NAFSA Diversity Impact Program Participants Find Inspiration and Opportunities After San Diego

October 06, 2014

By NAFSA

NAFSA creates multiple opportunities for international educators that provide long-lasting benefits and career growth. Some of our latest NAFSA members already know that firsthand.

One of NAFSA's newest initiatives, the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program, rewards those working with underserved student populations on a variety of campuses.

At the 2014 Annual Conference & Expo in San Diego, 27 honorees, all working at tribal colleges; historically black colleges and universities; Hispanic-serving institutions; and community colleges and associates colleges, attended workshops, sessions, and luncheons on a variety of international education topics.

After the conference ended, many NAFSA Diversity Impact Program participants found themselves and their work transformed by their experience.

"My attendance at NAFSA has added legitimacy to the development of an Office of Global Studies," said Cynthia D. Rapp Sandhu, global studies coordinator at San Juan College, on how her attendance in San Diego benefitted her school.

"I never knew how an interaction at NAFSA could lead to more possibilities at our college," added Drew Gephart of Peralta Community College's Office of International Education.

The program allowed participants to attend the conference with a complimentary registration, which for many was their only option for participating in the event. Many were either new to the field or in the process of building or expanding their institution's program. Recipients also received a one-year NAFSA membership.

Initiatives like the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program will continue enriching all NAFSA members by connecting them with new perspectives and encouraging dialogue on diversifying internationalization efforts.

"'Diversity' (however one may define it) is at the core of what NAFSAns do and are," says Ebony C. Majeed, director of Hampton University's International Office. "Being able to interact with a diverse membership is simply a microcosm of our daily roles. It allows us to have a continuous reminder of our purpose in the field of international education. Diversity in membership keeps us on our toes for the people we serve."

NAFSA plans on growing the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program to provide more opportunities for those selected next year. To assist that, the program will be the main beneficiary of upcoming fundraising.

The list of this year's honorees can be found at the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program page. Visit the Support NAFSA section to explore our fundraising efforts.


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