Staff Spotlight: Maura McCarthy

Maura McCarthy is an international programs coordinator in Study Abroad, a unit of the Office of Global Engagement, a role in which she serves both faculty and students. McCarthy received the Office of Global Engagement’s Outstanding Service Award in 2017 for going above and beyond expectations in providing support to students on the study abroad programs she oversees.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Growing up a military brat, I was lucky enough to go to high school in Japan. Longing to find a way back, I returned to the country to teach English in a rural area for 2 years after undergrad at Carolina (Global Studies & Anthropology). I started a Masters in International Education program at Carolina just 2 weeks after returning to the U.S., and briefly worked at the medical school as a course coordinator for OBGYN before coming to NC State Global.

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

18 months

Tell us what you do in a few sentences.

I manage study abroad programs for the College of Education, College of Design, and College of Sciences and will soon be advising those students on semester programs. I also manage relationships with exchange partners in Asia and advise students interested in studying in those regions. Finally, I direct the incoming exchange study abroad program for NC State (with the help of my trusty graduate assistant)!

What’s your favorite thing about your work?

Meeting students after they have returned to the U.S. and seeing how much they’ve grown from their international experience. Also, foreign snacks in the break room.

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

I never studied abroad! I had a fear of missing out on campus life and never hit the submit button on my application. I also have hypermobile elbows.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m a competitive powerlifter, so I spend most evenings training to be the next Xena, Warrior Princess. When I’m not doing that, I’m playing with my aggressively friendly puppy, Pickles.

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

Texas Pete hot sauce

What’s your favorite travel destination?

Uwajima, Ehime, Japan. It’s the small fishing city I lived in for 2 years while teaching English, and the people I met there make it feel like my second home every time I go back.