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New Assistant Director for International Student Orientation Adds Support for International Students
Following a national search, the Office of First-Year and Transfer Programs hired Wei Gao G’05 as the assistant director for international student orientation, a new position created with support from the Invest Syracuse initiative to advance the academic and student experience.
In this role, Gao will support efforts in the Office of First-Year and Transfer Programs, as well as across the University community, to enhance the experience for new international students. She will be an integral part of organizing international student orientation programs, coordinating social programs throughout the year and supporting communication efforts with first-year and transfer international students. The role was designed in alignment with recommendations by the Chancellor’s Workgroup on Diversity and Inclusion to enhance support for international students.
Gao, who joined the University a few weeks before the start of the academic year, has already made an immediate impact.
“Wei has already become an important resource for parents and students, making valuable connections immediately upon her arrival,” said Carrie Abbott, director of the Office of First-Year and Transfer Programs. “She is an expert at supporting international student transition and we are excited to see what recommendations she makes to continue to enhance the international student orientation experience, including a plan for our newly created WeChat account.”
Gao comes to the University from Manlius Pebble Hill School where she served as the international student coordinator and a Chinese language instructor since 2008. She brings more than 20 years’ experience in education and international services. Some of her previous positions include an adjunct professor of Chinese at Onondaga Community College, an international travel consultant and a Chinese language and cultural specialist.
“We are thrilled to bring someone with Wei’s wealth of experience and expertise in international student services to the University,” says Amanda Nicholson, assistant provost and dean of student success. “Wei will not only support student success in the months leading up to their arrival at Syracuse, but continue to serve as a support, resource and mentor to international students throughout their experience here.”
In addition to earning a master’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Gao earned a master’s degree in American history from the University of Akron and a bachelor’s degree in history from Beijing University. Gao also completed extensive doctoral work in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs’ Social Science Program, concentrating on language and culture.
About Invest Syracuse
Invest Syracuse: Advancing Academic Excellence and the Student Experience aims to provide all students with a distinctive, world-class learning experience that prepares them for professional and personal success. The three-pronged initiative seeks to redefine the student experience, advance discovery and innovation, and expand opportunity for students of promise and talent from across the socioeconomic spectrum. To learn more about Invest Syracuse, visit investsyracuse.syr.edu.
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private, international research university with distinctive academics, diversely unique offerings and an undeniable spirit. Located in the geographic heart of New York State, with a global footprint, and nearly 150 years of history, Syracuse University offers a quintessential college experience. The scope of Syracuse University is a testament to its strengths: a pioneering history dating back to 1870; a choice of more than 200 majors and 100 minors offered through 13 schools and colleges; nearly 15,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students; more than a quarter of a million alumni in 160 countries; and a student population from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. For more information, please visit syracuse.edu.