Yuwei Bao '20

Mariah Fusco

Mathematics is a universal language, and for that Yuwei Bao ’20 is grateful.

Yuwei, a native of China, is a mathematics and computer science double major at McMurry, set to graduate in May 2020. Her English is almost flawless, but she admits to having trouble understanding some accents, like Texas accents, for example. “I just pretend to understand everything,” she said jokingly.

Yuwei, 20, grew up in Luoyang, an industrial city in the He’nan province. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Shanghai University of Electric Power, where she was an international business major.

However, she wasn’t there long because she got the opportunity to come to McMurry. She got accepted as an exchange student and arrived at McMurry in August 2016, where she found exactly what she was looking for.

“I really enjoy the education here,” she said. “I just love my professors a lot.”

Besides academics, Yuwei is pledging Theta Chi Lambda, writes for the War Hawk Herald and is a tutor. The tutoring experience led her a new career path, teaching in a college in the United States. That was something she didn’t see coming, but something just clicked as she helped other students understand the classroom material. “I just really feel good about it,” she said.

Yuwei has found that many folks on the McMurry campus, like Marty CashBurless, are eager to welcome international students and make them feel at home. CashBurless, university chaplain and director of religious and spiritual life, has a son who works in another country, which gives her a unique perspective.

“I especially understand that kindness, courtesy, and hospitality are small but vital parts of our work together,” CashBurless said.

It isn’t just the international students who benefit from the McMurry experience, CashBurless notes. Homegrown students benefit from their presence, too.

“It is deeply rewarding to see students engage with other cultures and traditions,” CashBurless said, “as it helps us to understand each other a bit better.”

Yuwei’s parents were sad to see their young daughter go so far away from home, but they are supportive of her and vow to come to her graduation in 2020. Yuwei misses them too and plans to go home for the summer. But she will be back in time for fall classes in this new, welcoming home she has found at McMurry.

“I really just treasure the people around me,” she said.

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