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UKIC / Office China Initiatives / Office of China Initiatives Welcomes Kathryn B. Todd as Coordinator

Office of China Initiatives Welcomes Kathryn B. Todd as Coordinator

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 | By Andrea Gils

The University of Kentucky Office of China Initiatives (OCI), a unit within the UK International Center, recently expanded to include a new employee position.

The position of coordinator of the OCI was created to support the office’s accomplishment of numerous current and future endeavors.  Established in early 2014, the OCI emerged from strategic discussions initiated by the UK International Center in Spring 2013 and from the recommendation of the International Advisory Council (IAC).  Under the leadership of Dr. Huajing Maske, executive director of the OCI and director of the UK Confucius Institute, the OCI collaborates with UK colleges and offices to enhance and support international Chinese student recruitment efforts, UK Chinese students’ success, and UK faculty in their China-related research and teaching, among other related initiatives.

Dr. Kathryn Todd, a native of Lexington and a Ph.D degree holder from UK’s College of Education, became OCI’s first coordinator.  Todd began her studies in international relations at Boston University and completed her bachelor’s degree in international studies from UK.  She received her master’s degree in business administration from UK’s One Year MBA program in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, where she was voted as the student “Most Likely to Empower Their Employees” by her MBA peers.  Her doctoral work examines the topics of a global competence survey development toward an Interdisciplinary in Education Sciences in the field of global education.  Todd has presented on global competence and other related topics at local, state, regional, and national conferences. Examples include the Graduate Forum of the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA)/National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (MWERA), and the Kentucky Innovations Conference. Todd is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  She has participated in international exchange programs in Japan, Scotland, Ireland, and France, and has also studied Arabic and French, and began learning Chinese during her doctoral program.

Prior to joining the OCI, Todd worked as a marketing coordinator and global aquaculture marketing manager at Alltech.  There, she carried out humanitarian efforts in Haiti, which influenced her decision to return to the education world to pursue a doctorate in the global education field.  While a doctoral student, she worked as a graduate assistant for the Office for International Engagement in the UK College of Education. During this time, she coordinated a UK campus visit and professional development program for a delegation from Jilin University, and helped facilitate a program for UK pre-service teachers to student-teach in China.  Todd then continued as a graduate assistant with the UK Confucius Institute, where she organized the Confucius Institute scholarship application process for UK students to study in China and coordinated a program for UK faculty to teach at one of UK’s partner universities.

“This is a tremendous opportunity that engages my professional, academic and life experiences to help connect UK and Chinese students and faculty as well as the UK and Kentucky communities with China,” Todd said. “I am honored and thrilled to work once again with Dr. Maske and the UKIC.”   “We are excited to welcome Kathryn to join our team as the coordinator of OCI,” Maske said. “Kathryn brings to our office her expertise in marketing, event planning, program development and her knowledge on global culture compentency.  I am very confident that she will contribute to the further success of OCI.”

Aligning closely with the 2015-2020 UK Strategic Plan, the OCI provides leadership in identifying, developing, facilitating and maintaining UK partnerships with Chinese institutions.  OCI works with UK colleges and offices to engage UK students, faculty and the Commonwealth in collaborations with China.  Along with its efforts to advance UK’s research and scholarship about China, OCI also provides customized support to Chinese students and scholars throughout their time at UK and beyond, to ensure their academic success, social/cultural integration and belonging.  OCI collaborates with Chinese partner universities on coordinating activities such as graduation and alumni events, as well as pre-departure orientations for new Chinese international students.  This office seeks to strengthen UK’s brand name recognition in China, and to link UK Confucius Institute related opportunities to broader UK international strategies and initiatives.