Meet Our Team

Center for Global and Cultural Programs

Kaori Nakama

Kaori Nakama

Kaori has over 8 years of experience in international education with 3 of those years being with the GWC Center for Global and Cultural Programs. As an immigrant herself, Kaori is dedicated to serving students from diverse cultural and immigrant backgrounds. Additionally, she is a committed student, having earned her master’s degree in Educational Leadership at University of Hawai’i Manoa and is now pursuing a MS degree in Counseling – Student Development in Higher Education at CSULB. When she is not studying, Kaori enjoys going on a run, exploring coffee shops, and spending time with her family.

Contact Information:

Zainab Umarji Headshot Photo

Zainab Umarji
International Student Counselor

Zainab has over 5 years of experience working in higher education at various California Community Colleges, as well as at UCLA and CSULB. She earned her BA degree in History from UCLA, after which she taught English to middle school students at a small private school. After a few years of teaching, Zainab realized that while she loved working in education, her true passion was working with college students. She recently graduated with her MS degree in Counseling - Student Development in Higher Education from CSULB. Whilst completing her graduate degree, Zainab had the opportunity to work with a vast array of students, including student-parents, reentry students, student-athletes, and students from various multicultural backgrounds. She is passionate about empowering her students to pursue their passions and achieve their dreams. In her free time, Zainab loves to drink coffee and visit local coffee shops, read all sorts of books, embroider intricate designs, and spend time with her family and friends. She also loves to travel and has visited Mauritius, Türkiye, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Canada and hopes to add many more countries to the list! 

Mirna Bitar headshot

Mirna Bitar
Program Facilitator

Mirna grew up and lived in Lebanon and Egypt before deciding to move to U.S to continue her education and earn a bachelors degree. She enjoys working with students from different cultures from all over the world. She is passionate about learning new cultures, understanding the various values and beliefs, and visiting new places. Mirna loves the welcoming and familiar environment at Golden West College as it reminds her of her own experience in college as an international student. In her free time, Mirna likes to spend time with family and friends.

Contact Information:
714-892-7711 Ext. 55202

Hop Nguyen headshot

Hop Nguyen
Student Services Specialist Senior

Hop is passionate about international education.  With a B.A. in International Studies from University of California, Irvine and an M.S. in Higher education from Cal State University, Fullerton, she also studied abroad in South Korea at Yonsei University and in Japan at Meiji Gakuin University.  Hop’s curiosity and desire to learn about other cultures has led her to establish connections all over the world.  Her international exploration also includes Taiwan, Singapore, Canada, Vietnam, and more.  Additionally, Hop is a linguist enthusiast who continues to study languages and cultures in her free time. When not abroad, Hop loves to explore and attend various community events in Orange County and Los Angeles, try new restaurants, and of course, discover new boba spots.

Contact Information:
714-892-7711 Ext. 58961