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NC State Global Welcomes New NC Japan Center Director

NC State Global is thrilled to announce the appointment of Stephen Sumner as the new NC Japan Center (NCJC) Director. Sumner is set to assume his new role on September 29, marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the NCJC.

Sumner is a graduate of NC State, bringing a wealth of experience and deep commitment to education and fostering connections between NC and Japan. Currently serving as a First Year Advisor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Sumner has dedicated his post-corporate career to supporting students on their academic journeys.

Stephen Sumner March 3, 2022 (Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services)
Stephen Sumner March 3, 2022 (Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services)

Sumner’s introduction to Japanese culture took root when his family opened their home to a Japanese exchange student during his senior year of high school. Developing a friendship with the Japanese exchange student sparked his interest in both Japanese culture and language.

Upon enrolling at NC State, Sumner was determined to learn Japanese and signed up for the introductory Japanese class. His hard work paid off, as he secured a scholarship through the NCJC to study Japanese at Nagoya University. He was also selected as a Caldwell Fellow while here and has given back to the university as a mentor for the program over the last 15 years.

After graduating with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Japanese from NC State, Stephen’s journey took him to Intel, where he worked in Tokyo from 1999 to 2000. His career eventually led him to Entegris, Inc., where he honed his understanding of Japanese language and business practices, becoming a key figure in growing relationships with Japanese companies.

As Director of the NCJC, Sumner has outlined several ambitious goals and initiatives. His primary focus is on establishing personal relationships with the leadership of Japanese companies in NC, with the aim of enhancing the state’s business environment and contributing to economic growth. Additionally, he envisions creating a space for higher education professionals specializing in Japanese language and Japan-related studies to network and share knowledge.

Interim Vice Provost Heidi Hobbs notes, “We are so excited to welcome Stephen back to NC State and look forward to the growth of the NC Japan Center under his leadership.” To learn more about the NCJC and its programs, visit the NC Japan Center website.