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Group of CU international and MK students

International students find leadership opportunities at Cedarville University

by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer

The diverse group hails from 27 different countries, some never having visited the United States, let alone Cedarville, Ohio, but the international students attending Cedarville University are having an impact far from home.

Seventeen of Cedarville’s 51 international students hold visible leadership positions on campus, with many others often getting involved behind the scenes along with their peers. Four are serving as resident assistants on campus, one as vice president of the CU Rugby Club, five as officers in the Multicultural and International Student Organization (MISO), one serves on the Student Government Association (SGA), one serves as president of the Cedarville chapter of the American Pharmacists Association (APA) and four serve as officers in Mu Kappa, an organization for missionary kids and international students.

“I decided to run for the position because I am passionate about leadership and mentoring at the student level,” said Myriam Shaw, sixth-year pharmacy student from New Delhi, India, APA Cedarville chapter president and regional officer in the APA Academy of Student Pharmacists. “I also think that my unique cultural background brings a different style of leadership and way of thinking to the table at the school of pharmacy. I love the ability to mentor the group of fellow officers I work with, and I hope to leave a legacy for other student pharmacists to take on leadership roles as well.”

“I think relationship has a lot to do with students thriving and returning, especially in the international demographic.” said Brenda Reid, coordinator of international student services. “They build relationships with other students during orientation and they have a relationship with me, as their advisor. All of that helps build a sense of accountability and security, as well as a sense of belonging. Relationship, trust, and community all support thriving and persistence.”

International student services boasts a 100 percent retention rate for 2017 and 2015, and 13 international alumni are currently working in their degree field for one year on their student visa, called Optional Practical Training (OPT).

“The fact that I get to serve the student body by building community is one of my favorite things,” said Indhira Adames, a junior social work major from the Dominican Republic and the SGA campus community director. “I wanted a job that could allow me to impact the student body in a new way. Since I felt that there were many voices not being heard or represented, I decided to apply for a position that gives me the opportunity to do that.”

“I love the opportunity to meet people and tell them that I am here for them,” said Gavin Lothian, junior youth ministries and Christian education major from the Cayman Islands who serves as chaplain for Mu Kappa. “I love hearing that so many international students are involved! I would tell them to keep doing what they love and to put God at the forefront of all they do.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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