International student director to leave KSU

Katie Roupe

Charles Nieman says that helping students is the best part of his job at Kent State.

Along with students, the faculty and staff he worked with as director of International Student and Scholar Services are what he said he will miss most when he leaves for a new position at the University of Pittsburgh.

Nieman will leave Kent State to become associate director of the Office of International Services at the University of Pittsburgh starting Monday.

“They are a group of incredibly big-hearted and very professional staff members,” Nieman said about his Kent State colleagues. At Kent State, Nieman worked with international students as well as foreign scholars and faculty at Kent State. His main duties included overseeing immigration for international students.

Nieman came to Kent State after retiring from the military. He began as the director of ROTC in 1994. The following year, he became the director of International Student and Scholar Services.

Now it’s time for him to move on. Nieman said he sees the job at Pittsburgh as the next step in his career.

“I think it reaches a point in anyone’s career where you are looking at the next level and how you can not only broaden your own skills, but grow with an institution and a position, and it seemed an awful good opportunity,” Nieman said.

His position at Pittsburgh will include working with international students, international scholars, international research and public relations. Nieman said his new position is an expansion of his current job.

Kent State currently has about 800 international students on campus. The University of Pittsburgh’s international program has about 2,000.

Nieman said he hopes to make a difference at the University of Pittsburgh.

“I would hope that my presence there would somehow contribute to the overall support that the international population gets,” Nieman said. “I hope that I would be able to make a difference in some lives.”

David Clubb, director of the Office of International Services at the University of Pittsburgh, said hiring Nieman was an easy decision.

Debra Lyons, currently an Exchange Visitor Program specialist at Kent State, will be the program’s interim director while a permanent replacement is found. The office hopes to have the position filled by January.

Even though Lyons said she is looking forward to the challenges of her new position, she added that Nieman’s expertise will be missed.

“He was instrumental in building the number of international students here,” Lyons said.

An adviser for international students will be appointed to help handle the workload in the International Affairs office.

There will be a farewell reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m. today in Room 313 of the Student Center.

Contact honors and international affairs reporter Katie Roupe at [email protected].