Contributions Made and Challenges Faced by Foreign Born International Educators (FBIE) at Duke University: In Relating to Campus Internationalization

Mayumi Nakamura, School for International Training


This inquiry examines the contributions made and challenges faced by foreign born and educated staff members (FBIEs) working in the International Education (IE) offices at Duke University. Duke was chosen as the subject of this research because its leaders and staff have made tremendous efforts to internationalize the campus and promote diversity.

The study examines workplace contributions and challenges of FBIEs by analyzing their perspectives on and experiences relating to the university’s internationalization and diversity efforts, which are part of Duke’s recent strategic planning statement. The researcher compares these perspectives and experiences with those of US born and educated staff members, and assesses how the backgrounds of FBIEs shape the way they apply their skills, knowledge, and competencies in the workplace. While it is true that both FBIEs and US born and educated staff members share professional competencies enabling performance at similar professional levels, the research shows that FBIEs make contributions and face challenges that are unique to their FBIE backgrounds and characteristics. The findings of this research suggest that the skills and diverse perspectives of FBIEs may be utilized more widely to contribute to internationalization and diversity efforts on university campuses across the United States.