Global Engagement Honors Outstanding Employees

During our annual winter retreat, five Office of Global Engagement employees received awards for their significant accomplishments this year. We received 14 nominations from across the division for our five award categories. 

Congratulations to the 2019 recipients!

Ginger Davis Outstanding Service Award

  • Jennifer Glass, Office of International Services 

This award was renamed this year in honor of the recently-retired Ginger Davis, who worked at NC State and the Office of Global Engagement for over 40 years.

“Jennifer has initiated and collaborated on many projects that have increased the visibility of Global Engagement and the Office of International Services and raised the level of services we provide, including the first-ever unit-wide training for student leaders, an employment conference for international students, and a mid-semester “extended orientation” for new students. She co-developed a Student Success Syllabus and Virtual Book Club for the common reading, helping international students feel greater comfort in this new academic environment and easing their transition to campus. She works tirelessly to improve undergraduate orientation and support programs for international undergraduate students, and is currently leading the creation of a focus group to better these services. Jennifer also serves on the university’s CARES team and supports sister unit IEP serve their specialized population, making trips to their Hillsborough office for student advising, immigration check-ins, and so on. Additionally, Jennifer represents Global Engagement at the state and national level, single-handedly organizing NCAIE’s Government Panel this past summer and selected to serve on NAFSA’s International Student and Scholar Regulatory Practice committee. 

Jennifer is truly a team player and goes above and beyond her scope of duties on a daily basis; she always volunteers to help at the front desk when needed, assists in improving OIS processes and outreach efforts, and drafts and sends out communications for the office. Her authenticity and compassion create a welcoming environment for the international community, which is difficult to do at a large institution. Jennifer brings energy and dedication to her work and it’s obvious she genuinely cares for her students, making her a deserving recipient of the Outstanding Service Award.”

Campus Outreach Award

  • Julia Law, Study Abroad Office

“Julia has done an exceptional job implementing and overseeing strategic processes that respect the necessary compliance measures that the university has in place while working to achieve the goals and initiatives of our division. Her optimistic approach to innovative program development is matched with an increasing understanding of the university’s operational policies and procedures. She has demonstrated a commitment to educating campus partners on the risk management, financial, and administrative components of directing study abroad programs, and has been receptive to feedback from the finance and operations team in our office.

Julia has been able to enhance or create new processes using software and tools our office already has in place to increase Study Abroad’s efforts towards risk management and efficient operational procedures. She has prioritized providing comprehensive training materials to program directors through the Study Abroad website and newsletters, as well as through scheduled trainings that allow directors to ask questions of their peers/colleagues, and the Study Abroad staff. I have appreciated Julia’s positive, grounded attitude and her authentic leadership style – particularly considering the sometimes-competing priorities that her position is tasked with managing.”

Rookie of the Year

  • Grace Kavanagh, Passport Services 

“Grace stepped into her role at a moment of great transition, with only a few weeks overlap with the outgoing manager, just before the busiest season of the year. Despite the timing of the transition during the Spring Semester rush, Grace ensured that NC State University Passport Services maintained not only its busy schedule of passport acceptance and stringent Department of State regulations but most importantly, its stellar reputation for customer service so crucial to our outreach mission. Moreover, she continued to find and implement so many of the everyday improvements that go unsung but make everything work better for everyone, particularly regarding the management of the work-study students. Grace’s able and conscientious stewardship of the Passport Services office during her rookie year demonstrated that she is well-named: she executed a complex dive into the deep end with grace.”

Think and Do Award

  • Jennifer Brown Edwards, Intensive English Program

“Jennifer Brown Edwards is a model of innovation, efficiency, and resourcefulness. Jennifer possesses an innovative spirit that led to the IEP implementing a new system for determining student progression through the program. Through a multi-year and multi-phased research project that she conducted analyzing passing rates, she developed an internal GPA system to holistically evaluate student progress and achievement. In addition, she helped to create a grade calculator, now posted on the IEP website, where students can run “what if” scenarios at any time. This new grading evaluation is an innovation that will have far-reaching effects in the IEP and is expected to help with retention and alleviate student anxiety.

In Jennifer’s role as the IEP’s Academic Advisor, she streamlined both the process in which students of concern were identified as well as the system used by instructors to provide mid-semester progress reports for students.   Both processes required receiving accurate and timely information from instructors without putting an undue burden on them given their teaching responsibilities. The instructors remarked how much easier to use the new systems were. Jennifer has also increased the efficiency of our pre-arrival student communication by designing a series of 14 orientation videos addressing common student onboarding concerns which saved a great deal of time. Through Jennifer’s resourcefulness, efficiency, and innovative spirit, the IEP is able to offer a number of high-quality services and support to its students despite its small staff.”

Pride of the Wolfpack Award

  • Jonathan Brewster, NC Japan Center

“Jonathan arrived as the NC Japan Center director in August 2018, and, despite limited resources or guidelines for re-establishing the full-time directorship, already has a long list of successful accomplishments in community outreach, faculty and student engagement, and statewide economic development support. Jonathan initiated a fee increase for NCJC’s non-credit language courses to purchase better equipment for the instructors, and still had the highest single-year enrollment increase (12.6%) in the center’s history. With just one other permanent staff member, he successfully launched a brand new summer camp for high school students, and will be expanding it in 2020. Other community offerings include a successful grant with JAS-NC and the Gregg Museum, a translation overhaul of the NC Drivers’ License manual, a gala sake tasting event celebrating the new emperor’s reign, and successfully requesting a personal interview with world-renowned George Takei!

On campus, Jonathan completely rebuilt the center website, re-started both advisory boards, restructured the Kelly Fund faculty seed grant process, served on the Asia Strategy task force, presented lectures to visiting Nagoya students, and more. Jonathan’s wide-ranging relationship-building visits with Japanese business leaders, his reliable leadership and service with visiting Japanese business delegations, and his workshops on Japanese business culture for US executives, have won him the trust of top economic development agencies in NC. At the Japan-SouthEast US conference, he was invited as the personal guest of Secretary of Commerce Copeland for top-level conference events. Jonathan is currently planning a statewide Japanese business conference in the spring, hosted by the NCJC.”