PEMBROKE — The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is committed to providing a global environment for students and faculty.
Dr. Cathy Lee Arcuino shares the same pledge. In fact, it is her passion. Arcuino was recently hired as associate vice chancellor for Global Engagement.
In recent years, UNCP has focused on increasing the international student population. This fall, 74 international students on campus represent 20 different countries. Arcuino wants to see that upward trend continue.
“I was so excited to come here because I feel there is so much opportunity and potential to build on all that UNCP has to offer. I am really looking forward to being able to bring more visibility to global engagement.”
Arcuino believes global experiences strengthen an education.
Her vision for the Office of Global Engagement — formerly International Programs — encompasses five phases.
The refreshed office will focus on creating global opportunities the university can provide for local students; expanding study abroad opportunities; strengthening services offered to UNCP’s international student population; providing support for faculty, allowing them to bring global experiences and resources into their classrooms; and increasing the number of international students on campus.
“Dr. Arcuino has dedicated her career to the global community at several institutions of higher education,” said Provost David Ward. “The wealth of global experience she brings to the student population at UNC Pembroke will project our Global Engagement Office to new heights. We are excited to welcome Arcuino to the OGE team. Her strong experience and understanding of international education will be a valuable asset to our university.”
She brings 19 years of higher education experience, most recently at North Seattle College where she served as executive director of International Programs. She held similar roles at Pittsburg State University and Otero Junior College.
In addition, she taught English for several years in Thailand, Poland and Japan. For two years, she served as project manager for the International Research and Exchange Board, a non-governmental organization in Bishkek, Kyrgystan, where she managed student and teacher exchange programs and led recruitment efforts.
In 2014, she was a Fulbright Scholar and participated in the International Education Administrators Seminar to Japan.
Since 2007, Arcuino has been heavily involved with NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. She is a NAFSA Academy graduate, a member of the NAFSA Trainer Corps, and was the Region II academy coach in 2016. She currently holds the position on the Knowledge Community for International Student and Scholar Services leadership team as the leadership cultivation coordinator.
Arcuino has given dozens of national presentations across the country and is a regular presenter at the NAFSA Regional Conference. She holds professional memberships with Kiwanis International and the Association of International Education Administrators.
Her passion for international education is rooted in her admiration of her parents — Joy and Reynaldo — who immigrated to the United States from the Philippines.
“I realized from a very young age what my parents did to immigrate here and how hard they worked to provide the education and upbringing that they didn’t get to have in the Philippines.”
A native of Fresno, Calif, Arcuino joined the Peace Corps, volunteering in Kazakhstan after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology from Loyola Marymount University. She later earned a master’s degree in education from Framingham State College and doctoral degree in education and human resource studies from Colorado State University.
“I joined the Peace Corps because I wanted to give back and help other families and students achieve their language and educational goals. I was lucky enough that my family was able to provide that education for me.
“I have a love and understanding of international education,” she said. “I didn’t just stumble into this career. This is a passion of mine.”
Arcuino has a three-year-old daughter, Mirasol.