Global Engagement Center hires new director of International Students and Scholar Services

Rosemary Yargici, director of International Students and Scholar Services in her office, Tuesday March 7, 2023. PHOTO BY MINQI KONG

Chloe Sapienza| Staff Writer| csapienza@defenderadeleon

Rosemary Yargici, the new director of International Students and Scholar Services was recently hired to engage with and support international students on campus. It’s been one year since the center has had a director. 

Yargici earned a Master’s in Education and a B.B.A in Marketing and is fully bilingual in Spanish and English. After college, she went on to work for Central Texas College’s Pacific Far East Campus (Japan Headquarters), and Central Texas College- Main Campus in Killeen, Texas. While working for Central Texas College, she held several positions including director of International Student Services. Most recently, she worked as a second-grade teacher in a school district in San Antonio, Texas. She is also originally from Puerto Rico.

In past years, Yargici traveled around the world, living in many different countries because of her husband who was in the military. This allowed her to experience a lot of cultural diversity. “From my personal experience living abroad has made me a better person by getting to interact with other countries, and it was such a humbling experience,” Yargici said 

Yargici’s husband retired this past year, giving them more freedom to choose where they wanted to live. They wanted a place that would suit their lifestyle better, so they decided to look into moving to Vermont. When looking for houses online, Yargici said a St. Michael’s advertisement came across her feed and grabbed her attention. 

“The way the alumni was talking about the college, and the vibe that the people speaking gave was very real in a world that everything looks staged or rehearsed, the testimonials looked very honest, and that’s something meaningful to me,” Yargici said. After seeing this advertisement, she went on to the college’s website and saw an opening for the director of international students and scholar services and knew it was a perfect fit. 

Now that she has entered this position, her role consists of helping international students with their visas and connecting with Homeland Security and other agencies. However,  Yargici mainly sees her job as helping international students feel welcome and connecting with U.S. students to continue to globalize the community. 

 “She’s a wonderful addition, she loves students and has worked in various different settings in school systems,” said Jeffrey Ayres, director of the Center of Global Engagement.  “I think she’s going to do a really wonderful job of combining her role with two key responsibilities, one of them is overseeing international student visas and immigration concerns but also having someone here you can collaborate with other people in the center and different offices on campus to help broaden international students’ experiences on campus.”

Since her position was unfilled for approximately one year, other offices had to step in for the missing pieces that her job requires. Since she’s been here, Yargici said she has been working to put those pieces back into her office so the students can have a set place to go to when they need help with living, advice, opportunities, and internships. 

Yargici plans for the future include helping and supporting international students with requirements that need to be managed by her to make sure they are all set to be a student at St. Michael’s. Additionally, she also has to make sure these students have all their papers in order for them to do things outside of their majors. 

 Yargici’s position as director of international student and scholar services is part of the Center for Global Engagement.  It’s a place where international students can go when they need any type of help and a place where students from the United States can go to expand their global educational experience. There are six offices in this center that students can visit based on what requirements they need.

 The center includes the head Director of the Global Engagement Center Jeffery Ayres, Director of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Fellowships Patricia Siplon, Associate Director of International Admission Lisa Lagerquist, Director of the Study Abroad Program Peggy Imai and Peace Corps Prep Coordinator Allison Cleary.

“A main goal for the center is to aim to have a better international life on campus for people to see the value of connecting with other cultures, through that we create more understanding in our differences which allows us to connect into things that we agree on,” Yargici said. “I hope that our international student population continues to increase and have a strong presence on this campus.” 

Starting in the fall, Yargici’s office will provide international student orientation, and also many different programs for the students.