Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘NAFSA Leaders’ Category

fanta awBy Fanta Aw

As I complete my first term as President and Chair of the Board of Directors, I wish to express my deep gratitude to all for your commitment to the association and the important work of international education. It has been an honor serving the association and together, through NAFSA, we have achieved a great deal over the past 2 years.

In 2014, NAFSA launched many new and important programs and increased efforts to complete long-range goals. Those include the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiative to expand educational exchange in the western hemisphere, continually advocating for commonsense immigration reform, and providing even more tools and programs aimed at growing campus internationalization.

As an association, NAFSA has a social responsibility to ensure that our programs and services and our campuses reflect an equitable, just, and inclusive agenda, and that underrepresented institutions and groups are included in all facets of our work if we are to achieve meaningful internationalization. In addition, we need to engage with parts of the world that have been significantly absent – Africa and South America – to ensure that marginalized voices are represented and reflected in our work.

We are making progress and need to stay the course.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

By Elaine Meyer-Lee

I am delighted that NAFSA will feature Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman as the Closing Plenary speaker at the 2015 Annual Conference and Expo in Boston, Massachusetts, this May. Like many of us, I was inspired in 2011 when I first learned of Karman’s role in Yemen’s revolution and her longer history in nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peacebuilding work.

In 2012, I became more personally connected to the struggle for human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. That year, Saint Mary’s College began hosting an annual U.S. State Department-funded Global Women’s Leadership Institute that included young women leaders from Arab countries in transition like Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, and Jordan.

These spirited and determined women taught my students, my colleagues, and me much about their frustrations, hopes, and plans, as we in-turn have also shared women’s progress and challenges in the U.S. with them. As part of the Institute, the participants create action plans to implement when they return home. For example, the Tunisian delegation in 2013 established a successful women’s mentoring program to counter the threat to women’s freedoms by extremist groups. Recently, the Jordanian delegation documented the serious problem of sexual harassment on public transportation, and created a viable business plan for a network of female cab drivers as one solution.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

By Jesse Lutabingwa

I am extremely pleased that Ishmael Beah, a Sierra Leonean author and human rights activist, will be one of the plenary speakers at the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo in Boston. As a young boy, Beah survived a rebel attack during a civil war that killed his parents and two brothers. At the age of 13, he became a child soldier for the government army and fought for more than two years before being rescued by UNICEF.

The plight of children affected by these senseless wars was brought home to me in Tanzania. In 1996, I met a young Rwandan Tutsi refugee who escaped a massacre there in 1994. This boy, who at the time seemed to be between 13 and 14 years old, told a story of how he managed to survive by pretending to be dead by laying amidst bloodied dead family members and neighbors. This boy was psychologically and emotionally traumatized by what he had lived through and was experiencing nightmares at the time. As I listened to his story, I remember thinking to myself, how can this child be rehabilitated so that he can live a normal productive life without fear or the urge to take revenge. It was only later in my adult life that I came to realize that my childhood experience was different than that of many other children, like Beah, in other parts of the world.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

By Kavita Pandit

Recently, NAFSA announced that Shiza Shahid, co-founder and ambassador of the Malala Fund as a plenary speaker at the 2015 NAFSA Annual Conference in Boston. Ms. Shahid has been an outspoken advocate for the empowerment of girls through increased access to education ever since she was a young woman growing up in Pakistan.

The importance of the cause that Ms. Shahid is championing may seem self-evident to most of us living in the West. The realities of the lives of young girls in rural and impoverished regions of the world can be quite abstract – even to those like me who was born and raised in India but in an upper middle class, urban household. It was only because of an experience that I had many decades ago when I was in my early 20s that I realized, in an emotionally charged way, what the lives of many girls in these settings can be like.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

In his State of the Union address, President Obama declared 2014 as a “year of action,” and reminded Congress that “…what most Americans want [is] for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations.” He shone a light on education by noting the importance of “….preparing tomorrow’s workforce, by guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education;” and he again asked Congress to take up commonsense immigration reform as he explained:

“When people come here to fulfill their dreams – to study, invent, and contribute to our culture – they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let’s get immigration reform done this year.”

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Robert A. Pastor

My friend and international education’s friend, Bob Pastor, died last night at the age of 67, finally succumbing to a cancer that he had battled with characteristic courage, humor, and unrelenting determination for nearly four years—all the while ignoring, as only Bob could, the assurances of his doctors that he didn’t have that much time.

He will be remembered for many things, but among our last memories of him will be his absolute refusal to let his deteriorating physical condition interfere with his indefatigable professional lifestyle and his prolific scholarship. At the end, he was professor of international relations at American University and, until almost literally his last days, founder and director of that university’s Center for North American Studies.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

August recess. District work period. Town hall palooza. There are many names for this time in August when Congress leaves DC to go home for four weeks. But in the end it doesn’t matter what you call it, what really matters is who shows up.

NAFSA member Patti Jones from Macomb, Illinois showed up. Recently retired, Patti has been a member of NAFSA for over thirty years, serving in a variety of leadership positions. She is currently an Academy coach for NAFSA Region V. Patti went to a town hall hosted by her representative Aaron Schock, a Republican representing Illinois’ 18th congressional district. It was only the week before that Representative Schock made news for coming out in support of a pathway to citizenship at a town hall.

What made Patti go to the town hall?

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Destiny Benders Elizabeth Blanchford (Gen Next Education - Montana), Andy Fraher (Embry Riddle Aeronautical University), Becky Hanson (University of Iowa), Caitlin Kelley (Kansas State University), Jen Wahlquist (Gen Next Education –Bangalore), Brad Van Den Elzen (Kansas State University), Gabrielle Malfatti (University of Missouri), Dave Benoit (Envision EMI), John Wilkerson (University of Missouri), and Girish Ballolla (Gen Next Education) with Mrs. Lakshmi Rao, principal, and Ms. Jyotsna Nair, counselor, at National Public School, Koramangala, in Bangalore.By Gabrielle Malfatti
“When I say M-I-Z, you say Z-O-U”
– M-I-Z
– Z-O-U
Louder, M-I-Z
– Z-O-U!!
LOUDER, M-I-Z
– Z-O-U!!!

The chant is a common occurrence on the University of Missouri (MU) campus and popular with all Tiger fans. Yet, this time the chant that brings us together on football afternoons at Faurot Field was being uttered by high school students more than 8,000 miles away from Columbia in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

As many international educators are in the midst of recruiting trips this time of year, I wanted to share my experience as an observer on a recent recruitment trip. As the MU College of Education’s director for international and intercultural initiatives, I recently joined a group of fellow NAFSAns for India Calling 2013, a recruitment and public relations campaign designed by Gen Next Education, Inc. for its U.S. university partners at schools in Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, and Delhi. The purpose of my journey was to connect with K-12 principals for internship placements for our students at their schools. Mission accomplished! The first group will complete their Indian residency this summer.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Susan CartyBy Susan Carty
I recently chaired the Education Abroad Knowledge Community Update at NAFSA’s annual conference in Houston, where we announced the winners of our national education abroad awards that recognize the commitment and contributions of worthy individuals in our field.

The recipient of the 2012 Lily von Klemperer Award is Dr. David Wick, coordinator of study abroad services at San Francisco State University. The recipient of the 2012 Education Abroad Leadership Award is Dr. Michael Steinberg, executive vice president and director of academic programs at the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad).

Wick received no less than 10 letters in support of his nomination. They referenced his professionalism, passion, humor, accessibility, commitment to advocacy, and willingness to share his expertise and to offer motivation, as well as his extensive work with NAFSA’s annual conference, the Academy for International Education, and Advocacy Day.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

yocasta Brens-WatsonBy Yocasta Brens-Watson
My involvement with NAFSA began when I became director of international services at Philadelphia University (at the time it was still known as Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science). I was fresh out of graduate school and had only a vague idea of what I was doing. At that time, my boss gave me the names of three individuals in Region VIII whom he insisted I meet. They in turn put me in touch with the Philadelphia Area International Educators Network (PAIEN).

While PAIEN was not officially affiliated with NAFSA, it was clear that most of its members were also NAFSA members. I was overwhelmed by the willingness of those individuals to share information, resources, and knowledge so freely. Those who took me under their wings had two pieces of advice for me: become a NAFSA member and get your hands on a NAFSA Adviser’s Manual. I am so glad that I listened.

Ever since then, NAFSA has been my number one source for guidance and information on best practices in the field of international education. It is thanks to the input of my NAFSA colleagues through practice advisories, workshops, and everyday informal interactions that I am able to advance my institution’s mission toward internationalization. Being part of NAFSA is an affirmation that I am part of a profession.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 856 other followers

%d bloggers like this: