The New Mind Team

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

President

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Megan Gunderson

PROGRAM COORDINATOR AND Advisor

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 Debbie McGrath

finance and human resources

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Dalhya Lusk

Senior Advisor

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Susanne Martin

Advisor

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Caroline Cornish

Advisor

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Enoch Chow

program director

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Jennifer Nelson

ACADEMIC COORDINATOR AND Advisor

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Mary Walker

senior Advisor

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Tiffany Merrit

Program Coordinator and Advisor

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Xizi Liao Blackwell

Advisor

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Alex Brooks

Advisor

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Susan Chuang

Career Edge Program Director

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Wei Li

MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST

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Juan Sun

Senior Advisor

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Erin Holloway

Program Coordinator AND Advisor

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Le To

Advisor

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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.

 

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Jennifer Nelson
ACADEMIC COORDINATOR AND ADVISOR

Dedicated to creating dynamic and innovative environments to foster diverse perspectives, Jennifer is a licensed English teacher with ten years of experience teaching, advising and collaborative curriculum planning. She has a passion to help students realize their potential and make their voices heard.

Jennifer earned her B.A. in English from the University of Missouri (MU) and her M.S. in Education from Indiana University (IU). While completing her Professional Educator’s License, Jennifer completed a life-changing cultural immersion teaching experience in New Zealand. After teaching in the United States, Jennifer spent eight years abroad at international schools working with grades 6-12.

During her five years at the Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) she managed, trained and collaborated with teachers and Administration as Head of the English Department. She worked closely with the core subject teachers as a member of the accreditation team for successful International Baccalaureate (IB) authorization. In addition to being the IB Extended Essay Coordinator, she also became certified in three Diploma Program (DP) courses. As High School Student Council, Pep Club and grade-level advisor, she loved seeing all the creative ways her students would work together to unite and inspire the school community.

At the International School of Belgrade (ISB), an IB World School, Jennifer expanded her knowledge of the IB program through certifications in the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) and IB DP Language & Literature course. Over her three years as co-coach for the High School Speech & Debate team she cheered the commitment, spirit and talent of all her students as they earned seven individual medals and were named overall Debate Champions.

After travel to thirty-eight countries, she is grateful for the connections she has made with people and places and feels fortunate that the world, especially her students, have become her teachers.

 

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Wei Li
Marketing Communications Specialist

Wei develops the marketing outreach to New Mind’s Chinese partners, students and parents. 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.

 

Alex Brooks
Advisor

Alex brings to New Mind a passion for international education and cross-cultural relations. She received a B.A from Drake University in Anthropology and Sociology with a Minor in English and has her TESOL Certification. In the fall of 2012 she crossed the Pacific for the first time and landed in China, where she taught English majors at Tianjin Normal University. Her contract was initially for one year, but only six months in she knew that would not be enough time. She decided to stay longer and also began teaching at Tianjin Senior Citizen University, where retired Chinese could continue their education. While in China, Alex had the opportunity to travel to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Mongolia. Each new place came with a unique set of challenges, learning experiences, and unforgettable moments. Finally returning to the US in 2014, she brought back with her the desire to continue working with the international community.

 

Le To
Advisor

Le is originally from Hanoi, Vietnam. She started learning English as her second language when she was in 6th grade. She shared that it took her a lot of effort and time to study and got better at reading, writing, speaking and listening to this foreign language. While studying English, she always hoped one day, she would be able to go and study abroad in a country in which she can speak this language all the time to master at it. The United States was her final choice. At 16, she left her home country to come to the U.S. by herself as a high school student and stayed with a host family. After finishing high school, she attended Elon University in N.C. In 2015, she 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
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. Forever enchanted by the unknown, travelling and networking with international students is now her chosen path in life. She has cultivated her teaching experience through several avenues including TEFL for Buddhist monks in Thailand as well as teaching English to Clemson’s international graduate students on campus. As a recent graduate herself, who has both interned with international student service administration and worked with the students themselves, her wholesome knowledge of international service comes full circle.

 

Xizi Liao Blackwell
Advisor

Xizi was born and raised in Shanghai, China where she discovered the existence of an even more fascinating world out there. While studying Business and Enterprise Management at Wake Forest University, she was an active student leader involved in various organizations. Her passion in working with international students and global education led her to pursue a Master’s degree in College Student Development while working as a Residence Director at Appalachian State University. Xizi has a proactive advising style as she assists students to be realistic in managing expectations, and building resiliency and strengths. She strives to be a reflective-practitioner, who also incorporates and translates learned theories into her own practice.

 

Erin Holloway
Program Coordinator AND Advisor

After interning for only a month, Erin successfully took on her former supervisor’s duties and finished the Spring ‘15 semester strong as Student Life Coordinator. She graduated summa cum laude from NC State University in May, 2015 with degrees in English: Language, Writing and Rhetoric and General Anthropology. In the summer of 2014, she studied abroad at the Thai Ethnographic Field School in Bangkok, where she 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. Erin has always had a passion for supporting fellow students: Throughout her college experience, she has mentored and tutored classmates and paid particular attention to shy or foreign exchange students. Her empathy, creativity and enthusiasm empowers her advisees to try new things. Being heavily involved with campus events, student jobs, and student organizations, she continues to promote experiential learning and cultural exchange between UPP students, NC State and the surrounding community.

 

Mary Walker
Senior Advisor

Mary combines more than two decades of teaching with the experience of living and studying abroad. While majoring in International Studies and English Literature at UNC Greensboro, she studied in Costa Rica. She studied forestry in Seattle while getting her teaching license and then moved to Europe, living in France, Germany and Spain. Mary returned to Greensboro to teach, where she gained extensive experience teaching students from other countries. She aims to introduce her students to North Carolina’s natural beauty by sharing her love of the outdoors, camping and hiking.

 

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Juan Sun
Senior Advisor

Juan has committed herself to English education, global cultural learning and teaching throughout her education and career in China and the U.S. She graduated from Changchun Normal University in 2008 with a B.A. in English education. She then taught English across all ages in Beijing for about four years. Now she is completing her master degree on Teacher Education and Higher Education at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research concentrates on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Additionally, Juan is a volunteer tutor at Reading Connections and INTERLINK in Greensboro, and has taught English to students who speak Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. Juan grew up in Shandong, China. She is passionate about helping New Mind students to achieve both academic and life success in America. She believes that New Mind provides her a great opportunity to help students with diverse backgrounds to learn how to be global citizens.

 

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Debbie McGrath
Finance and Human Resources

Debbie McGrath, a North Carolina CPA, has over 20 years experience in financial and human resources leadership. 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 finance and human resources, 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.

 

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Tiffany Merrit
Program Coordinator and Advisor

Tiffany can truly relate to our students as she is 3,000 miles away from her home in Alaska, where she earned her college tuition working on her father’s commercial fishing boat. She came to UNC-G to complete a Criminology major and Chinese minor in 2011. Being in school in North Carolina gives her a unique perspective because she can relate to the different struggles students may have in adapting to college life so far away from home. Even though she came from a high school of only 110 students, she was able to learn how to be successful at a school of 18,000 students and made the pool of the top 40 students at UNCG in 2014.

She started with New Mind in 2013 as the Mandarin Corner language practice coordinator. Currently she oversees Student Life events and is training to be an advisor. After she graduates in December, she will be a full-time advisor for New Mind to help students become successful in their studies along with helping them to become mature adults.

 

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Susanne Martin
Advisor

Susanne doesn’t just immerse herself in books, she publishes them. She holds Masters degrees in both Library Science and Book Arts and operates a small press out of her house where she prints and binds limited edition letterpress books. A former librarian, Susanne also taught English as s Second Language in public schools and community college. These experiences and jobs helped to satisfy her lifelong thirst for knowledge about other countries. She enjoys sharing her expansive knowledge about the U.S. with her students on an individual basis, as she watches them grow and mature into future leaders and citizens of the world.

 

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Dahlya Lusk
Senior Advisor


As an international educator and nature enthusiast, Dalhya brings to New Mind years of curriculum development and cross-cultural teaching experience. She believes in encouraging others to live outside their comfort zones to promote greater personal growth. Prior to working as an educator, Dalhya worked as a geologist and repeatedly found herself creating environmental learning opportunities for others. After receiving her B.S. in Geology from NCSU, Dalhya decided to pursue international education by studying a M.A. in Teaching Secondary Science from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has since taught in Virginia and Ecuador.
 
With her return from teaching in South America, she strives to support others as they pursue their unique, individual journeys to success. The scientist in her is ever-present, as she is passionate about motivating others to cultivate their sense of wonder and ask big questions in their lives. She is committed to helping others reach their highest potential while embracing the opportunities cultural diversity presents.

 

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Susan Chuang
Career Edge Program Director

Susan leads the Career Edge program 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. She has worked closely with both American and international students at Duke University and N.C. State for two years, helping students identify appropriate career paths, embark on the job search process and transition from school to the business world. After experiencing several unique challenges among international populations, Susan developed a series of career skills classes to demystify the task of finding and getting a job in America. 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.

 

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Enoch Chow
Program Director

Enoch is the mentor of mentors with extensive experience coaching and boosting academic performance among college and high school students. He strives to help students from all backgrounds find success in their studies and more importantly, in their lives. The term “high-energy” applies to about everything Enoch does as an entrepreneur and leader.
 
He grew up in an Asian household near Washington, D.C., and immersed himself in a variety of cultures, first at home and then around the world. He pursued an education in both Western and Eastern thinking, launching a world journey that took him from the University of Virginia, to Taiwan and other parts of Asia, and finally, to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his B.A. and M.S. while studying psychology, kinesiology, and counseling.

 

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Michael Chen
President

When Michael talks about the interconnected global economy, he’s also speaking about his own 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.

Michael never hesitates to give back, devoting some of his time and energy to the public sector. He serves as strategic advisor for the China Council in the Governor’s Office; Board Director of the International Affairs Council; and Strategic Advisor 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.