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20 years of service, expanded Pierce College globally

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Dr. Cavendish with international students on the Occasion of Consular reception in Tacoma in Fall Quarter.

Dr. Patrick Cavendish served more than 20 years as International department in the college as director retired

Abdul Wahab
Contributing Writer

August 1st was a sad day for the International Education department at Pierce College. The director of the department Dr. Patrick Cavendish is retiring after more than 20 years of service, during which he built an excellent relationship with the international students and helped to expand the college’s reputation globally.

He started as a faculty member of the *Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL) in 1989 at Pierce and taught elementary Chinese. He became a director of the International Education department in 1992.

As the director, Cavendish holds the responsibility of middle management between the student government and the college staff, where he reports issues directly to the chancellor and reports to management about the department. His responsibility is to supervise the department and all the departmental staff under him.

Besides his supervising, the duties in which Cavendish performs are selecting the international students, sorting through the students’ visa issues, going through the immigration process, and carrying out other miscellaneous government official works.

“Usually students from 25 different countries come to learn [at] Pierce,” claims Cavendish. “Most of them are from Korea, Hong Kong, China, Saudi Arabia and Japan, but we also have students from Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and South Africa.”

Pierce accepted 286 international students in the spring 2012 quarter, and 292 students were admitted in the fall quarter prior. The trend, according to Cavendish, is that Pierce receives the highest number of international students in the fall and receives the fewest in the winter season as students don’t apply.

There are currently 193 international students from 22 different countries attending Pierce this summer. “I think it is a satisfactorily good number for us,” Cavendish says.

Cavendish’s message to the students here is that the keys to a successful life are having great goals, working hard, and maintaining a positive approach on life. He also suggests that students always keep a good memory of Pierce.

“Pierce College and its different departments try their best to achieve [the] best educational environment and successful student careers,” Cavendish praises. “[Pierce] also tries to provide the best facilities to its students, so it is the students’ responsibility to work hard for their academic life.”

Cavendish also states that sometimes the department needs the students’ help by making suggestions. “Every person in the department tries to do a good job. Let us know something is not quite right, because [otherwise] we don’t hear about it and we can’t fix it.”

Cavendish enjoyed being the director of the International Education department. He feels that the program has grown a lot in his time there and has become more diverse. He says he feels pride and joy when international students come back with great success in their pockets, especially those who started their academic life with poor English and a bitter struggle.

After a long run, Cavendish will be saying his farewells, leaving behind him a globally expanded Pierce as a result of the fruits of his labor.

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The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.
20 years of service, expanded Pierce College globally