New International Students Director Jordan Anderson is a Trilingual Globetrotter
Jordan M. Anderson of Birmingham, Alabama, joined the Brenau University staff Nov. 5 as the director of international students and programs. The Mandarin- and Spanish-speaking Anderson comes to Brenau as the university completes is most significant international partnership agreement to date – a program negotiated with Anhui Normal Institute in China that will bring to the Georgia campus close to 160 Chinese residential students a year starting in 2016.
“Jordan possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge in working with international students,” said Vice President for Student Services Amanda Lammers. “Within her first five minutes of being on campus she made one of our Chinese students beam with joy by speaking to her in Mandarin. I know there will be many more smiles to come.”
Anderson will get lots of experience honing her language skills. Starting in 2016, thanks to a “2+2 agreement” with Anhui Normal University in which students spend the first two years of their undergraduate careers on campus in China and the last two years on campus in Georgia, Brenau will play host to up to 160 Chinese residential students at a time in the three-year cyclical program.
The first group of 27, whose members are already at work on their freshman years in China, are scheduled to begin their junior years in Gainesville in August 2016. The program then will add 40 students a year to the early childhood education teacher curriculum program and more with other studies until Brenau reaches a sustaining level of 160 Chinese students in Gainesville at a time.
They will not be the first Chinese students at Brenau. The university currently enrolls 20 Chinese students – 12 undergraduate and eight graduate students – on campus among its 82 international students.
However, in addition to her native English Anderson speaks Spanish, and she currently is adding German and Japanese to her linguistic repertoire. Prior to migrating to Gainesville and Brenau, Anderson lived in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She served since 2011 as the international student and scholar adviser at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. In that role, she advised the international students and their dependents on immigration and cultural adjustment issues, provided intercultural training on campus to faculty and staff, and planned and conducted orientations for visiting international scholars.
In 2007 Anderson received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa after double majoring in English and history with a minor in Spanish. During her undergraduate career, she studied literature at Oxford University in England in the summer of 2005 and Spanish and history at the University of Alcala, Spain, in 2006.
She went on to earn a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from Alabama and then a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The latter program involved her spending a summer in Beijing, China.
Her academic honors include a FLAS Summer Fellowship for Foreign Language and Area Studies at Duke and initiation into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society at Alabama.
Additionally Anderson has worked as a student processing assistant at Duke and a student archival assistant and a graduate assistant at Alabama. She has attended various educator conferences around the country as a presenter for multiple workshops.
“I am really excited to be at Brenau,” Anderson said. “There is so much potential to expand upon. I’m eager to help everyone – students, faculty and staff – have an international experience while at Brenau. International education is an important facet of higher education, and we are lucky to have an administration that understands and values that.”