The 2019 NAFSA Regional Conferences were a wonderful success, drawing many colleagues from around the country into fascinating discussions and idea-sharing. The Arcadia team spoke of the significant interest in research and internship programs and opportunities for STEM students and short-term programs. Other major areas of discussion were the challenges associated with the rising cost of higher education and its impact on study abroad and the desire to increase study abroad access to under-represented student groups.
The 10 conferences encouraged the usual burst of energy and enthusiasm among our colleagues, during October and November, in locations from Washington, Wyoming, Texas and North Dakota, to Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and California.
Arcadia team members led or co-led a variety of sessions, organized small group dinners or receptions, and held individual meetings with study abroad professionals from a variety of Arcadia partner institutions in different regions. Here are the discussion highlights.
Dr. Jessie Guinn, Assistant Dean of STEM, attended the NAFSA Region III Conference (Addison, TX). According to Dr. Guinn, interest in STEM research and internship opportunities continues to be very strong. He had numerous conversations with colleagues about the Arcadia STEM Summer Research program during his time in Texas.
Darius Carey reported that study abroad access for under-represented student groups was a major theme at both the Region II (Cheyenne, Wyoming) and Region 1 (Tacoma, WA) conferences. He was particularly impressed with sessions on First Generation programs, innovative program design, and strategies for increasing study abroad participation. In addition to student access, Darius talked with numerous partners about Health and Safety, including identify formation abroad and improved pre-departure and on-site support for under-represented student groups.
Bridget Donoghue Vornholt enjoyed the Region XII Conference (Pasadena, CA), noting that there were a lot of good discussions around study abroad opportunities for U.S. veterans and community college students.
Drew Villierme-Lightfoot and Mary Rogers represented Arcadia at the NAFSA Region VIII Conference (Baltimore, MD). Drew co-led a panel presentation entitled "Facilitating Successful Experiences: Students with Disabilities in Study Abroad" and presented a poster titled "Leveraging Staff Voices to Support Inclusive Programs,” showcasing how staff can utilize their own personal background and experiences to help speak with students about identity topics in personal and impactful ways. Mary Rogers co-presented “Safety, Security & Support: State Department Resources for Study Abroad” and helped support a session on student visas.
Kelly Lampe had the opportunity to attend the Region IV Conference (Fargo, ND). She reported that despite the windy and cold weather, the conference turned out to be a rewarding and intimate event. The smaller group of attendees allowed for some great conversations and new connections with colleagues.
Meg Mack reported that the Region V NAFSA Conference (Milwaukee, WI) provided wonderful opportunities for engagement with colleagues, from fantastic sessions and networking receptions to an innovative secret agent dinner!
Wendy Lombardo and Angel Elvin had a great time attending the NAFSA Region XI Conference (Worcester, MA). Wendy presented two sessions: Financial Planning: Amplify the Impact on Your Future and Important Allies for Impacting Education Abroad Participation.
Melissa Chambers and Alicia Jones reported that this year’s Region VII Conference (Orlando, Fl) had over 600 participants. They were particularly impressed with the range of conference sessions that focused on diversity, access, and inclusion for under-represented groups in study abroad, as this aligns well with Arcadia’s focus on diversity and inclusion and the University’s new Inclusive Excellence Plan (2020 launch).
If you would like more information regarding the 2019 NAFSA Regional Conferences or The College of Global Studies, connect with your Regional Institutional Relations Team.