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Staff Spotlight: Kory Saunders

Kory Saunders is an international programs coordinator in the Study Abroad Office, a unit of the Office of Global Engagement. She recently received the Office of Global Engagement’s Rookie of the Year Award.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Orange, New Jersey and was blessed to grow up around many cultures. I earned a B.S. in marketing and a B.A. in Spanish from Hampton University as well as an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and an M.A. in international business from the University of Valencia in Valencia, Spain. I started my career in corporate international marketing but felt that there was a better fit for me. Study Abroad in international education was the best fit for me. This is my fourth year in the industry.

How long have you been with NC State and the Office of Global Engagement?

A little over one year

Tell us what you do in a few sentences.

I advise students in the College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS) who plan to study abroad for a semester. I manage CALS’ short term study abroad programs and our partnerships in Australia. I also lead the diversity, inclusion and equity efforts for the office. My position has allowed me to continue to learn about the diverse communities at NC State and work with many colleagues across campus in the surrounding areas to ensure that all students are aware and have access to study abroad and other global opportunities.

What’s your favorite thing about your work?

My favorite things about my work are our students and making significant contributions to increasing diversity, inclusion and equity in study abroad. It is gratifying to see the students I work with step outside of their comfort zones as they complete and learn from their entire study abroad process. It is also rewarding to work with so many amazing colleagues both in Global Engagement, across campus, and in the industry that support and advocate for students of all backgrounds to gain global learning experiences.

Tell us one thing we might be surprised to learn about you.

You might be surprised to know that I am a mirror image identical twin. I am left-handed and my twin sister is right-handed. It may come up in conversation but it often does not set in until we are seen together. This isn’t often since she lives in New Jersey and I am here in North Carolina.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love spending time with family, friends and my mentees. I enjoy traveling, exploring other cultures, dancing, cooking, reading, writing, coloring and incorporating more self-care into my life when I am not working.

What’s one thing on your desk you brought from home?

I have a little Koala Bear stuffed animal on my desk. I have had my Koala since I was little and I thought it would be a nice touch to add to my desk since I work with students who study abroad in Australia.

What’s your favorite travel destination?

I do not have a favorite travel destination as I love to appreciate each place that I have been blessed to experience for its unique culture and people. I recently traveled to South Africa and Swaziland with my sister and cousin. I realized that Africa made the fifth continent that I have visited. When I travel to Australia in February that will be my sixth. I am beyond grateful!