Ginger Davis is the executive assistant to Bailian Li, senior vice provost for global engagement, where along with managing the daily operations of the office, she also serves as the resident historian of the division. With over 39 years at the university, Ginger is an indispensable part of the Office of Global Engagement and NC State.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Portsmouth, Virginia but grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I moved to Raleigh/Cary in 1979 for my husband to start school at NC State. I was here when NC State won the 1983 NCAA National Championship with Jim Valvano – what an exciting year that was! My husband graduated in 1984. I guess you could say I grew up at NC State.
How long have you been with NC State and the Office of Global Engagement?
On February 1, 1979, I began working at NC State. I started working in Facilities, formerly known as Physical Plant, for a good number of years. I then moved to the Radiation Protection Office under the Office of Environment Health and Safety, where I worked for a number of years. I moved to my current position and “Best Office Ever” (Office of Global Engagement) where I’ve been for the last 20 years – for a grand total of 39 years and eight months.
I’ve seen a lot of changes throughout the years at NC State, starting with the name of our department. We went from the Office of International Programs to the Office of International Affairs to our current name – the Office of Global Engagement. At one point, the Office of International Programs fell under the Graduate School but then moved under the Provost Office. For a brief period, the leadership of the vice provost office changed six times.
We went from just our division office, Office of International Services, and Study Abroad Office to our current 10 units. If you want a lesson in history, just ask me! The division has had many positive changes over the years thanks to Dr. Li.
Tell us what you do in a few sentences.
I’m the executive assistant to Dr. Bailian Li, which encompasses a wide range of duties, along with managing the daily operations of the Office of Global Engagement.
What your favorite thing about your work?
All the people that I’ve worked with throughout the years; they are more than just co-workers – they’re family. Getting to meet people from all over the world and experiencing new cultures has been amazing.
Tell us one thing we might be surprised to learn about you.
I started my career as an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in Winston-Salem and then began the AD nursing program. I moved here with my husband Ben from Winston-Salem for him to start school at NC State. I didn’t complete my AD nursing degree due to the move, but instead I was hired at NC State in 1979.