• New Mind Education NC State Team

    The New Mind Team

    Our experienced global professionals help to inspire and cultivate talent from around the world

New Mind’s experienced global professionals carry out our mission of inspiring and cultivating talent from around the world. Our broad international experience and expertise in higher education empower us. Our passion to help students succeed is what drives us.

Students learn through creativity, challenges and experiences. The New Mind team knows this, not from theory, but from their own educations and careers. Like our students, each of us has a unique story and set of skills that have helped forge our paths.

Michael Chen

Managing Director

InfoIcon

Wei Li

Marketing Manager

InfoIcon

Lys Lin

Advising Coordinator & Student Advisor

InfoIcon

Tiffany Merrit

Program Coordinator & Student Advisor

InfoIcon

Adam Aultowski

Program Coordinator & Student Advisor

InfoIcon

Susan Chuang

Associate Director

InfoIcon

 Debbie McGrath

Finance & Human Resources

InfoIcon

Erin Holloway

Operation Specialist & Student Advisor

InfoIcon

Caroline Cornish

Program Coordinator & Student Advisor

InfoIcon

Susanne Vergara

Student Advisor

InfoIcon

Megan Gunderson

Associate Director

InfoIcon

Thorburn Duryea

Academic Coordinator & Student Advisor

InfoIcon

Le To

Admissions Coordinator & Student Advisor

InfoIcon

Deborah Wilson

Teacher & Student Advisor

InfoIcon

Team Culture

Creative Collaboration

 

  We are innovative, autonomous thinkers of varying skills and interests that creates the most balanced team possible and fosters new ideas. Therefore, our students are supported on all fronts and encouraged to explore more than just academics. .

Globalized Team

 

Cross cultural competency is key to our diverse team, as most members have studied or lived abroad. We know that communicating effectively across national, ethnic, socioeconomic and other borders is essential to success.

Student Development

 

We have a sincere commitment to inspiring creativity, leadership, adaptability, and self-confidence in our students. We understand that important lessons are not always taught in a classroom.

Educational Passion

 

Our methods are researched based and constantly adapted to create the best curriculum possible. Most members have at least five years of teaching experience, but all have a passion for education.

Deborah Wilson

Teacher and Student Advisor

Deborah Wilson first considered life overseas at the age of 6 years old, an ambition that never wavered. It is not surprising then, that as a young adult, she soon found herself halfway around the globe in the Philippines Islands. Although her bachelor’s degree was in nursing, instructors were needed at the local college. With a bit of trepidation, Deb stepped into her first classroom. It took all of two or three days to fall in love with her Filipino students and teaching. For the next 24 years, Deb taught a variety of classes, served as school nurse, and home-schooled her two children. Her students were in her home daily, and Deb learned many of her greatest cultural lessons sitting around the table with learners from her classes. She eventually became certified by the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD) and worked one-on-one with students in need of educational therapy. Four years ago, Deb and her family returned to the US. It wasn’t long until the call for greater international interaction drew Deb to return to UNCG for a degree in TESOL. She will graduate this year with her Master’s in Education, and some great friendships with students from around the planet. Deb joins New Mind as an advisor through a graduate assistantship with UNCG.

Susanne Vergara

Student Advisor

Having studied abroad in England and France, while at university, Susanne sought work at an international company, hoping for an opportunity to live abroad again and discover more of the world! Her career at IBM, as a technical writer and project manager led to an amazing three-year international assignment in the south of France. While at IBM, Susanne thoroughly enjoyed working with colleagues from all over the globe, including China. After leaving IBM, in 2008, Susanne chose to engage her passion for Education and working with students. She has worked with high school students as a substitute teacher and tutor, and with college students as an instructor, academic advisor, and career counselor. In 2016, she completed a master’s degree in college counseling and student development from NC State. In her spare time, she serves as a volunteer career coach at Triangle Dress for Success and tutors students at a Durham middle school for at-risk boys.

Adam Aultowski

Program Coordinator and Student Advisor

Adam’s interest in international education dates back to the summer 2003 when he participated in a faculty-led program at the University of Cambridge. Since then, he has experienced a homestay as an exchange student in Japan, completed his master’s degree in Turkey, and undertaken an intensive language course in Poland. He has also worked on the other side of international education as an English language instructor in Japan, Turkey, and the United States. Prior to joining New Mind in the fall of 2017, Adam served as the English Language Fellow in Battambang, Cambodia, where he trained future English teachers in linguistics and teaching methodology. After having spent so many years abroad, Adam arrives eager to assist international students undertaking academic pursuits in his home state.

Lys Lin

Advising Coordinator and Student Advisor

Lys Lin is the advising coordinator at UPP at NC State in New Mind Education. Having been an English teacher in Taiwan for several years, Lys went to University of Pennsylvania for graduate school to truly understand her students and find the best practice. She majored in Human Development and Reading/Writing/Literacy, and found herself highly interested and motivated in multicultural issues and international student experiences, especially with adolescents and young adults.

Lys has been working in a girls’ boarding school in Virginia for two years before joining New Mind. The experience of American high school life inspired her as an educator to have a board global world view. While challenging the status quo, she is always asking herself what she can do more. Thus she seeks new challenges and adventures that allows her to explore her potential as well as serve students with best practice.

Energetic and perceptive are how people around Lys would describe her. Caring and reflective is what she sees herself at work. Lys enjoys traveling and diving into different cultures. So far, South America is the only continent missing from her travel map.

Thorburn Duryea

Academic Coordinator and Student Advisor

Passion for education and a desire to help students succeed are the cornerstones of Thor’s education philosophy. He has 15 years of teaching, advising, and curriculum development experience in the USA and around Asia.

Thor began his studies in English and Journalism at the University of Georgia. After earning his B.A., he worked for newspapers around the southeast. In 2005, he followed his passion for teaching to South Korea, where he taught elementary school and middle school. Then he returned to America and entered the University of Missouri to study Education. He holds an M.Ed. From Mizzou in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum. After that he joined the faculty at Seoul National University of Education where he taught education theory and methodology.

Thor’s research interests include developing new ways of promoting student engagement and implementing inclusive curriculum for a wide variety of students.

Megan Gunderson

Associate Director

Megan’s passion for cross-cultural relations was sparked during her first overseas experience in Nepal in 2004. After two months, she returned to the United States with a new perspective and the drive to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and International Affairs from Rollins College. During her Master’s program in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Connecticut, she solidified her desire to continue her career in international education while serving as the Assistant Director of the First Year International Study Abroad Program in Cape Town, South Africa. Before joining New Mind Education, Megan taught in or traveled to over 20 countries including: China, the Republic of Georgia, South Korea, Spain, Armenia, Peru, Croatia, Indonesia, and Hungary. Megan is grateful she can utilize her background in her work with the unique community of students and staff at New Mind.

Wei Li

Marketing Manager

Wei leads marketing communications and branding at New Mind. She arrived at New Mind with extensive education, media and marketing experience in both China and the U.S. She holds a bachelor’s degree in translation from Sichuan International Studies University in China and a master’s degree in Communication from North Carolina State University. Wei taught public speaking at NC State and worked on business development projects for interactive entertainment companies at a Raleigh marketing agency. Wei grew up in Suzhou, China where she interned with the local television station and received intensive training in news writing and reporting. She volunteered with the education and outreach programs at the local art museum. Wei’s mission is to help bridge the communication gap between Chinese and American stakeholders and bring supporters closer to the New Mind cause.

Le To

Admissions Coordinator and Student Advisor

Le is originally from Hanoi, Vietnam. At 16, she left her home country to come to the U.S. by herself as a high school student, staying with host families. After finishing high school, she attended Elon University in N.C. and graduated with honors from Elon with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administrations. Being an international student in the U.S. for almost 6 years, she totally understands the difficulties that international students have to face while studying in this country: language difference, culture shock and homesickness. She also has the experiences of how to independently overcome those challenges, make the most out of the study-abroad opportunity and become successful. Before joining New Mind, Le worked in Business Development for a software company in downtown Raleigh. She joined New Mind Education with the hope to bring her experiences and wisdom to help the students become more confident and excel themselves in a diverse place like America.

Caroline Cornish

Program Coordinator and Student Advisor

Caroline brings a few years of experience but a lifetime of passion towards learning about the diverse people and places of this world. Some of her first experiences abroad included field schools to Costa Rica and Malta, and on her own she traveled throughout Europe and the Caribbean. More recently she turned her eyes towards Asia, where she lived for six months in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2013. Caroline received her B.A. in Anthropology from Clemson University, and is a certified TESOL instructor. In her spare time, she loves being in nature, listening to music, playing video games, and practicing a form of self-defense called Krav Maga.

At New Mind Caroline fulfills several roles which include: student advisor, teacher, curriculum designer, and student life coordinator. In the summer, she is the project leader of New Mind Academy, where she assists Chinese high school students in their college selection and application process. Caroline has a relaxed and casual style and loves to joke around, but also takes her work to help students very seriously!

Erin Holloway

Operation Specialist and Student Advisor

Erin has been with New Mind since January, 2015. She graduated summa cum laude from NC State University in May, 2015 with degrees in English: Language, Writing and Rhetoric as well as General Anthropology. In the summer of 2014, she studied abroad at the Thai Ethnographic Field School in Bangkok, which honed her field research, ethnography and cross-cultural competency skills. This experience gave her a taste of the culture shock and challenges that New Mind students face in UPP. She now utilizes her skills in organization to establish internal programming and staff support.

Debbie McGrath

Finance and Human Resources

Debbie McGrath, a North Carolina CPA, has over 20 years’ financial and human resources leadership experience. Debbie has worked with start-ups and growth companies, creating business processes and plans, cost management and cash flow issues, helping achieve a comfort level in the business’ financial position. At New Mind, Debbie is responsible for the coordination of the finance and human resources areas, in areas such as on-boarding of employees, daily and monthly financial functions, financial reporting and forecasting, business processes and procedures and organizational structure. Prior to starting with New Mind, Debbie was Controller at Lulu Press, Inc., a top ranked self-publishing site. Additionally, she served at the Director of Finance at FormScape, Inc., a global software solution company.

Tiffany Merritt

Program Coordinator and Student Advisor

Tiffany Merritt came to North Carolina from a small island in Alaska to study Criminology and Chinese at UNCG in 2011. She completed her bachelor’s degree in 2014 and later went on to finish her master’s degree in criminology in the spring of 2017. During her undergraduate studies, she became an intern for New Mind Education and discovered her passion for Chinese students and Chinese culture. She enjoys speaking Mandarin with the students and helping them attain higher levels in English. She currently oversees student affairs and parent communication in her new role as Program Coordinator.

Susan Chuang

Associate Director

Susan leads the curriculum and operations efforts for international student development at New Mind. She earned her master’s degree in college counseling and student development from N.C. State University and received her certification as a National Certified Counselor in 2014. During her study, she worked closely with both American and international students at Duke University and N.C. State, helping students identify appropriate career paths, embark on the job search process and transition from school to the business world. Now, she serves as Associate Director at University Performance Program at NC State in New Mind Education, supporting first-year international students’ transition into NC State campus, North Carolina community, and beyond. As an international career counselor, her mission is to empower students to explore different cultures, grow in their professionalism and become change agents for themselves and the world around them.

Michael Chen

Managing Director

When Michael talks about the interconnected global economy, he’s speaking about his life. He has managed businesses in North America, Europe and East Asia, giving him keen insight into cross-cultural collaboration. His valuable perspective on leadership grew out of working in a variety of cultures and markets.

Previously, Michael was Chief Operating Officer at Lulu.com, the world leading online publishing platform. Prior to joining Lulu, Chen was VP of Global Market Development, and VP of Corporate Marketing at Red Hat, where he led the corporate brand, global communications, customer experience management, online strategy and community affairs. Additionally, he was previously the General Manager of Red Hat Greater China, and a key member of Red Hat’s Asia-Pacific management team where he contributed significantly to Red Hat’s global marketing and sales strategy.

Michael never hesitates to give back, devoting some of his time and energy to the public sector. He serves as strategic adviser for the China Council in the Governor’s Office; Board Director of the International Affairs Council; and Strategic Adviser for the Computer Science Department at NC State University. His success building sustainable business models to drive social and business bottom lines has helped fuel his passion for education.