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Archive for the ‘NAFSA’ Category

In a victory for representative democracy in the United States, a federal appeals court in Texas found that the state’s strict voter ID law had a discriminatory impact on African American, Hispanic and poor voters. The ruling ordered a lower court to implement a remedy that would allow 600,000 Texans to vote in November, even though they do not have the identification required by the state law.

According to the majority, “It would be untenable to permit a law with a discriminatory effect to remain in operation.” It went on to note that while the state has a legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud—the justification given for the strict voter ID laws Texas attempted to put into place—“the articulation of a legitimate interest is not a magic incantation a state can utter to avoid a finding” a discriminatory impact.

This follows a decision earlier in the week in which a federal judge declared voters in Wisconsin who did not have the identification required by Wisconsin law would be able to vote as long as they were willing to sign an affidavit swearing to their identity.  The judged called the remedy a “safety net” to ensure citizens were able to participate in the upcoming elections.

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Summer is one of the best times to visit our nation’s capital. Travelers from all over the world come to enjoy the city’s monumental history, world-class museums, and diverse dining options, many of which can be enjoyed al fresco on a warm summer night.

Whether you’re coming to town for NAFSA’s Management Development Program or the Strategic Retreat for Education Abroad Leaders this summer, it’s important to enjoy all of the culture D.C. has to offer. Here are some “insider tips” on how to experience the city, whether you are using our convenient bike share program, the extensive metro and bus system, or just going on foot!

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By Josh Davis and Yoko Honda

For the first time, NAFSA will host the Management Development Program in Portland, Oregon, July 25-27, 2016. This interactive, two-and-a-half-day program provides participants with key international education management skills and excellent networking opportunities for professionals in the field. Participants will also meet like-minded colleagues from around the world and have the opportunity to explore all that Portland has to offer.

Must See

International Rose Test Garden
Explore more than 550 different rose varieties, enjoy stunning views of the downtown skyline and Cascade Mountains, and find out why Portland is known as the “City of Roses.”

Music on Main
Enjoy a free concert every Wednesday during the summer in downtown Portland beginning at 5:00 p.m. The ArtBar & Bistro serves seasonal food and drinks beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Powell’s City of Books
The largest independent new and used bookstore in the United States spans a full city block in downtown Portland. Browse more than 1.5 million books in 3,500 different sections.

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By Mandy Reinig

During the course of my time interviewing senior international officers (SIOs), senior education abroad professions, and various recipients of the Education Abroad Knowledge Community Lily von Klemperer (LvK) award, one of the common themes that has emerged is the change in technology they have seen, even in the last 5 or 10 years. These changes have had several interesting ramifications on the field as a whole, as well as these individuals.

One of the most significant has simply been the explosion of the various forms of technology. For many SIOs and LvK awardees, they can still remember a time when Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms did not exist. They have had to learn to adapt to a crazy new world that relies on these technologies to communicate. Many have been excited about these advances, while others have been reluctant to keep up with the ever-changing demands of these new technologies. This required that they hire younger, more technology-adept professionals in their offices to take on these responsibilities.

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Last Thursday, the Supreme Court, deadlocked at 4-4, rendered a terse, nine-word, one-sentence non-decision on the executive actions known as DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) and DACA plus (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The absence of one Justice on the bench deprived more than five million people of the just recognition they deserve.

It took courage for people to step forward to ask for temporary relief from the threat of deportation for themselves and their family members. Their goals were to be recognized, to be heard, to go to school and to earn a living, and to demonstrate their desire to keep their families together. That courage was met by a Congress and Supreme Court that are incapable of action, and politicians using people as political footballs, kicking the vulnerable back to the shadows.

Our country has suffered through fractious debates over the past decade on several issues, perhaps none as contentious as immigration. This has caused paralysis. When Congress had the opportunity to address comprehensive immigration reform, the House failed to act and permitted the issue, and those affected, to languish. The administration then announced efforts to prioritize enforcement efforts, with mixed results.

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As international educators, we understand that global learning leads to a more engaged and welcoming United States, and a more secure and peaceful world. To be fully realized, these goals require a functioning immigration system. Our immigration law is the face the United States presents to the world. When it is broken, when the welcome mat is only out for some or pulled away entirely, the world takes note.

Immigration law impacts international education by dictating who may come to the United States, for how long, and what they can do while they are here. International education suffers when the law makes it difficult for international students, scholars, researchers, and others to come to the United States to learn and work. Additionally, by prohibiting the family members of international students from working or studying while they are in the United States, we send a message that they are not welcome, and add additional burdens for international students and scholars to endure.

Perhaps even more troubling is the way our current immigration law impacts the story we tell the world about ourselves. Our story is one of a nation of immigrants that welcomes new people who aspire to work hard and become Americans. Too frequently, in too many places in the world, our aspirational story has been eroded by a perception of anti-immigrant rhetoric and laws targeting immigrants for capricious or harsh treatments. As a result, our ability to achieve the goals of international education are crippled. Reforming immigration law supports the mission of international education, advancing global engagement by welcoming people from around the world to live, work, and study in our communities.

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By Stephanie Martell

attendees_education_200x150The NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo brings together thousands of international education professionals from all over the world. This presents an interesting opportunity to network and create connections in the field. But if you arrive at the conference expecting to make connections only through haphazard encounters at sessions, you may achieve only limited success. You need forethought and preparation. To effectively make use of time at NAFSA 2016, you must communicate with intention.

For me, pre-conference preparation begins with self reflection. I look at where I am and where I would like to be in the near and distant future. With this vision in mind, I research. For example, if my goal in the future is a particular job, I look at the following:

  • what experience others in the position have;
  • what skills are asked for in position descriptions;
  • what networks these professionals are tapped into;
  • how they comport themselves, etc.

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By Tiffany Harrison and Kayla Patterson

With the NAFSA annual conference just around the corner, we’d like to talk about the importance of getting social. More specifically, we’re referring to the use of social media to enhance your career and professional development. As we’ve stated previously, merging your offline and online networking together is integral to how you market yourself. To give you a better sense as to why your online profile has become increasingly valuable, we’re covering some of the key questions we’ve received as social media advocates, and discussing what it means for you as an international educator.

Why is social media so important for career development?

Social media is important for career development because it’s such a powerful form of networking. As is inherent in the term “social networks,” channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Instagram have become the places to build a network of friends, fans, followers, connections, or whatever else you’d like to call them! Networking is key to career and professional development. The connections you make on social media could help you get a new job, find a mentor, learn more about your industry, support a career change, and more.

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By Kashanna Fair


(Photo Credit: @scsuabroad on Instagram)

Map? Check. SmarTrip? Check. Hill appointments confirmed? Check. In March, at the 2016 NAFSA Advocacy Day, more than 100 NAFSA advocates, representing over 30 states and districts across the United States, came to Washington, D.C., to address topics integral to international education with their elected officials on Capitol Hill. Advocates shared the benefits of international students coming to the United States, the importance of American college students studying abroad, high-skilled immigration reform, and the need for betterment of U.S.-Cuba relations.

One particular group that came to Advocacy Day represented Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). I had the opportunity to follow this dynamic group throughout the day. They were a diverse and energetic group of 10 students and four faculty members who came to meet their congressional delegation. Excited and talkative, the college students strategized how they were going to engage with their leaders. The group met with staff from the offices of Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representatives Rosa DeLauro and John Larson to discuss high-skilled immigration reform and legislation that would end the U.S. trade embargo and travel ban on Cuba.

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In late 2014, President Obama announced that the United States would be charting a new course on Cuba. The news was warmly welcomed by proponents of education diplomacy who had been advocating for improved policies to support U.S.-Cuba relations for a decade. To mark the one-year anniversary of the president’s historic announcement, NAFSA launched the NAFSA Cuba Engagement Initiative, building on the organization’s longstanding focus on Latin America and Cuba, and redoubling its commitment to the use of academic partnerships for the United States and Cuba to more effectively engage with, and learn from, one another.

As international educators, we are proud to see exchanges featured so prominently as a key diplomacy tool for improving relations between Cuba and the United States. Despite these administrative advancements, the president can only act within the bounds of the law, which means that these policy changes are regulatory only. Our new era of normalization cannot be made permanent until Congress acts to repeal the embargo and end the travel ban to Cuba for U.S. citizens. As international educators work tirelessly to build sustainable partnerships between U.S. and Cuban institutions, the laws that dictate our policies undercut our efforts. We cannot be a globally engaged United States while the outdated embargo on Cuba is still in place.

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