Cory Owen is originally from Alaska but spent more than 10 years in Texas before arriving at Juilliard, in 2013. She has a bachelor's in English from Texas A&M University, a master's in literature from the University of Houston—Clear Lake, and a doctorate in higher education administration and supervision from the University of Houston. She also worked at Rice University, the University of Texas Medical Branch, and Texas A&M.
What's been your craziest Juilliard day?
There generally isn't a “typical” day for me at Juilliard, but some of my most hectic ones require me to have back-to-back-to-back meetings. For example, I may start my morning discussing immigration policy with Meg (Popick, the assistant director of International Advisement), then go to a committee meeting, then advise a student about immigration, then host a Diversity Dialogue, and then another committee meeting. There have definitely been days where the only chance I had to check emails was walking between meetings.
What Juilliard job would you like to try out for a day?
I'd love to work in the costume shop. I really enjoy cosplay (“costume play,” for the uninitiated) and go to New York Comic Con every year. It's fascinating to see how the different outfits complement the performances at Juilliard, and it would be amazing to learn more from the experts.
What was your most memorable job?
I used to own a reindeer hotdog stand in Anchorage, Alaska. It was the best job because I worked with my family, it taught me to get over my shyness, and I got to talk to people all day long.
How did you end up going into international affairs?
Both my parents are immigrants, but I had no plans to go into the field. When I graduated from college, I was staying in town for another year and needed a job, and there was an opening in the English as a Second Language school. That's where it all started.
What do international students always want to know?
1. How can I work in the U.S.?
2. How can I get a Social Security number?
3. What happens to my visa after I graduate?
What are three things you wish international students knew?
1. The importance of working only with proper authorization.
2. Keep all your immigration paperwork in a safe place and never throw any of it away—even if it's old!
3. When in doubt, ask our office, not your friends, for immigration advice.
Do you have an arts background?
I played piano for a very long time and I wish I'd had the maturity as a teenager to continue playing. I also played the flute for many years.
What other pursuits are you passionate about?
I am a CrossFitter and while I try not to be obnoxious about it, I think I fail at that pretty often and jabber on about how much I love it. I also play a lot of video games and darts in my free time.
What was the best vacation you've had?
My dad is Peruvian and we used to go there in the winters (their summers). My favorite trip was going to Machu Picchu. Pictures really do not do it justice.
What would surprise people about you?
I won a chili competition my first (and only) time making chili. I got first place for the Texas chili category (no beans!) and won the people's choice award for the creative chili entry, which included liver, gizzard, and Italian sausage.
What are you reading?
I'm constantly rereading/watching/listening to Harry Potter. Besides that, I'm in the middle of the Harvard Business Review Manager's Handbook.
I'm going on my second Fulbright! In 2011, I went to Germany for a seminar, and I'll be going to Korea in June for an international educators exchange. I'm incredibly excited to go back (the last time I was there was 1988), particularly since we have such a large Korean student population at Juilliard. I've downloaded an app to learn a little Korean and one of my work-study students, Seiyoung Kim, is helping me practice.