Building a stronger community  

International faculty member, Hsin-I Sydney Yueh, journeys from new faculty to connected scholar with Connection faculty group.

As an international scholar, Hsin-I Sydney Yueh, associate teaching professor in the Department of Communication faced the challenge of acclimating to an unfamiliar community when she first arrived at the University of Missouri.  

Aside from her husband who already worked at Mizzou, Yueh knew no one, and she was determined to expand her sphere.   

“I just wanted to get to know people,” Yueh said.  

Yueh, a first-year faculty member, took the initiative and stepped out of her comfort zone. She participated in welcome events, orientations and organization meetings, including the faculty group, Connection.  

“Eventually, a lot of the typical first-year events stopped, but Connection kept inviting me to their events,” she said. “It was a wonderful opportunity for me to keep making connections with other faculty members outside of my department.”   


A lasting impact  

Connection proved to be the most enduring and impactful for Yueh during her first year as a faculty member. Through mentor relationships, panel discussions and social events, Yueh formed relationships with faculty from various departments and discovered different spaces across the campus.  

“We have the opportunity to meet university leadership in person,” Yueh said. “Candace and Maurice represent us and let our voices be heard.”   

As a newcomer on campus, Yueh places immense value on representation. Connection revealed that all voices and perspectives were not only welcomed but also seen and appreciated at Mizzou.  

“I am an international scholar and a naturalized U.S. citizen, so identity is important to me,” Yueh said. “I was born in Taiwan; I am a female of color and English is not my native language. It is good to meet people who share various identities and to know there are people who support us.”   

Connection empowers faculty members like Yueh to build relationships with peers who are also navigating the adjustment to the United States, letting them know there is a community ready to welcome them while offering support and understanding.  

Finding a home  

Through Connection, Yueh not only expanded her social circles, but she was also introduced to new opportunities that helped her reconnect with her roots. Currently, she is collaborating with another Connection scholar, Melissa Hauber-Özer, assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development, to develop a research project on international teaching assistance opportunities.   

“The group has been very constructive in connecting me to people and resources on campus that support my passions,” Yueh said.   

Now in her second year as a Connection participant, Yueh appreciates the influence that the organization has on her as an individual and the broader campus community.