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Archive for the ‘NAFSA’ Category

A Fond Farewell

Marlene M. JohnsonAs I retire from my position as executive director and CEO of NAFSA, I wanted to take a moment to thank you so very much for allowing me the opportunity to lead such an outstanding organization. NAFSA has been and always will be committed to creating a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous world by ensuring that every student or scholar who wishes to find a global experience has the ability to do so, regardless of his or her socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or background.

As the largest association dedicated solely to international education, NAFSA continuously scans the social, economic, and political environment to anticipate and analyze trends and issues affecting the field. We use this information to create and disseminate knowledge and resources that are responsive to the needs of our members. I am proud of the array of professional development opportunities that are available to serve the full range of professionals in the field, and I know that these resources will evolve and improve with continued input from our stakeholders. It is also rewarding to see the significant progress we have made in integrating global and international perspectives throughout higher education institutions. This work has required all of us to be more strategic and collaborative as we build bridges across academic affairs and student affairs; curriculum and cocurriculum; and faculty and professional staff.

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statue_of_liberty_200x150In a year-end bipartisan near miracle, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have come together to propose a bill to provide protection for young immigrants who have been granted or are eligible for protection from deportation under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. DACA is an executive order implemented by the Obama administration. Because it is an executive order, and not a bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, it could easily be rolled back by the incoming administration. That is why bipartisan congressional action is so essential for young immigrants who want to continue to contribute to America, the only home they have ever known.

Senator Durbin and Graham’s bill, Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act or the BRIDGE Act, will be introduced in the new year in the new Congress to protect immigrants brought to the United States as children without documentation. These are our children; they played by the rules attending school with our children, graduating from our high schools. Mirroring DACA, BRIDGE applicants would be required to pay a fee, undergo criminal background checks, and be determined not to pose a security threat.

These young people did nothing wrong, and have contributed to our communities. They want to continue their education and legally work in the United States. They need Congress and the American people to make it possible.

We applaud Senator Durbin and Senator Graham for working together to protect those young people who have or are eligible for DACA. Let this year-end bipartisan act be a harbinger of a new year and a new Congress brimming with bipartisan bills that bring Americans together. Only then will we be able to tackle the underlying issue: create a bipartisan bridge to an immigration system that works for the United States with a path out of the shadows for undocumented immigrants who want to get in a line for legal immigration status.

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#GivingTuesday is over, but our efforts on behalf of the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program continue. You may not have been able to give that week, but you still can support the program. The time is now. A timely year-end donation will allow more participants access and opportunities through the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program.

The NAFSA Diversity Impact Program supports professionals from tribal colleges and universities; historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs); and community colleges and associates colleges by helping them expand capacity, grow study abroad, and increase student global competencies.

NAFSAns have played critical roles in the program through either donations or mentoring. You have helped 83 participants since 2014, and we plan to continue the program in 2017. Graduates of the program better serve their students and communities, and are on a pathway to future leadership roles.

Donate now. If you gave earlier and want to add support for the Diversity Impact Program, we appreciate your additional contribution. I urge you to bring 2016 to a close with a tax-deductible gift to the Diversity Impact Program. (more…)

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By Fanta Aw

#GivingTuesday is today. I urge you to join me in supporting NAFSA’s Diversity Impact Program with your donation. You have often heard me talk about the importance of inclusion and diversity in our field. I remain deeply committed to insuring we continue to engage a deep and strong membership as leaders in the field of international education.

The NAFSA Diversity Impact Program continues our tradition of being an inclusive association. It increases access to our field and profession by underrepresented institutions, and is invaluable in developing outstanding international education programs and leaders.

On this international day of giving, we can all advance our field by contributing in support of diversity and inclusion. Join me by donating now.

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#GivingTuesday is early this leap year, so save the date for November 29. NAFSA will once again participate in the #GivingTuesday campaign in support of the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program.

Founded in 2012 as an international day of giving, this special day celebrates generosity as the holiday season begins. NAFSA will join with more than 30,000 organizations worldwide to support the #GivingTuesday movement.

All funds raised by NAFSA will support the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program, which fosters diversity, both professionally and institutionally, within the field of international education. The Diversity Impact Program provides international education professionals from tribal colleges and universities; historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs); and community colleges and associates colleges, with complimentary registration to the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo, yearlong mentoring, and access to professional development opportunities.

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By Mandy Reinig

The job search process can be long and tedious. What many job seekers don’t realize is that it can also be an embarrassing and a humbling process, especially if they do not clean up their social media channels prior to their job search.

Currently, 43 percent of employers are using social media sites to make hiring decisions, and 51 percent of those who use social media sites found something that caused them to not hire someone. This included provocative photos; posts bad-mouthing their previous or current employer; and information or pictures about the candidates’ alcohol consumption and drug use. While it would seem like common sense not to post these items, you would be surprised how many people, and not just young people, post these items frequently without understanding the long-reaching consequences.

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Why Study Abroad Matters…

By Mark Farmer

As former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “In the 21st Century, a quality education is an international education.” The global skills, knowledge, and experiences that are gained while studying abroad have a profound impact on a student’s ability to compete and collaborate with graduates from around the world and produce a more culturally informed citizenry. As educators and policymakers, we need to refocus our efforts to ensure a greater number and more diverse group of students has the opportunity to experience meaningful study abroad.

For Our Students
Studying abroad is a unique educational experience that provides global learning opportunities that are critical to a student’s success in the 21st Century. Students who have studied abroad have greater intercultural understanding, better grasp the complexity of global issues, and are better equipped to work with people from other countries. Studies have even shown a positive correlation between students who study abroad and higher grade point averages and degree completion rates. And this is especially true for underrepresented and at-risk students.

In a globalized economy, these skills are increasingly important and valued by employers. A 2014 survey of 800 U.S. business executives, found that 75% of the companies indicated that a global perspective was important for their staff and 80% believed their overall business would increase if more of their staff had more international experience. A quality study abroad program helps students gain the knowledge necessary to compete in the global economy and provides future entrepreneurs and business leaders a worldwide network that will be indispensable once they graduate. (more…)

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Edited by Ellen H Badger

This month’s Advice From The Field column is authored by Patti Jones, NAFSA volunteer leader and a retired international educator from Western Illinois University. Patti shares her strategies for obtaining resources to support staff professional development.

Q. How can I best advocate for my team to receive the professional training they need? NAFSA’s conferences offer so much, but I can’t afford to send everyone. What are some supplemental resources or tips to get the most NAFSA bang for our buck?

A: Patti Jones
Advocating for your team is always a necessary activity. Our field demands that professional training include a thorough understanding of policy, regulation, and their applications. This knowledge base requires continual updating. Very few people outside of the international office fully understand the nature of our work or its complexity. That is, until an external immigration review by a federal agency or a risk management audit of an education abroad program provides a massive reality check for administration.

Advocacy is all about the influence you have at your institution, and your ability to convince decision makers to consider your course of action. There are two parts to getting the support you need for your team: providing the justification for it, and finding the most economical way to deliver it. Here are some suggestions for strengthening your proposal and getting more “bang for your buck.”

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By Samantha Potempa and Jodi Simek

Networking is one of the most impactful ways you can build your professional expertise and effectiveness. But networking can sometimes take a backseat to some of the more immediate or urgent demands that we encounter in our jobs.

That’s why we would like to highlight some of the networking opportunities from NAFSA that can coincide with—and enhance—the responsibilities of busy international education professionals. We will explore four networking opportunities (of the many NAFSA has to offer) and share thoughts from some of our peers who have already taken advantage of these great resources to help build their professional network.

Knowledge Community and Interest Group Discussions
A great way to connect with fellow NAFSAns while at your desk is through NAFSA’s Knowledge Communities (KCs) and interest groups. Not only are the KCs a great way to share information, but they are also a way to keep up to date on issues and trends in the field while obtaining a variety of perspectives.

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By Adam DiFrisco

Who inspires you? Is it a parent, a partner, a friend? Maybe even a celebrity?

As people, it’s natural for us to look for role models and people who inspire us. As educators and as teachers, we are often that role model and inspire others. But sometimes the opposite is true as well. We are inspired by our students. We are reinvigorated by their enthusiasm, their hard work, and their dedication. It has happened to me, and it has made all the difference in my learning and teaching abilities.

Teaching English Overseas

I have been teaching English overseas with EF English First for more than two years. My education experience was mixed before I started here. I completed high school and university; sought a qualification in wine; pursued teaching qualifications; and set out to learn Chinese. During this time, I also held full- and part-time jobs, and even squeezed in time to “have a life.”

Today, though, I am drawing closer to my thirties, and I am thinking about family. How can I manage to learn a new language, gain further qualifications, and start a family? Can it be done? Well, I am sure we all know the answer is “yes,” but it is not easy and requires discipline. And that’s where my students come in.

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