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Meet a Mentor: Sandy Canfield

January is National Mentoring Month. The GTI Mentorship Program aims to connect international students to working professionals in the NC State and local communities. Mentors are part of the PACK (Professional, Accessible, Compassionate, and Knowledgeable). Sandy Canfield is the assistant director of partnerships and resource development for the North Carolina Space Grant. She shares her thoughts about the benefits of mentoring in a brief Q&A.

Why did you decide to participate in the mentor program?
For over twenty years my career was focused in the international development field. I now represent a consortium of colleges and universities around the state to cultivate relationships with NASA and the aerospace industry. I was missing my global roots, and in addition have enjoyed prior elements of my career that included training, coaching and mentoring, so I thought that GTI would be a great fit for me.


What are the benefits of participating in the program? 
I focus on aerospace at NCSU which is very heavy in engineering. Working with a student in the College of Textiles has reminded me to look around and recognize all of the great work that NCSU is doing in other colleges. Being involved in the program has also helped me to share my experience, such as my career path and the decisions that I have made, with an up-and-coming young professional. I believe that all students can benefit from such relationships, and there is an added level of understanding that can be provided to our global students about the American working environment, from writing a resume to earning how to express your knowledge, skills and interests to an American employer. On a more personal level, DaXian has been a joy to get to know both in terms of her academic pursuits as well as her personality. I have immensely enjoyed getting to know her and spending time with her.


What are some challenges to overcome? 
The biggest challenge that we have had is finding the time to meet given both of our really busy schedules.


How does this program help you in your future career (for the mentee)? 
I did not become involved as a GTI mentor to advance my career. I simply felt it important to share what I could as a broader part of my professional and personal commitment to engage with students. But I believe it is an asset that I will proudly include as my career advances.
Professionals have a lot to share that can benefits students, but looking at my experience through the lens of a global student of today has reminded me to keep my skills and means of communicating fresh and up-to-date.


What advice would you have for future mentors/mentees?
Make a time commitment to get to know your student both academically and personally. Take the opportunity to learn about a new culture whether its the food, the arts, the politics and economy or whatever interests you. Learning is a life-long endeavor and mentors have a lot to share, as well as a lot to still learn.


Why do you think other professionals and/or students should get involved in a mentoring program? 
It is important to be part of a community. NCSU is a large ecosystem and being part of the GTI program creates a more intimate experience to network and explore. Students can benefit from having more experienced mentors who can give them their perspective on academic and career pathways, in addition to other parts of life such as family, work-life balance, etc. Professionals can benefit by being inspired by the energy and excitement of students. Being involved with DaXian has reminded me that there is still a lot in this world that I have yet to learn and explore, and that I can do so with fresh eyes and an open mind no matter where I am in my own career and life.


What have you learned from each other over the course of your mentoring relationship?
DaXian has helped me to find the best Chinese restaurants in the Triangle! She has also prompted me to look into research for biomedical bandages.


What are some of the highlights of your time together?
The highlight for me is her warm smile. She is such an engaging person and I simply enjoy her company. But I will never forget when her passport was temporarily lost, and how worried I was about her. My caregiver instinct kicked in!


To find out more about the program, visit

CENet Scholar Blog: Cómo se dice “may the Force be with you?”

Mauricio is the recipient of the CENet Study Abroad scholarship this semester. He’s spent the fall semester in Quito, Ecuador at Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

Here are two of his recent blog posts:

October – Colombia, Ecuadorian Indie Rock, Guayasamín Museum, & Frida Kahlo

November – Cuenca, Star Wars Party, Cuicocha, Otavalo, & Baños

See why Stars Wars is such a big deal for USFQ.

CENet Scholar Blog: September in Ecuador

“The month of September is proof that Ecuador is a mesmerizing, beautiful, and captivating country with so many different places to visit and learn from.” – CENet Scholar Mauricio Carrillo

Find out more about all the adventures Mauricio experienced during the month of September:


CENet Scholar Blog: Reflecting on a semester abroad

CENet Scholar Jael Garner spent last spring studying in Spain and recently spent some time reflecting on her semester abroad. Students who are interested in going abroad can attend the Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, October 12 from 10 am – 3 pm in the Talley Student Union Ballroom.

“Study abroad was one of the most amazing things I have decided to do so far in my life. Before it all started I didn’t really know what to expect, what the whole experience would be like or how it would even be like to live in Spain. I was able to make some of the most amazing friendships and connections in my life from class, city events, and at home. I studied in Madrid, Spain and there are many exchange students who do their “Erasmus” or study abroad experience there. I made a lot of Spanish friends but surprisingly my closest friends turned out to be Portuguese, French, German, and Australian.

My favorite things of the experience were the food, the fashion, and the travelling. I won’t lie I did miss the occasional Bojangles stop and other American type foods like ribs and such- but I did learn a lot of new recipes while I was there. My favorite foods were paella, jamon iberico, croquetas, and the Spanish tortilla OMG. The fashion was definitely different I am a fan of European fashion in general but when I first arrived it was so overwhelming. Everyone shops at Zara or Bershka among many other stores and it was always amazing to see students during class online shopping or even walking down Gran Via seeing all the people shopping. I soon fell in and starting going on a shopping craze as well because well come on its fashion. My last top favorite thing was the travelling. Flights are so cheap especially from the airline Ryanair where most my flights cost about 20 to 30 euros. While in Spain I travelled to Italy, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, France, Switzerland, England, Portugal and throughout Spain. Of course 20 euros per flight can add up if you travel a lot not to mention food and travel expenses within the country but it’s worth it definitely. I suggest if you plan on studying abroad in Europe to save a bunch of money to travel!!

My university was Universidad de Complutense. I am a Biology major and if you are in the sciences I really recommend studying abroad even though you think you might not be able to. The school was so different- it was very open aired with graffiti all over the building inside and out, the police aren’t allowed to enter the campuses, and there were often strikes. I clearly didn’t have a car so to get to my university I had to take the metro and then a bus to campus, like most students.

This opportunity was amazing and if I were given this opportunity again I would definetly do it. I recommend everyone to study abroad even if it is during the summer or spring break it is an unforgettable experience.”

2017 Intercultural Leadership Summit

On a beautiful football Saturday in September, twenty-four diverse students came together for a full-day training on topics of leadership and intercultural competencies. These students represent 11 nationalities and various multicultural backgrounds.

The Office of Global Engagement, along with the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service designed the Intercultural Leadership Summit as a student professional development opportunity during which students expanded their network, gained cultural competence, and developed skills for effective leadership.


Students work to identify potential gaps in cultural values and develop strategies for working successfully across cultural differences.

After completing the Summit, students have successfully completed the first three workshops of ten required for the Leadership Development Program and earned 7 hours of co-curricular credit for the Global Perspectives Certificate.

Find other opportunities from the Office of Global Engagement here:

Meet a Mentor: Tim Rhoads

The GTI Mentorship Program aims to connect international students to working professionals in the NC State and local communities. Mentors are part of the PACK (Professional, Accessible, Compassionate, and Knowledgeable). Tim Rhoads works in the field of supply chain consulting. He is the managing partner of Kelekent Systems, Inc. Tim became involved in the program because he has a passion for guiding people who are young in their careers or their roles and has previously mentored college students and new hires during his corporate career.

Tim’s experience with the mentorship program has been positive and beneficial:

“The program is new and evolving, but well organized and managed. A primary objective when I joined the program was for the time invested to be beneficial to both me and the mentee. That objective has been fully met from the very first meeting with Yuantong. The program structure both supports and enables the mentor / mentee relationship, and the time invested, to change focus as appropriate for the relationship. As Yuantong’s schedule and focus changed through the semester and he learned more about the area, we were free to adjust our objectives. Yuantong and I are excited to pursue more objectives as soon as he returns from his summer research project. From resumes to networking to professional references to internships our relationship has grown and opened more options to pursue this semester for our mutual benefit.”

To find out more about the program, visit

CENet Scholar Blog: Mauricio x2?

Mauricio is an NC State senior studying business administration and minoring in Spanish and international studies. He’s our CENet Scholar who is studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador this semester.

Read more about his first week and a half in a new country.