Community Ambassador of the Year: Dr. George McNulty
Dr. George McNulty is a mathematics professor at the University of South Carolina. He has been with the university since 1975. He obtained his PhD in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. As a mathematician Dr. McNulty has traveled to many countries to present talks, do research, or teach. He has taught at the University of the Philippines and at Ateneo University (also in the Philippines) as a Fulbright Scholar, and has done collaborative research with fellow mathematicians in Darmstadt, Germany as a Von Humboldt fellow.
Married to a Filipina, Dr. McNulty has been active in the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia. He has served as treasurer for the past four years, and was recently elected to a third term.
Dr. McNulty has demonstrated unfailing commitment to fostering intercultural understanding and appreciation, especially between Filipinos and Americans, both at the University of South Carolina (where he serves as Advisor to the Filipino-American Student Association) and in the Midlands.
International Volunteer of the Year: Lin Ko
Lin Ko was born in Taiwan, but now resides in Lexington, SC. Married to Dr. Shun Der Ko, they have one daughter, Dr. Jane Ko. She is a regional branch manager of the Richland County Public Library system. Over her fifteen-year tenure with the library, she has spearheaded the multi-cultural awareness agenda. By drawing upon her own background and upon her connections with the multinational community, she has helped create ground-breaking programs targeting internationals, such as “A New Start in a New Country – Beginning at Your Library” (1993), “Dia de la Familia en la Biblioteca”- “Family Day at the Library” (2001), and “Let’s Speak English” (2002). Some of these have since expanded to multiple locations within the Richland County Public Library system, and after being presented at various national library conferences have become models for similar programs nationwide.
As chairperson of Richland County Public Library’s Multi-cultural Committee, Lin has acted not only as a pioneer, catering library services to the international community, but also as a grass-roots ambassador, providing information service to new comers of all nationalities. Most importantly, she has created a special kind of forum for dialogue between internationals and the local community. Lin is very active in community volunteer work. She has been serving on the Columbia International Festival Committee for many years. She also has given presentations to school ESL teachers and has served as an interpreter for school personnel and non-English speaking Chinese families. Recently Lin was elected to the board of the Chinese Association of Columbia.