By Lynn Reutens ‘23
This month, Mount Union is proud to celebrate International Education Week, November 15-19, that strongly grips the profound and growing distinction of international education and educational exchange experiences that benefits all students and the campus community. Dawn Adams ‘97, director of international student services, offered her visions into her robust role and influential responsibilities since her she was hired in 2003.
Adams, an Ohio native born and raised in East Canton, attended Mount Union and graduated in 1997 with a degree in international business and economics with a minor in Spanish. She continued her educational pathway at Kent State University where she obtained an MBA.
“I wanted to be a world traveler. I have always loved to travel, and I really love languages,” Adams said. “But truthfully, my mom was truly my ambition. Her faith was her amazing strength and she embedded that in me. My parents sacrificed a lot so I could go to college, and I am so thankful to them believing in me. My grandparents were simply amazing, and they too fostered the importance of education in me. I am so happy doing what I do today.”
Adams still positively recollects Mount Union President Thomas Botzman being her academic advisor for her four years of undergraduate study and is proud to see similar values instilled today.
“He truly was an inspirational advisor, but today, he is phenomenal, and has incorporated amazing strengths into Mount Union,” she said. “This campus has grown over the years, but it still strongly holds that familiar feeling of family.”
As part of her role as study abroad advisor at Mount Union from 2009-2013, Adams traveled to India, Australia, France, Spain, Costa Rica, and Mexico, and she also journeyed to the shores of China, Vietnam, Japan, and Canada for student recruitment purposes.
“Students keep me young, and the flights keep me moving,” she acknowledged with a smile. “I feel proud to share my personal experiences growing up as a student at Mount Union with international students. This is a place for you to learn about life, but more importantly it teaches you to be a responsible citizen and to lead a fulfilling life. I’m truly proud to be a Raider.”
Adams also beautifully highlighted that her favorite part of her role is watching students succeed. Her advice to incoming international students is to be brave and never be afraid to ask for help.
“You must believe in your potential because the world awaits you,” she said. “It is also important to understand not to regret missed opportunities because every new day is a brand-new opportunity.”
It is no wonder she continues to be both an inspiration and advocate for international students and therefore many students proudly say, “Dawn is truly amazing. She’s always here for us.”
Adams undeniably demonstrates hard work and discipline, consideration with benevolence for others before herself, and being empathetic and doting.
In her free time, Adams enjoys gardening, spending time with her family, crafting, and making flower arrangements. Plus, while retirement is still years ahead for her, Adams whispered, “I’ll be relaxing on the beach somewhere out there and remembering my days at Mount Union. Perhaps I’ll sail away in my boat into sunrises and sunsets, and I’d name my ship The Beach Bum.”
A profound quote from Maya Angelou truly encapsulates Adams, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”