The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
University Newswire
University Newswire
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Date: August 26, 2004
Contact: Amber Rach
Email: amber.rach@uncp.edu
Phone: 910.521.6863
Fax: 910.521.6694

UNCP hires associate director for international student services

By Scott Bigelow

Jing GaoWith 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 at Carbondale.

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 counseling settings.

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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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Updated: Thursday, August 26, 2004
Copyright © 2001-2004 The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
University Newswire
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Phone: 910.521.6863
Fax: 910.521.6694