International House (IHouse)

About Us

The Mission of International House is to provide educational programs, services and advocacy to Duke global community on campus as well as outreach to the greater Durham area.  We offer extensive cross-cultural information and training to enhance the mission of the university.

The International House Team Charter is as follows:

We exist to build bridges, share cultural knowledge and encourage exploration by striving to recognize, value and celebrate diverse identities so that our engagement with different populations within spaces is impactful.     Spring 2019

IHouse Motto: Connect, Learn, Grow. 

IHouse Staff

Andromeda Connor, Office Coordinator
International House
2 Epworth Lane
Box 90417
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-684-3585
Fax:  919-684-8241
Meda.Connor@duke.edu

Andromeda Connor, known as Meda, is the Office Coordinator of the International House. She is the first point of contact at the I-House; her responsibilities include administrative, programming, and financial support. Andromeda has over fifteen years of payroll and financial support experience. Andromeda began working at Duke University in 1987, and has worked for: Student Affairs, Auxiliary Services and School of Medicine. She enjoys meeting new people and has never met a stranger.

Andromeda obtained her bachelor’s degree at the University of Mount Olive in Business Administration-Health Care Management. She is the mother of two young women Alisa and Terrisha, and one dog Hezekiah Walker. In her spare time, she enjoys family, church, traveling, movies, shopping and entertaining friends.

Esra Uzun Mason, Associate Director
International House
2 Epworth Lane
Box 90417
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-681-6080
Fax:  919-684-8241
esra.mason@duke.edu

As the Associate Director, Esra’s responsibilities include planning, designing, and leading trainings which promote intercultural awareness and skill building within the University and Medical Center. She acts as liaison representing International House working with various University and Medical Center centers and academic departments.  She supervises a Student Development Coordinator, supports their initiatives and planning for the International Undergraduate Orientation, and manages their professional development. She advocates for and advices international students, scholars and spouses with issues they present and leads new scholar orientation once a week.

Esra grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, and attended Istanbul University for her Bachelor's degree before moving to Greenville, North Carolina, to pursue a Master’s degree in English Studies at East Carolina University, focusing on Multicultural and Transnational Literature as well as Creative Writing. She completed her Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) in London, UK. Esra taught English for various purposes ranging from English as a Second Language to Academic Writing, and she enjoyed working with a plethora of students and instructors from different cultural and social backgrounds both in the US and overseas. Her cross-cultural experiences as a wanderlust traveler, a former international student, and an educator inspired her to explore other venues to continue to work with and for diverse groups by connecting them with resources, advocating for their concerns, facilitating conversations, and building strong relationships.

Esra loves hiking, traveling, reading, writing short stories, watching movies, cooking and trying new cuisines with her husband, attending local wine and beer tasting, playing with her two cats (Vincent and Sweet Dee), and spending quality time with family and friends. Apart from her travels within Turkey and North America, she has also visited Italy, Spain, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Cyprus, England, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia, Austria, and the Maldives – and hopes to visit many more places in the near future!

Ling Jin, Student Development Coordinator 

International House
2 Epworth Lane
Box 90417
Durham NC 27708
Office Phone: 919-613-0509
Fax:  919-684-8241
ling.jin@duke.edu 

As the Student Development Coordinator, Ling plans and organizes activities that support international students, scholars, and their families adjust to Duke and the surrounding communities, as well as counseling them with issues they present. The programs she is responsible for include the International Graduate and Professional Student Orientation, Global Engagement Program, Duke Language Partners Program, English, Spanish and Chinese conversation clubs, and International Friends Program. She also works with other university offices, departments and community organizations to develop programs that promote intercultural awareness and understanding. Prior to joining IHouse, Ling worked as the program coordinator at Duke’s Asian/Pacific Studies Institute, serving both international graduate students coming to Duke and American undergraduate students studying abroad in China.

Ling grew up in Shanghai, China and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Hong Kong, where she lived for over 7 years and considers her second home. In 2014, Ling moved to North Carolina – her third home now – to pursue a master’s degree in East Asian Studies at Duke. Her academic focus was cultural studies and cultural anthropology, and she wrote her master’s thesis on an anti-capitalist activist network in Hong Kong and East Asia. Ling now lives in Apex with her husband, a proud middle-school science teacher, and their cat Conrad, a proud midday nap taker. She enjoys hiking, watching horror movies and comedy shows, listening to political and literary podcasts, reading, and playing board games. She is also a part-time English-Chinese translator and has published several fiction and nonfiction translation works in mainland China.

Lisa Giragosian, Director
International House
2 Epworth Lane
Box 90417
Durham NC 27708
Office Phone:   919-681-3922
Fax:  919-684-8241
lmg@duke.edu

As Director of International House, Lisa Giragosian provides leadership for the development, implementation and assessment of programs and policies that support international students, scholars, visitors and their families at Duke University and the Medical Center. While at Duke Lisa has chaired and served on the board of the North Carolina Association of International Educators. NCAIE is a professional organization of over 600 administrators, educators and community volunteers, committed to promoting the cause of international education in the state of North Carolina. In spring of 2008 Lisa received the Martha Fitch Trigonis Award for Excellence in International Education.

Lisa grew up in the Boston metropolitan area. She studied International Relations at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts and obtained her Master’s degree in International Education from the School for International Training in Brattleboro Vermont. Along the way Lisa was an exchange student at the University of Bristol, England and a visiting student at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca in Mexico. She spent one year as a Peace and Justice Intern working for the Palestine Human Rights Information Center in Jerusalem. A few places Lisa has traveled to include Bermuda, Cyprus, Bolivia, Romania, Ukraine, Armenia and of course Canada! In her spare time Lisa loves hiking in the area’s state parks or anywhere near water.

Paige Vinson, Assistant Director
International House
2 Epworth Lane
Box 90417
Durham NC 27708
Office Phone:   919-684-3253
Fax:  919-684-8241
paige.vinson@duke.edu

Paige is responsible for planning the International Parent/Family Orientation and managing IHouse service as well as International Friends Program.  In addition, she leads the Lunch and Learn Series for postdocs and scholars, as well as workshops for administrators and local business members. She assists the Assistant Director for Training & Outreach with cross-cultural training sessions.  She also moderates the Intl-House listserv and advises the Passport magazine staff.  In addition she counsels international students, scholars, and spouses with the issues they present.

Paige moved to North Carolina from her hometown of Austin, Texas where most of her family still resides.  After pursuing a BA in archaeology, and living and working abroad in pursuit of fossils and cross-cultural experiences, she returned to school to get her Masters in Education.  After teaching English as a Second Language for a number of years, she determined that her real passion was for assisting internationals in more ways than just acquiring English fluency.  She began working as a Program Coordinator for International House in September 2008, and has enjoyed every minute.

Paige lives with her family in Durham County.  She enjoys cooking (she can make a decent Spanish tortilla with local sweet potatoes), walking (ask her about her pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela and Mont St. Michel), enjoying a glass of wine with friends (she’s a big fan of big, bold zinfandels), playing with her daughter (Mancala is one of their favorite games), and supporting local farmers by shopping at the Durham Farmer’s Market.  She would love to see you there some Saturday morning.