Ken Hill


Manager of PEGS program set to oversee KSU’s education abroad facility in Italy KENNESAW, Ga…

Georgia (Mar 25, 2016)Manager of PEGS program set to oversee KSU’s education abroad facility in Italy

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KENNESAW, Ga. (March 25, 2016)Working in higher education in the beautiful Italian countryside is something Ken Hill acknowledges he never would have imagined when he was in operations management and human resources earlier in his career.

However, he will embark on that opportunity of a lifetime on April 2. Hill, the manager of the President’s Emerging Global Scholars (PEGS) program at Kennesaw State University, will begin a 30-month assignment as the site manager for KSU’s education abroad facility in Montepulciano, Italy.

“It’s an amazing privilege and opportunity that I’ve been given,” Hill said, following an “arrivederci” party for him on campus on March 23.

Through a partnership with Montepulciano, the KSU in Tuscany program is housed in a historic building known as the Fortezza Medievale. Approximately 175 KSU students, from a variety of majors and programs, are expected to study in Montepulciano this year, according to Hill.

“The great thing is the program is totally interdisciplinary,” he said. “Part of the charge is, what can we do to develop this site to its fullest capacity? There is no boundary on it.”

While a number of administrators and educators have worked there, Hill will be the first Kennesaw State staff member to live on-site while managing the day-to-day operations and academic efforts. His responsibilities will include developing teaching opportunities and site-specific programs, managing the budget, cultivating relationships with strategic partners, and assisting the different academic program directors with logistics, planning and support.

“Ken comes to us as the right person at the right time,” said Todd Harper, the director of KSU Programs in Tuscany. “His tireless energy and enthusiasm will help us operationalize the new facility, strengthen our partnership with the Commune of Montepulciano, and establish an educational presence in the heart of Tuscany.”

Hill looks forward to soaking up Italy’s history and culture along with the education abroad students. He described the Fortezza as an “amazing facility” that through the years has been a fortress, a silk factory and a high school, and ruins indicate it had been an Etruscan temple dating back to around 200 B.C. The students will attend classes every Monday through Thursday and spend their weekends traveling to cities such as Rome and Florence.

“So instead of taking art history here (at KSU), you could do study abroad in the summer and take your three-credit art history class in Montepulciano,” Hill said. “And by the way, on the weekends, we’re going to go up to Florence, where some of the most influential artisans of the High Renaissance practiced.”

Kennesaw State’s commitment to the Montepulciano Educational Site reflects a mission to make KSU a world-class institution, Hill said. Studying outside the United States will prepare students to work in the international workplace, he added.

“Globalization and internationalization truly has been sewn into the DNA, the culture of this organization,” Hill said. “When you say ‘Kennesaw State,’ I think people now think ‘internationalization.’”

Hill has been taking lessons for the past several weeks to learn to speak Italian, and he will continue studying the language for several hours a week after he arrives in Italy. He looks forward to meeting his new neighbors in Montepulciano and becoming part of the community.

“I think the biggest part of this job is the relationships,” Hill said. “It’s showing people that you care about them.”




A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit