Get to Know the Staff: Meet Catherine Bass


Allie Crain, Outreach Coordinator

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From orientations to class schedules, Catherine prepares the students for their semester abroad and enjoys hearing their stories when they return.

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  • Catherine Bass Catherine Bass

Get to Know the Staff: Meet Catherine Bass

Originally from Hargarten-aux-Mines, a small village near Metz, Catherine Bass graduated with a degree in American Civilization (Politics, History, Literature) from the University of Metz, France. She moved to the United States through an exchange program between the University of Metz and the University of Illinois to pursue a second Master’s degree in SLATE (Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education).

During her time at the University of Illinois, Catherine met her future husband, who became a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. After completing her doctoral coursework, she moved to Atlanta in 1991 to join her husband and began teaching French part-time at a private high school, then at Oglethorpe University, and finally at Georgia Tech. When she wasn’t teaching French, she was volunteering at the Carter Center as a translator for President Jimmy Carter.

While teaching at Tech, Catherine began working with the Georgia Tech-Lorraine undergraduate program, which was created in 1999. The program grew quickly and Catherine eventually took on the full-time role of managing the undergraduate program on the Atlanta-side, even spending her summers on the campus in Metz.

Catherine now serves as the Director of Academics & Student Affairs of the Georgia Tech-Lorraine Undergraduate Program, based in Atlanta. She oversees the student application process, curricular administration, coordinates course registration and class scheduling, program accounting and pre-departure logistics, as well as serving as the emergency contact in Atlanta. She advises students, answers parent’s questions, holds pre-departure orientations for students and parents, manages group Facebook pages, and still spends part of her summers in Metz providing support to students and the GTL Metz team. 

When asked about her favorite part of working for Georgia Tech-Lorraine, Catherine said, “Meeting students that have never been outside of the country, getting them excited and then seeing them when they come back, and hearing their stories. Working with fun colleagues! Being challenged, problem solving, and being able to make a difference.”

Catherine’s passion for serving students and giving them opportunities to explore the world is evident in her daily work. Students often keep in touch long after graduating from Tech. She makes an impact on students’ lives by helping them turn study abroad from a dream into a reality. She also possesses classic, witty French humor and a charming personality.

She believes in the importance of students spending time abroad, and said, “I think the main thing is that they become more open minded and tolerant, discover new ways of doing things, a better understanding of people different from their own group. Being challenged by what is different is key. Nobody grows by staying in their comfort zone, the familiar. Traveling can enrich your world so much, expand your awareness, your worldviews, your skills. It’s a true opportunity to become better humans.”

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Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL)

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Georgia Tech-Lorraine, GTL, Lorraine, Metz, france, Study Abroad, French, undergraduate
  • Created By: acrain9
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jan 9, 2020 - 4:29pm
  • Last Updated: Jan 17, 2020 - 10:55am