Meet the GTI Team

Michael Bustle

Michael Bustle
Michael Bustle, GTI Director

Michael Bustle is the Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs at NC State University. He is also Director of the Global Training Initiative (GTI). He has worked in various capacities with international students, scholars, and international programs at several U.S. institutions (Vanderbilt University, UNC Chapel Hill, etc.) for more than twenty years. Following his graduation from the University of Florida with a degree in anthropological linguistics, he spent several years teaching English in Japan. He has visited more than 20 countries in the last 25 years and spent two summers as a young man working in the Amazon. When not engaged in administrative duties, Michael enjoys teaching in the classroom (particularly about US Culture), assisting international students and scholars with problems or questions, being involved with cross-cultural programs, and both learning about and sharing people's stories.

You can email Michael at or call (919) 513-0105.

David McNeill

David McNeill
David McNeill, GTI Associate Director

David McNeill is the Associate Director of the GTI and works as the principal instructor, program developer, advisor, and coordinator of all GTI programs. He has worked in the university setting for nearly 20 years largely with student leadership development and international student programs. He holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville with a minor in Middle Eastern affairs. His master's degree is in Biblical Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary with an emphasis in the use of logic and reason in the interpretation of Biblical texts in both their original language and English. He worked and lived in Turkey for three years as the director of Carquest automotive parts company's liaison office. He has trained hundreds of students and staff in the areas of leadership development, inter-cultural communication and small group dynamics. He has also developed and implemented two international summer study abroad programs consisting of students living in the homes of Turkish families and Tunisian families and engaging the culture. He has managed large budgets and hired and supervised numerous teams of staff in the non-profit sector. Of all his roles in GTI, the one he enjoys the most is his interactions with international students from cultures around the world.

You can email David at or call (919) 513-0105.

Ilin Misaras

Ilin Misaras
Ilin Misaras, GTI Assistant Director

Ilin is the Assistant Director of the GTI and is primarily responsible for the marketing and communications of the unit as well as program assessments. She joined the GTI in July 2010, first as a teaching assistant and then the program coordinator for the SKEMA and BARDA programs where she helped develop and grow the International Cultural Leadership Project (ICLP). Ilin obtained her Master of International Studies (MIS) from NC State where she specialized in international communications. She has enjoyed studying, traveling, and conducting research in Europe and Asia. Before coming to NC State, she worked as an award-winning journalist for news organizations throughout the U.S. including CNN International, Bloomberg News, the local NBC affiliate in Alaska, and North Carolina's statewide 24-hour cable news station: News 14 Carolina. Ilin holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from New York University where she received the Don R. Mellett Prize for broadcast journalism. She is also an adjunct faculty member at William Peace University. Ilin enjoys working with the visiting international students as well as the NC State student leadership through CENet, and she is proud to see them develop and grow during their time at NC State.

You can email Ilin at or call (919) 515-0118.

Shiqin Xu

China Programs Coordinator

Shiqin Xu

Shiqin joined the GTI in December 2010. She came to NC State University after working as a program director of Communities In Schools of Orange County. During her time there, Shiqin was the lead coordinator in designing a multi-year education program funded by the US Department of Education. Shiqin also has several years of experience working as an international division specialist for the Trademark Office of China, focusing on international trademark protection and management of trademark-related training programs. Shiqin holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from NC State and a bachelor's degree from China University of Political Science and Law. She is also a doctoral candidate in NC State's College of Education.

Shiqin oversees the Chinese professional training programs and the Summer Academic Program for students.

You can reach Shiqin at
or call (919) 515-0116.

Melissa Edwards Smith

SKEMA Program Coordinator

Melissa Edwards Smith

Melissa joined the GTI in June 2014, after spending more than a decade leading short-term immersion study programs for professionals for the UNC agency, the Center for International Understanding. Melissa has led hundreds of policy, health, and community leaders on programs to the heart of Mexico, through the award-winning Latino Initiative program which aims to help integrate Latinos and other immigrants into the fabric of NC communities. She also directed policy leader programs for legislators and business leaders to China, India, Mexico and the European Union on topics that are important to the economic success of of NC.

Melissa is passionate about helping North Carolinians discover the importance of appreciating global connections to their everyday worlds, and in helping international visitors appreciate the richness and warm of North Carolina. Melissa was fortunate enough to study abroad in several countries in Latin America, spending much of her time conducting research while living in Mayan villages of Belize and Guatemala. She holds a master's degree in International Studies from East Carolina University and a M.Ed., Adult and Continuing Education from NC State University. She is delighted to be contributing to the management of the SKEMA program and the Cultural Exchange Network.

You can reach Melissa at or call (919) 513-7036.

Tim Rose

KAUST Program Coordinator

Tim Rose

Tim joined the GTI in June 2014. Before coming to NC State University, he spent more than 18 years living and working internationally in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. He grew up in North Carolina and received his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, with a minor in History, from Miami University in Ohio. His international experience includes training and organizing students, overseeing refugee and immigrant resettlement as well as helping advocate for their rights, prisoner education and reintegration into society, as well as inter-religious dialogue and peace-making.

Tim’s primary duties include overseeing the KAUST Gifted Student Program and working with the SKEMA program.

You can reach Tim at
or call (919) 513-2207.

Lindsey Johnson

International Programs Assistant

Lindsey Johnson

Lindsey joined the GTI in August of 2014 as a teaching assistant while she was completing her Master of International Studies (MIS) coursework, specializing in public and higher education administration. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and literature and was a public high school teacher for several years before returning to NC State.

Lindsey works with the GTE certificate program in curriculum development and student support for the GTI 401 course. In addition, she specializes in ESL and works with a variety of other GTI student and professional programs. Lindsey is also an adjunct instructor at SKEMA Business School. She enjoys working with the various international programs to help make their time here in North Carolina as successful as possible.

You can reach Lindsey by e-mail at or by phone at (919) 513-7077.

Becky Cibulskis

SKEMA Programs Assistant

Becky Cibulskis

Becky joined the GTI in January 2015 as the SKEMA Programs Assistant after graduating from Clemson University with a degree in Language & International Trade. At Clemson, Becky focused her studies on Mandarin Chinese and German as well as Economics. After studying abroad in Dalian, China and interning with BMW in Munich, Germany, Becky is excited to start her career in International Education at NC State. Her professional interest is in intercultural communication, international education and global professional development topics. In her free time Becky enjoys going to parks with her young boxer-mix, Beemer.

Becky will help to coordinate the activities and logistics of the Cultural Exchange Network (CENet).

You can reach Becky at or call (919) 515-4088.

Gail Hill

Bookkeeper/Administrative Assistant

Gail Hill

Gail joined the GTI in June 2015. Before coming to GTI, she worked for more than 30 years in different positions in the Cashier's Office, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She is an NC State alumna and holds a Bachelor's of Science in Business Management.

Gail handles the GTI's financial transactions and HR actions. She also provides support to the various GTI programs.

You can reach Gail at or call (919) 513-0105.

Leadership Council

The GTI hires a group of student leaders to help facilitate cross-cultural workshops and trainings as well as contribute to leadership roles within the Cultural Exchange Network. The 2015-16 Leadership Council includes (L to R): Karli Moore, Asia Hilliard, Amanda Williams, Alice Dai, Davante Falls, Xiaoming Zhou, Navneet Atwal, Vijay Venugopalan, and Mark Kingsley (not pictured).

2015-16 Leadership Council


Wolfie is a well-traveled member of the GTI who accompanies the other staff members on their overseas trips as well as international student and professional groups during their programs in the U.S.

He aims to use his globe-trotting experiences to bridge cultural gaps, so he will be penning an advice column for the NC State community "Dear GTI Wolfie" that will appear in Thursday’s editions of the Technician.

Follow his adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@GTINCSU) and tweet him your cultural conundrums at #gtiwolfie.