Sherrie Lee is The Diasporic Academic

I am a researcher in international education with a specific interest
in the intersections of language, culture & knowledge.

I actively mentor doctoral students, and am passionate about
collaborative networks that connect research and practice.

You can read my story about becoming a diasporic academic,
and find out more about my research on ResearchGate.

I am an English-Chinese bilingual and diasporic academic currently based in New Zealand. My research and personal goals converge in the desire to empower newcomers to navigate transitions in their social and cultural environments. My research is concerned with multicultural and transnational communities, and utilizes sociocultural theories and multimodal analytical approaches. I thrive in collaborative environments where I am able to connect researchers across disciplines, and demonstrate how research can enrich various real life domains. Whether in research or teaching, I am inspired by the indigenous Māori concept of manaakitanga or having the moral commitment towards building relationships on mutual trust and respect.

Originally from Singapore, I did my doctoral study at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. My PhD integrated theoretical frameworks in novel ways to understand informal academic learning practices of international students, resulting in a robust theory of brokering. Prior to doctoral studies, I completed a Master of Arts in Teaching (TESOL) at the University of Southern California, and did a narrative case study on the identity of a minority English language learner. I hold a Bachelor of Arts from the National University of Singapore where I majored in English Language and Literature.

A CELTA trained teacher, I was formerly a business communications lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore, and an English teacher in China. I have worked at the Singapore Mediation Centre as a conflict management trainer for business professionals and government representatives. In the early part of my career, I worked in corporate communications in the IT and creative sectors.

I have published widely in a range of disciplines, and won an ISANA International Education Association award for my paper “Seeking Academic Help: A Case Study of Peer Brokering Interactionspublished in 2018 by Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration. I have convened symposia on topics related to international education, and am the convenor for a national symposium on the international student experience in New Zealand. I am on the editorial board of Journal of International Students, and a conference abstract reviewer for NZARE, the New Zealand Association of Research in Education.

I am active in advocacy for international students, especially postgraduate students. I am a past president of, and current mentor to, the Postgraduate Students’ Association at the University of Waikato. I also serve as the secretary of ISANA International Education Association New Zealand, an association for professionals who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education. I am also a regional representative for the International Students and Study Abroad SIG of CIES (Comparative and International Education Society).

My future research goals are to promote culturally-relevant approaches in international education, and enhance emerging academics’ capabilities in transnational contexts. Using my research and professional networks, I envision myself as a broker who facilitates collaborative dialogue between academics and practitioners across cognate disciplines.

Recent blog posts

Being a Diasporic Academic – Identities in Flux

Presentation at the ISANA NZ 2018 Symposium - The International Student Experience: Connecting Research and Practice held on 8 November ...
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International Education – Global Currency or Global Citizenship

Presentation at the Global Knowledge Economy Seminar organised by the Postgraduate Students’ Association held at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, ...
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The Power of Peer Support

Peer support for doctoral students meets emotional and cultural needs outside power relations imposed by institutional structures and authority figures ...
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Being optimistic through academic networks

I start off this year with several goals, the biggest being completing my PhD. One of the main reasons for ...
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Conference Season 2017

The year-end was a bumper crop of conferences, varied and productive but for different reasons. At the beginning of 2017, ...
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International Doctoral Students as Diasporic Academics

I first heard the term 'diaspora academics' at Wendy Larner's keynote speech at the 2016 ISANA International Education Association Conference ...
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The Never Perfect World of Translation

I'm coming towards the end of my data analysis involving Chinese/Mandarin data. It has been an exhausting process of working ...
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From PhD to professional: Seeking mentors, finding brokers

Sharing a personal journey of seeking mentors but finding mentors instead ...
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ISANA NZ PD Day in Hamilton, 16 June 2017

My reflection on the ISANA NZ Professional Development Day held in Hamilton on 16 June 2017: http://www.isananz.org.nz. (Original article archived here.) ...
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