Berkeley International Group (BIG)

The Berkeley International Group (BIG) is a staff organization community of practice administered by the Global Engagement Office staff in partnership with staff from other international-related units.

Staff and faculty with interests in campus international activities and international affairs are invited to collaborate and participate in informal discussions related to the international work we do across UC Berkeley.  During the academic year, the group typically meets once a month, with the host(s) deciding upon the topic, date, time, and location of the meeting. Each meeting is typically hosted by a different unit on campus.

Our goals are to:

  • Bring together staff and faculty with professional interests in international education and exchange, and serve as a community to share knowledge about Berkeley’s international activities and operations.
  • Foster connections among UC Berkeley’s international education stakeholders, strengthening cross-unit collaboration and providing a space to share best practices, innovations, and challenges across a decentralized space.
  • Provide networking and professional development opportunities for staff at all levels, encouraging collaboration across decentralized units.


Originally run solely by the Global Engagement Office prior to 2019, BIG is now a recognized Staff Organization Community of Practice, a People & Culture initiative that facilitates opportunities for staff to become more involved in campus life. Joining relevant communities of practice allows staff to continue to develop and broaden their skills, as well as meet people who have similar professional interests. BIG became a staff organization in order to broaden and diversify our reach and leadership team. The Global Engagement Office continues to provide infrastructure, including a website and administrative support, but the leadership has expanded.

BIG's current volunteer staff officers include:

  • Ashley Spinelli, Director, Global Engagement Office
  • Chris Reed, Global Engagement Coordinator, Global Engagement Office
  • Jeremiah Lee, International Student Adviser, Berkeley International Office
  • Lauren Cooper, Student Experience Manager, Global Access Programs (SSALLEX)
  • Shannon Buckley-Shaklee, Program Advisor, Berkeley International Studies Program (BISP)

If you would like to receive announcements of future BIG events, please add yourself to the bConnected list or email Please note this group is for UC Berkeley faculty and staff only and is not open to the public.

If you would like to host a future BIG meeting or have a suggested topic or event, please email our leadership team at

The BIG meetings are excellent opportunities to learn about the inspiring international work being done by the UC Berkeley community, and to strengthen and also start collaborations in support of that work.
Eddie West, Former Assistant Dean & Executive Director, International Programs, UC Extension