Limestone Working To Support International Students

Limestone College’s Division of Student Success recently appointed an International Student Liaison, Dr. John “Jack” Knipe, in an effort to support the global student population and highlight the multiple diverse backgrounds and cultures on campus.

Knipe coordinates events on campus to promote intercultural awareness. He also serves as the advisor of the International Club on campus, advising worldwide students on issues relating to academics, cultural practices, and social events at Limestone.

Along with other faculty members, Knipe offers transportation to international students for personal needs (groceries, banking, etc.). He also oversaw the recent rollout of a faculty/staff international student mentorship program, and he coordinates with the Office of Student Success, the Office of Student Life, and faculty members to ensure the students’ academic success and retention.

The College is working diligently to create programs that will help its international students to socialize and adapt to life on campus.

“We would like to see our faculty and students help our international students transition into Limestone,” Knipe explained. “In the future, we would like to offer a peer mentor system. We often assume our students are fine as long as they are making decent grades, but often there are barriers due to the differences in culture. We want to ensure our students are successful not only in the classroom, but also on the field, and in the community as well. We want them to know they are truly a part of the ‘OneLimestone’ family.”

He added that the Division of Student Success understands that there are vast cultural differences between the United States and other countries, including variations in language, food, clothing, education, etc., but it is initiating campus clubs and organizations that will allow students from America and other countries to work together and help one another on and off campus.

Knipe has over 15 years of experience teaching Social Studies, Geography/Culture Studies, Language Arts, Latin, English as a Second Language, Spanish, French, and sign language. His research deals with international education and the role of language as it relates to education. He has investigated endangered languages (e.g., Scottish Gaelic, Cherokee), minority languages (e.g., Basque, Catalan, Scots, Spanish as spoken in the U.S.), and nonstandard or vernacular languages.

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