Heidi White was born and raised in rural Chatham County, NC. She attended Appalachian State University on a Chancellor’s Scholar scholarship and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Women’s Studies. She was an exchange student during her junior year in Utrecht, Netherlands and spent her final semester in Shenyang, China teaching English at Northeastern University. She then continued working in China in a variety of settings for an additional two years.
After returning back to the US, Heidi taught ESL at language schools, K-12, and community college, and worked in both the international student office and the study abroad office while she pursued her Master’s degree in International Studies (MIS) at North Carolina State University.
She worked for over three years in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services as an advisor for international scholars, professors, researchers, and students; a Designated School Official (DSO) certified by the Department of Homeland Security; and eventually as the SEVIS Compliance Officer.
Heidi then worked in the Study Abroad office for six years at Elon University, eventually serving as their first Director of Study Abroad. While there she managed, marketed, and grew the nationally-ranked study abroad programs and spearheaded new international initiatives for the institution. She also designed and taught courses on helping students identify the skills gained on international experiences and gave them tools to research and pursue international opportunities after graduation.
Most recently, Heidi worked for over ten years at Durham Technical Community College as the Director of International Student Services and Study Abroad and served as Durham Tech’s Primary Designated School Official (PDSO), maintaining the institution’s compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. In this role, she worked with all non-US citizen students on the admissions process, academic and immigration advising, and the evaluation of international credentials. To expand Durham Tech’s study abroad offerings, she developed new and innovative travel opportunities, including health care-focused programs. Additionally, she led outreach efforts to provide access to higher education for local immigrant communities, regardless of their immigration status.
Heidi has presented on a variety of topics at state, regional and national professional conferences on international education and has served in both state and national level leadership positions. Heidi has also been an active member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators Trainer Corps, a group of professionals that create and lead trainings on international education topics at professional conferences. She is excited about returning to UNC and using her accumulated experience in international education to support and strengthen the work of OGHE.