University Park, IL,
14:48 PM

International Faculty Drawn to Governors State's Mission

If you want to know whether the mission of Governors State University (GSU) resonates around the globe, just look at the new faculty hired in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) this fall.

Five of eight new CAS instructors hail from Ireland, Vietnam, New Zealand and China, joining the ranks of GSU faculty from Brazil, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, France, India, Jamaica, Latvia, Nepal, Nigeria, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

No matter their area of expertise, all new faculty are inspired by the university’s commitment to serve a new majority—first-generation students, students of color, returning adults, and veterans, said Dr. Jason Zingsheim, Division Chair for Communication, Visual and Performing Arts. “They’re all drawn to Governors State University’s mission,” he said.

Zingsheim and Dr. Mary Carrington, Division Chair for Science, Mathematics and Technology, announced the new international hires this month for CAS.

  • Heng Li, Assistant Professor of Mathematics (China)
  • Shukmei Oh, Visiting Instructor in Mathematics (China)
  • Liam Lanigan, Assistant Professor of English (Ireland)
  • Quang Ngo, Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication (Vietnam)
  • Alison Walls, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, (New Zealand)

Zingsheim said international faculty bring a range of diverse lived experiences and perspectives to the classroom. “This provides our students a greater breadth of, and access to, global perspectives on the topics they are studying,” he said. “As our world becomes increasingly connected across the globe, it becomes imperative for graduates to be global citizens and to be experienced in engaging with other global citizens.”

Carrington agreed.

“Our students benefit from having international faculty because the faculty often draw upon their worldwide experiences when teaching classes, whether it’s teaching students about land uses and biological conservation in Asia or about computer science advances in China. Also, many graduates will go on to professions in which they will produce products or services for a global audience. Our international faculty prepare our students to do just that,” she said.

“And our international faculty often have shared experiences with international students, and as a result may anticipate their unique needs.”

Drawing international faculty is a good sign for Governors State University, Carrington said. “I think Governors State is able to attract talent from around the globe because it has a diverse student body and faculty, its academic programs prepare students for professions in demand globally, and it is located in a major metropolitan center,” she said.

Zingsheim echoed the thought. “The fact that Governors State can attract talent from around the globe speaks to the value, appeal, and importance of the university’s mission to provide accessible and exceptional education, and also our institutional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” he said.