Global LLC Team
Jennifer M. Valko (Director)
Jennifer was born in Germany and raised between Germany and the United States. She studied Spanish and Anthropology as an undergraduate and her passion for the Spanish-speaking world led her to live and travel in Argentina, Colombia, and Chile. When asked where she’s from she’ll usually say: “guess!” At ECU, she teaches a broad range of courses in language, literature, popular culture, and film. She’s passionate about travel, literature, music, and film. She loves to run, read, fish, and cook.
David L. Smith
Originally from the other Carolina just to our south, David became fascinated with foreign policy as a younger man and thought for quite some time that he would pursue a career in that field. Somewhere along the way he became enamored with literature and the German language, and with the insights one gains from interacting with people from other cultures. At ECU, David enjoys teaching all levels of German in addition to directing the graduate program in International Studies. He loves spending time with his family and fixing things (most things at least); he’s also been known to go camping and fishing or crabbing whenever the calendar allows it.
Tricia M. Wilson-Okamura
Tricia was born in Hawai’i and spent her childhood and undergraduate years in Hawai’i and the Bay Area of California. For graduate study and research, she moved to increasingly colder climates, from Japan to Chicago to Minnesota, and she is very grateful to be living in sunny North Carolina now. She teaches Latin, ancient Greek, Classical Studies and Japanese, and loves mythology and epic poetry. Her hobbies are fishing and travel and she is currently learning Italian. She loves working with students in and out of the classroom, and is the faculty advisor for the Asian Students Association at ECU.
Kelsey C. Simpson (Resident Advisor)
Kelsey is from Yanceyville, North Carolina and is very excited to serve as the resident advisor for the Global LLC! She is an Athletic Training major with a minor in Leadership. Her hobbies include dancing, shopping, cooking, hanging out with friends, exploring, and getting to know people! But dancing is her favorite! For Kelsey, leading is a two-way street for the leader and for Global LLC residents—with strong communication, she looks forward to getting to know her residents better and working with them this year. While she was in high school, she had the privilege to embrace two opportunities that sparked her interest in working with people from other cultures and from other places. The first was meeting and interacting with a foreign exchange student from Germany. Her second experience was studying Spanish for three years. Each opportunity was a joy and taught her about different cultures, ethnicities, and places. In the near future, she plans to travel outside the United States and to gain more first-hand experiences. If she could travel anywhere it would be right over the border to Canada or to South America. Kelsey considers herself to be a people person because she loves people! Her goal is to touch your life in a positive way just as she knows you will touch hers.