Welcome to our second edition of the Global Gab! Each month, we will be highlighting one of our CGE staff members so you can love them as much as we do. Today we are showcasing Pato, our fantastic Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services.
Q: Pato, describe your job at the CGE.
A: As the Assistant Director of the International Student and Scholar Services, I work to help our international students feel welcome at UTC and in the U.S.
Some of the things I help with include the on-boarding and orientation process and the organization of the events and programs for the department. The main goal behind the events and programs is to expose the UTC campus community to our students’ cultures and to help bridge the gap between international and domestic students.
Q: Tell me something special about yourself that someone on campus might not already know about you.
A: Even though I might have an Asian appearance, I was actually born in Argentina to Taiwanese parents, and I’m trilingual. I am also obsessed with Ellen DeGeneres and won a free trip to see her show back in 2015 during her 12 Days of Giveaways. I really hope to meet her someday!
Q: Wow, you’re trilingual! Which languages do you speak?
A: I fluently speak Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and English.
Q: It sounds like you have a busy schedule! List some things you look forward to doing in your spare time.
A: I look forward to spending time with my family by traveling, watching movies, crafting in the form of quilling or painting by numbers, and playing board games like Catan, Scrabble, and Uno. My family also adores our nine-year-old dog, Saba. We adopted her last year as a retired service dog, and she knows so many tricks!
Q: Speaking of traveling, what’s one of your best travel memories?
A: While I was an international student in the U.S., I got the opportunity to study abroad in both Jamaica and the U.K. I also enjoyed a 10-year wedding anniversary trip to the Dominican Republic.
Q: During your international studies, what was something impactful that happened to you that changed the way you see the world, and how has that contributed to your role at UTC?
A: My personal upbringing in a two-culture household—having Taiwanese parents and speaking Mandarin at home and living in Argentina and using Spanish every day—has really shaped me into the person I am today. When I studied abroad in the United States, I had a lot of support, so these experiences have contributed to my passion for helping other international students to also feel welcomed and supported. I want them to feel like UTC is their home-away-from-home and to connect with domestic students by sharing their cultures together.