Denise Smith

Name: Denise Smith

Role: Immigration Program Director

Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina

When did you join MUSC? July 1, 2011

What’s your favorite part about working in global health? The Global Health department was formed right after I came to MUSC and, fortunately, I was able to relocate to the department from the Office of General Counsel. I am fortunate to be able to meet people from all over the country that are very passionate about increasing the impact of research and clinical strengths to ensure better health for all. I have worked in the immigration field for over 20 years and still love it. It is always interesting and quite challenging. I am also very fortunate to work with a great team that is always striving to be the best at what they do and that are always supportive. For all of these reasons, I love working in global health.

What advice would you give to an international student or faculty member coming to MUSC for the first time? When in doubt about anything relative to you or your dependents visa status, always ask! In addition, if you or your dependents are experiencing any personal and/or professional issues, please let us know as we may be able to help. Sometimes, I think people tend to get wrapped up in the fact that, because we have to ensure that we remain compliant with the law, we do not understand that there are human factors involved with the immigration process too. We do. We want to help. If we cannot help, we will do our best to refer the individual to someone who can.

How do you like to spend your free time? I have a great husband, four beautiful daughters, and one son that I love to spend time with. In addition, I thoroughly enjoy spending time with friends. I also love to decorate and constantly have an ongoing project in my home. I believe that a home should be a person’s sanctuary as it is where we spend the majority of our time, if not now, then eventually, once life slows down.

What is your favorite place to travel? I have traveled out of the country but I spend most of my available time in the US either traveling to visit family or to see parts of the U.S. that I have never seen before. There is so much to see and do in the U.S. and I know that I have not even begun seeing what this great country has to offer in beauty and entertainment. With that being said, however, I want to travel to two countries on my bucket list: Ireland and Italy. Unfortunately though, I believe that will have to wait until I retire as the longest I have ever taken off of work at one time was two weeks, other than for medical reasons, and that was just in the past six months.