Conference Sessions

Session proposals for the 2018 conference are being accepted through January 19, 2018.

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2017 Conference Sessions

A New Approach to Orientation: The Pre-departure Conference

Presenters: Aimee Call, North Carolina State University
When the typical orientation sessions fail to be efficient and effective, the Pre-departure Conference is a three-part program designed to better prepare outgoing study abroad students for their international experiences. We’ll briefly discuss two of the parts, a Study Abroad Handbook and Online Orientation Videos, and delve into the Conference, its topics, timing, and format.

Connecting with Faculty: More than Faculty-Led Programs

Presenters: Michael Tyson, Wake Forest University; Sarah Langston, SAI Programs
Faculty are key in making study abroad a reality for students. This session presents ideas for increasing meaningful collaboration with faculty beyond leading programs, such as supporting their own overseas endeavors, providing professional development opportunities, collaborating on curriculum integration efforts, and more to create stronger partnerships between faculty and the education abroad office.

Ask an Alum: Challenges and successes with study abroad alumni organizations

Presenters: Kyle Keith, Wofford College; Anna Hurd, IES Abroad, Ashley Steed, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Study abroad alumni organizations can have various structures at different institutions, but often share many of the same challenges. This session will showcase a comparative view of the presenters’ institutions and study abroad alumni organizations, including:  Wofford College’s “Global Ambassadors,” UNC Chapel Hill’s “Peer Advisors” and IES Abroad’s “Ambassadors”. Hear directly from students about their perspectives on and experiences with study abroad alumni organizations, and share your own insights into working with these important student groups.

Consortium Programs: Developing accessible semester programs abroad

Presenters: Katrena Henderson, University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Elizabeth Lorenz, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
UNC Charlotte and UNC Wilmington manage well-established consortium semester education abroad programs. This session will highlight consortium programs from development and design to marketing and evaluation. Both programs will be used as a case study to review the pro and cons for students and administrators, with an emphasis on how these programs blend the best of two worlds: faculty-led and independent programs.

Tech Evolution: Building a System That Works for Everyone

Presenters: Jessica Vang, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Diane Hancock, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
An overview of the English Language Training Institute at UNC Charlotte’s transition from operating with several systems such as Excel, Banner, Access and Canvas to a custom-built enrollment management system with specific applications for administrators, instructors and students. This presentation will not be highly IT-focused, given our roles, but will focus on the new system’s impact on administrative processes.

ESL Round-table

Presenters: Brad Teague, Duke University; Kaitlyn Aigner, Duke University
Want to know what your ESL colleagues across the state are doing? This interactive round-table session will give you an opportunity to share successes and challenges at your own institution while also hearing about the experiences of others. To maximize the usefulness of the session, participants will give input into the specific topics selected. Come ready to engage with your ESL colleagues in an informal yet insightful discussion.

Active Listening: Providing a framework for the termination conversation

Presenters: Michael Shurer, North Carolina State University; Anthony Shurer, North Carolina State University
Talking with students about F-1 or J-1 status terminations following academic intelligibility is one of the most difficult responsibilities of an international student advisor.   Due to regulatory reporting timelines, there is a very limited window in which many conversations need to happen. This small window and the weight of these conversations can be very stressful for both the student and the advisor. This session will review the tools needed to navigate these conversations: We will review the technical knowledge of regulations and policies that is required for these conversations and will focus on how communication strategies like active listening and framing conversations can lead to more productive and less stressful advising sessions.

When the Government Comes Knocking: A Refresher Course on FERPA and release of protected information

Presenters: Elizabeth James, North Carolina State University; Bradley Trahan, North Carolina State University
As we continue to learn more about the incoming administration and its priorities with regard to immigration, enforcement, and vetting of certain populations, it is a good time for campuses to review and update their policies and practices regarding the release of information to government entities, particularly with regard to international students and scholars and those that may be undocumented or on DACA.  The Director of the Office of International Services and the Interim Assistant General Counsel and Compliance & Integrity Manager at North Carolina State University will review these regulations and discuss best practices going forward.

Assessing the Spiritual Needs of International Students and Why It Matters to the International Advisor

Presenters: Alex Wesner, North Carolina State University
Higher Education institutions often go beyond a narrow academic focus in their efforts to define, create, and support a campus of successful students.  In view of this holistic approach, ISSS offices are and should be aware of those situations and circumstances that can potentially and directly impact international students’ respective immigration statuses and ability to complete [successfully] their intended academic objective. These include not just enrollment and employment matters, but also those areas that treat the physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being of the individual student.  One possibly overlooked area affecting positive outcomes deals with how campus communities and support units acknowledge, identify, and provide for the spiritual needs of their religiously diverse populations.  With that in mind, this session aims to:  1) recognize the diverse religious backgrounds and varying degrees of religiosity among international students in the United States; 2) demonstrate the need for support services in the area of spiritual/religious concerns; 3) identify and exchange ideas/information regarding existing services/resources and current practices that help meet this need among U.S. higher education institutions; 4) discuss potentially delicate/sensitive issues to be mindful of with a special focus on state/public higher education institutions.

Fostering Intercultural Exchange & Leadership Development

Presenters: Lorelle Babwah, Duke University; Bridget Fletcher, Duke University
This session will share information about an innovative intercultural leadership opportunity created for students, the Global Leadership Fellows Program (GLFP). GLFP provides a year-long framework and guidance for students who wish to gain a deeper, more introspective understanding of the cross-section of leadership and intercultural communication.  Program activities focus on leadership, personal development, and cultural competency.

Building Recruitment and Internationalization at Home Opportunities Simultaneously Through Technology: The Global Discussions Program

Presenters: Jami Leibowitz, East Carolina University; Laurel Appleton, East Carolina University
Do you want to provide a meaningful international experience on your home campus while simultaneously increasing interest in study abroad and marketing your institution as a destination for international study? This session will introduce East Carolina University’s Global Discussions Program and provide ideas for the implementation of a similar program on your campus. Global Discussions creates an opportunity for local students to interact live time with international students through technology. This guided experience allows students to learn about the cultures they are interacting with and increase interest in further international education while providing an opportunity to highlight your university to recruit international students.

Towards Ethical Internationalization in Practice: A Discussion for all International Educators

Presenters: Katy Rosenbaum, AIEA/Duke University
This highly interactive, discussion-based session is intended to spark reflection about how ethics can be infused throughout campus internationalization, no matter the role or level of the practitioner.  The session begins with a quick overview of some of the ethical concerns and how IE organizations have created structures (standards, principles, etc.) towards addressing these issues. The most important element of the session results from capitalizing on the collective insight of participants, who will be asked to identify priorities and brainstorm with colleagues from their specific functional areas on how they can realistically and intentionally involve ethical considerations in their work and the work of their institution.

Intent v. Impact: Socially-conscious social media for international education

Presenters: Shanna Van Beek, Elon University; Kyle Keith, Wofford College, Adam Constantine, Elon University
Social media has become an increasingly important tool for international educators to use for promoting education abroad opportunities, showcasing international students on campus, and celebrating campus internationalization. In order to provide greater access to global opportunities, social media managers must be intentional with the messaging of their posts and how those posts will be perceived by all audiences; particularly, by underrepresented student populations.This session will explore the intersections of social media, international education, and representation of diverse student populations, and it will also provide strategies for auditing your social media presence for both your brand and the varied interests of your audiences.

Ban Versus Waivers for travel to countries with a Travel Warning

Presenters: Christy P. Michels, Duke University; Paula Eastman, Duke University
Provide an overview of Duke University’s now decade old ‘International Travel Policy’ and how managing student travel has developed over time.  We plan to go over the development of initial policy, how we engage faculty in the process, day-to-day management of overseeing student travel abroad, how we communicate policy and travel restrictions to certain non-US destinations to a decentralized campus as well as how we manage challenges associated with compliance.

Psyche of an Chinese and Indian Student

Presenters: Olga Booth, Methodist University; Minnu Paul, Methodist University
India and China constitutes almost half of the world’s population and therefore becomes the emerging market for undergraduate international recruitment. This session will help you understand the nuances of both the markets as you develop your recruitment strategies. During the session, we will concentrate on the elementary and secondary education system and the college-preparatory process in India and China. We will also emphasize on the different perception the stakeholders have as they make their decision to pursue the undergraduate degree in the US.

A House Divided Cannot Stand: The Relationship between Admissions & ISS

Presenters: Carrie O’Brien, Wake Forest University; Pascale Toussaint, North Carolina State University
The last few years have seen an increase in internationalization across colleges and universities and as we all experience or seek exponential growth in international student enrollment it is imperative that we understand the shared responsibilities of the admissions and International Student Services offices in attracting, with enrolling, and retaining international students. In this session we will explore the beneficial and sometimes challenging relationship between both offices from the perspective of three professionals who represent  international recruitment, admissions and ISS fields.

MSI Round Table: Overcoming Barriers to Study Abroad

Presenters: Sharmila Udyavar, Fayetteville State University; Allegra Laing, Elon University
This is an interactive round-table session with invited participants from campus stakeholders that are necessary to engage students at MSIs, HBCUs & HSIs in studying abroad. There will also be an opportunity to share your own successes and challenges as we share best practices in enhancing and boosting participation among the underserved populations. Come prepared to share and collaborate with your colleagues at minority serving institutions and take away a wealth of ideas to implement on your campuses!

How to Develop a Strategic Communication & Social Media Plan

Presenters: Jess Taylor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Megan Hennings, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
This social media bootcamp aims to provide substantive and applicable strategies to best use social media for any office and any target audience. We will build upon your knowledge of popular social media platforms by giving you specific tools to help you create an intentional online presence. Social media is an integral, every day method of achieving department needs and campus wide internationalization initiatives. Whether you’re just entering the professional social media world or are further refining your skills, this workshop-style session will provide you with an action plan to bring back to your office.

Generation Study Abroad: How a Community College Met Its Commitment Pledge

Presenters: Suzanne LaVenture, Davidson County Community College
In October of 2016, Davidson County Community College was awarded the IIE Seal of Excellence at the Generation Study Abroad Summit as one of a dozen institutions to meet its pledge to double the number of students who study abroad.  How has a semi-rural community college been able to achieve such amazing results?  Come to this session to find out.

How to Turn your Student Workers into Rock Stars: A Student Worker Role in an International Education Office

Presenters: Kadija Alkusaimi, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Student workers play a critical role in an international education office. They provide support and student perspective to the office day-to-day operations.  Student employment can benefit both the international office and the student worker’s professional development while also helping to mold the next generation of International Education professionals! In this session we will highlight some of the more interesting student worker roles, explore the skill sets  that they bring to the table, as well as training and professional development.

Rethinking the Survey: Finding tools to create an effective survey for your International Student population

Presenters: Leila Ghannad, Meredith College; Karen Marshall, Appalachian State University
We all strive to provide the best possible services to our international student populations but it is often difficult to understand their needs and wants.  During this session, participants will learn how both Meredith College and Appalachian State University have assessed their international student populations, how they got high response rates, and how to move forward after analyzing the results.   This session is not only beneficial for those interested in assessing their international student population but also ones who have already assessed their population. At the end, we would like to hear from other schools regarding their experiences in creating surveys and using the results to better the experience of their international students. 

International Students’ Fears and Struggles

Presenters: Olga Uzun, North Carolina State University
Qualitative research done at NC State University  Intensive English Program focuses on fears and struggles international students have before and after coming to the US.


Presenters: Sarah Van Gorp and Dana Moore, SEVP
Latest updates on SEVIS and SEVP including policy guidance, SEVIS enhancements and what to anticipate next.


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