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.
Genesis Henderson (Resident Advisor)
Hi! My name is Genesis Henderson and I am 20 years old. I am currently a first semester nursing student with a dream of becoming a Nurse Anesthetist. I have one little dog, Biscuit, and two fat cats, Oreo Cookie and Zumba. I was raised in Wallace, NC and moved to Wilmington, NC for High School. However, my family is from Costa Rica, so I’m a Tica all the way. I don’t really have a favorite genre of music, but if you were to walk by my door you would most likely hear either Salsa or R&B. Three words I would use to describe myself are determined, kind and outgoing. Some of my favorite activities are cooking, playing board games/ video games, outdoor adventuring and getting to know new people. Before I become a Nurse Anesthetist I hope to spend some time working as a traveling nurse, visiting states I have always wanted to see such as Alaska, Oregon, New York and California. My motto is “If you think you can do it, truly believe you can do it, then there is nothing that can get in your way.” This year I hope we truly get to know each other and that I get the opportunity to show y’all how fun and diverse university life truly is!
Ella Dogbe-Tsogbe (Global Mentor)
I’m Emmanuella (Ella) Dogbe-Tsogbe, a rising sophomore at ECU majoring in Biology and Hispanic Studies with an ultimate goal of becoming a physician with Doctors Without Borders. I was born and raised in Togo, West Africa and I moved to Charlotte, NC at age 12. I love to travel to different places and meet new people along the way. I speak three languages and I’m working toward becoming fluent in Spanish. My hobbies include shopping, baking, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. Being a member of the Global Living Learning Community gave me the opportunity to meet people from different cultural backgrounds that share similar academic interest as me. I look forward to mentoring future Global LLC students during the upcoming academic year and getting them acquainted with resources around campus.