizens, and to the professional associations who ask us to help advance research across borders.
Our best wishes for a wonderful year ahead!