What inspired you to work in this field? When I was a student at the University of Iowa, I had the chance to work in Taiwan for a summer, and while there I realized that I did not know any of the international students at the U of Iowa. I returned to campus, started to volunteer at the International Center, and knew this should be my profession. That Taiwan experience occurred 34 years ago, and I am still so happy to be able to impact the lives of international students in the U.S.!
What are the challenges you've faced? International education is highly affected by global events that are out of our control, and there have been many of them over the span of my career, including 9/11 and COVID. Despite these challenges, it is wonderful to see that international students still want to study in the USA.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? After a long career, I have come to better understand that global changes start with each of us making a positive impact in our local communities. I want to ensure that the international students that I interact with know they are welcomed, valued, and are our future.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? You certainly possess leadership skills if you were able to make your way to studying in the U.S. Put those leadership skills to use in your campus community by joining or starting a club or organization that is meaningful to you. You bring a unique voice and perspective to our campus — share it with us!