UNCP hires associate director for international student
By Scott Bigelow
a large group of international students on UNC Pembroke's campus for
the 2004 fall semester, Jing Gao, the new Associate Director for International
Student Services, was there to welcome them.
At UNCP, Gao will develop programs and provide services to UNCP's international
students from approximately 10 nations. Her office is in the Multicultural
Center in Old Main and she reports to Robert Canida, director of Multicultural
and Minority Affairs, a division of the Office of Student Affairs.
"We are happy to have Ms. Gao as a part of the UNCP family and
the office of Multicultural and Minority and International Student Services,"
Canida said. "Jing brings to the Multicultural Center a real understanding
of the needs of international students and another segment of culture
to our staff."
Recently dubbed by US News "The Future of College" for its
diverse student population, Gao said UNCP is very receptive to international
students and their special needs.
"Our mission is to make UNCP a home away from home," Gao
said. "From the chancellor down, every office is working to make
this a friendly place for international students."
UNCP's enrollment growth and efforts to internationalize its campus
proved very attractive to Gao.
"The atmosphere here is very dynamic, and every one is so friendly,"
she said. "The door is wide open here; that is why I wanted to
come to UNCP."
Gao will develop a variety of special programs for new arrivals and
returning international students, including orientation, counseling,
programming, career services, and transportation.
"If they have any problem, academic or personal, they may come
to me for assistance," she said. "First, I encourage them
to speak English, and then take advantage of the warm, friendly campus."
Gao is very outgoing, "adventurous," she said.
"I am the only member of my family to leave China, but my parents
encourage me to follow my dreams," she said. "No matter where
I go, I know they support me."
Gao has worked and studied in the United States for seven years. She
is currently completing her dissertation in special education at Southern
Illinois University (SIU) at Carbondale.
Gao is from the city of Baotou, located in the province of Inner Mongolia.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English for Science and Technology
from Inner-Mongolia Polytechnic University in China and a Master of
Arts degree in cultural anthropology at Southern Illinois University
Since arriving in the U.S., Gao has taught courses in the education
of exceptional children at SIU. She has also worked in a variety of
She is a member of the National Rehabilitation Association, the National
Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns and the National
Rehabilitation Counseling Association.
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