Valparaiso University's administered study abroad programs have resident directors who manage the programs on a day-to-day basis, teach two courses for the students and coordinate group excursions and cultural activities. Since 1990, VU has sent 16 different faculty members, and their families, to the Hangzhou, China program.
The Fall 2016 resident director is Professor Laurie Eberhardt, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology. Professor Eberhardt studies the behavior and ecology of woodpeckers, especially sap feeding behavior. Sap feeding poses intriguing problems because the birds must overcome a tree's defenses and also may experience nutritional limitations to feed on sap. Recent student projects in her lab group have included studies on tree species preference, variations in sucrose content and flow of sap, changes in sap feeding behavior with weather conditions, and microscopic examination of sap hole structure. Professor Eberhardt received Master's and her Ph.D from the University of Florida. Her interests include Ecological studies, woodpeckers, and sap feeding behavior. She has been published in The Auk, as well as in The Condor.