Program Director’s Bio
Prof. Michael Baum has been the Director of SiPN since its creation in 2014. He also served as an Executive Board member of the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) from 2014-19, having been recruited to that position by the US Embassy in Portugal. Prior to his nomination to FLAD by the Portuguese Prime Minister in 2014, Prof. Baum was a full professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, where he taught for 17 years. More recently, he was invited to teach in the doctoral program in public policy at ISCTE-IUL. Besides his teaching and research interests in Portugal, Prof. Baum has a long history of personal and administrative experience linking the two countries. A two-time Fulbright grantee to Portugal (1993-94 and 2000), from 2001-13 he developed and directed an annual summer study abroad program at ISEG-UTL, now part of the University of Lisbon. From 2012-14 he developed and directed UMass in Lisbon, the first year-round study abroad program for the UMass system in Portugal. For 9 years he served as Chair of a department that served approximately 160 majors with 10 full-time faculty. He was elected for three terms as President of the UMass Dartmouth Faculty Senate, and for several years he served as co-chair of the Iberian Studies Group at Harvard University. Baum is a dual-national of Portugal and the US and is married with two children.
“I’m delighted to direct this program which aims to put Portugal more squarely on the study abroad radar of undergraduates from North America and beyond. Our goal is simple; we aim to create the most flexible and reasonably-priced study abroad program in Portugal. The program is tailored to meet the needs of many different kinds of students: those seeking an intensive immersion experience; those interested in year-long, semester, or shorter-term summer programs; those just starting out in Portuguese or those who are already quite advanced in the language; students seeking an international internship for credit; and enough courses taught in English in a variety of majors that students are not faced with the prospect of choosing between a study abroad experience and taking longer to graduate. With SiPN, students can study abroad and graduate on time for no more than what a typical semester living on campus at a state school in the US costs.”