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Scott Bigelow | 910.521.6351 | scott.bigelow@uncp.edu
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sara Brackin named director of International Programs

Sara Brackin has joined the Office of International Programs at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Sara BrackinFormerly UNCP’s registrar, Brackin is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office, including directing International Student Services, the English Language Institute, and the Asian and Study Abroad Programs. She reports to Dr. James E. Callaghan, associate vice chancellor for International Programs. 

According to Dr. Callaghan, director Brackin brings a unique dimension to UNCP’s International Programs office. 

“It is very unusual,” he said, “to have someone in this kind of office with Sara’s abilities. She understands the multi-faceted importance of international education and she understands what’s involved for a student when they are abroad. 

“Moreover – in terms of administration – she knows how universities function, and what academic management entails,” he continued. “As a result, our students – both UNCP outbound and inbound foreign students – will (and already) benefit from this unique melding of abilities.”

Indeed, with 14 years in the Office of the Registrar, the new director brings considerable administrative experience with her.

“I am really excited to be at the ground floor of a program with boundless possibilities,” she said. “I have a lot to learn about International Programs.

“My experience in the Registrar’s Office is a big plus,” she added. “I have many ties across campus and considerable knowledge of the administrative processes of this University.”

An experienced international traveler, Brackin became an early convert to the value of the international experience in higher education.

“I was the study abroad coordinator before this office was created,” she said. “We sent the first student to study at Vaxjo University in Sweden.

“That’s when I got bitten by the study abroad bug,” she continued. “It’s a life-changing experience for students; that is what’s so exciting about it. It opens minds and gives a sense of confidence to young people.”

While the office and its new leaders develop their strategic plans, several good things are happening.

“We are already on the right track,” Brackin said. “UNCP’s partnership with AACSU (American Association of State Colleges and Universities) and CCIEE (Chinese Office of Sino-American Higher Education Exchanges) will bring 28 new Chinese students here next fall.”

To bring so many students from China will require considerable effort.

“We will travel to China this summer to work on their visas,” Brackin said. “A trip to China sounds attractive – and it is - but we will be working from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. six days a week to get the job done.”

Brackin came to UNCP in 1994 from Nortel, where she was a senior programmer and database analyst. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer science from Fayetteville State University and a Master of Arts in Service Agency Counseling from UNCP.
For more information about international programs at UNCP, please call 910.775.4095 or email ip@uncp.edu.

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