The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.

Global Scholars Residence Hall has new manager

February 4, 2018

New manager relates to international student culture shock 

The Center for Global Scholars, the new residence hall for international students at Pierce College, opened its doors to welcome students from around the world in fall 2016. In December, Wendi Maze was hired as its new resident manager.

Maze’s job is to bridge the gap between students and the college, as well as ease the transition for international students coming into a new and foreign community.

Myung Park, executive director of International Education, said the hiring process took five committee members including herself, the ratio formulated by Human Relations.

Among the 20 candidates who met minimum qualifications and passed screening, six were chosen for first interviews through Skype. After three more interviews, Maze was chosen to carry out the mission cultivating a thriving learning community at the center, Park said.

Mary Meulblok, manager of International Student Service, said the Center for Global Scholars plays a big role for students by providing a safe place, a community. Often international students go through culture shock and being in an intentional community can help them understand and cultivate growth that will help them meet their goals while they are here getting an education.

Sammy Tang, an international student from Hong Kong who has lived in the residence hall for a month now, said the most beneficial part of his experience living in the residence hall is the community and meeting fellow students who live with him.

Maze has experienced being a foreigner when she lived in Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. Commenting on culture shock, Maze said, “It’s exhausting. Not like you bad I am good.”

Myung Park and Mary Meulblok are excited about vision for the residence hall. Andrew Paulson/Staff Photo

She said people often feel at ease with what they are familiar with. Then she shifted to what it like to navigate through cultural differences.

“I don’t want to mess up; I don’t want to offend you,” Maze said.

The Center for Global Scholars’ vision is to create a community of conversations, communicating, bringing up differences to celebrate — and to learn from one another. The goal is not just have a local vision, but moving forward from neighbors to nation, and to look globally.

Maze said broadening her perspectives caused a shift in thought.

“We would like to think that somehow we could be superhuman, and we will never have prejudice, but it is not reality. I now think of the world,” she said.

To educate students about differences to bring understanding, the Center for Global Scholars will hold quarterly workshops and RA-created events to provide a space for encouraging international and domestic students to be out of their comfort zones and to dive into unfamiliar situations, showing respect for all involved.

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