International Newsletter

Alumnus of the Month: Mark Li - Kazakhstan

By Mark Li, November 28, 2017

My story began in late August of 2012, the time when I became a Green River College student. I spent my first quarter taking Intensive English courses, which was very exciting because I got to meet people from many different places. My time at Green River got even more exciting after I started working in the International Programs (IP) office as a student receptionist. The IP staff was always supportive and encouraging so it was a great opportunity for me to develop professional skills that became extremely beneficial later in life. When I first registered for academic courses, I was quite frightened because I had no clue what career pathway would correlate with my interests. Fortunately, my academic advisors pointed me in the right direction and made sure that I succeeded in my academic life. They contributed significantly to my academic life by planning out my courses and taking care of the transfer process.

Upon completion of my Associate in Science degree, I transferred to a four-year institution in Minnesota, called St. Olaf College. During my time at Green River, I noticed that most of my peers were unfamiliar with a majority of liberal arts colleges, including St. Olaf. While big universities such as UCLA and UW provide a wide spectrum of courses, small liberal arts colleges make it more accessible for students to gain professional experiences and allow students to easily connect with their professors on a more personal level. At St. Olaf College, I joined a research laboratory, which helped me realize that I wanted to pursue a professional career in Biology.

photo of Green River College alumnus Mark Li working in a labratory

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Cell and Anatomy at the University of Iowa. My graduate training incorporates academic courses during the first two years with laboratory research that continues throughout the entire program. Besides hard work and creativity, communication is one of the most essential components of graduate school. Nowadays, people from all over the world pursue their Ph.D. careers in the United States. Thus, being able to understand and respect different perspectives is a key element in the professional world. Personally, Green River played an important role in expanding my cultural background. The rich and diverse community of Green River truly propels cultural exchange between students and faculty.

I believe that it is vital to realize the importance and challenge of finding your niche in this world. For me, it all started with my dream to intellectually contribute to our society. However, believing that my dream could become true was challenging, as I, like many others, had moments of doubt. Luckily, the Green River community and staff shared my enthusiasm and guided me. They created an environment in which I could feel more comfortable and clearly see my goals. If I were to give a piece of advice to future and current Gators, I would say to constantly explore your surroundings and never be afraid of failure. There will be moments when it feels like nothing is going your way and there‚Äôs nothing you can do to fix it, but the people at Green River will always get you back on your feet, as long as you reach out to them.

Recent News

Alumna of the Month: Dream Jang - South Korea

January 26, 2018

photo of Green River College alum Dream Jang

Dream Jang came to Green River in the fall of 2010 and graduated in June 2013 with her high school diploma and AB degree. She transferred to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majored in Political Science and graduated in June 2015 with her Bachelor’s degree. She now works full-time in the field of International Cooperation Development and at the same time is pursuing her Master’s degree in Korea.

Important Information

January 26, 2018

a photo of Wendy Stewart

Happy New Year! On behalf of all of us here at Green River, we thank you for your partnership. Working in close partnership with you, in 2017 we welcomed and supported 1600 students from over 60 countries. Green River now ranks #8 in the US among community colleges in international enrollment. Thank you!