Fight for DREAM Act Continues in Maryland

September 01, 2011 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Immigration Policy

By Jody K. Olsen, PhD

A Montgomery County, Maryland, high school principal and close friend told me in March of the number of top graduating seniors at her school who were undocumented and thus being denied access to many colleges nationally and required to pay out-of-state tuition at public universities in the state they and their parents called home.  The tuition difference was $10,000 to $16,000, making college unaffordable for most. They had worked so hard academically and dreamed of giving their talents back to Maryland.... See More

The Art of the Possible: My Day at the White House

August 10, 2011 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Immigration Policy

By Lisa A. Nutt

I’m a big fan of quotes, sayings, proverbs, and all types of words of wisdom. I actually have a wall of them in my office and a running list that I add to almost daily. One of my favorites is “politics is the art of the possible.” That expression best captures how I feel after having attended President Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge White House convening last week, along with representatives of 194 other colleges and universities from all corners of the country. There is nothing like being in a room with like-minded individuals—at the White House.... See More

Eleven NAFSA Members Making a Difference in Their Communities: These are Their Stories

August 04, 2011 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy

By Kari Lantos

As I am writing this, eleven NAFSA members across the country are hard at work embodying the phrase “all politics is local.” I met with all of them for the first time in June, when they came to NAFSA headquarters in Washington, DC for a one-day training session to develop and fine-tune their advocacy skills – this was the official inaugural kick-off of NAFSA’s Grassroots Leadership Program.

We started this program in response to the growing need for training and resources to help international educators address public policy challenges they face in their states and communities. The eleven members of the inaugural cohort have developed work plans with local and state-wide objectives on issues such as how to internationalize their campuses and local communities, expand opportunities for study abroad (specifically to underrepresented populations like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM students), and to increase foreign language learning and study abroad opportunities in K-12 schools. Next summer, after the participants have completed the program, these toolkits will be available for download on Connecting Our World.

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Looking Forward to Great Content in Houston

July 19, 2011 | Topics: Annual Conference

By David Wick, EdD

When I joined the 2012 Annual Conference Committee as Workshop Chair I had no idea how much excitement would build far in advance of the 2012 Annual Conference in Houston, TX. As a committee, we have enjoyed thinking about how to infuse the theme of Comprehensive Internationalization: Vision and Practice throughout the conference content. These efforts have generated lists of suggested topics from all of NAFSA's content areas. We hope that this theme will create an opportunity for international educators from around the world to engage in discussions about how to interpret and implement ideas from NAFSA's recent publication Comprehensive Internationalization: From Concept to Action.... See More

Why It’s Important to Raise Our Voices, Again and Again

July 07, 2011 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy

By Victor C. Johnson

Contrary to the impression I’m about to give you, this post isn’t about immigration. Many of us who believe that immigrants make our country stronger and who are committed to working for comprehensive immigration reform are struggling with two seeming realities of these difficult times: first, the rise in anti-immigrant sentiment, due in part to the economic downturn; and second, the collapse of public support for immigration reform. We get discouraged. We feel like we should just give up. This is true not just for many of us as individuals, but also for some of the principal immigration groups that we rely on for leadership, but which seem to have fallen silent. We think: What’s the point? We can’t win. Public opinion is going in the other direction... See More

“We aren’t always who you think we are” – Thoughts on Jose Antonio Vargas and the Immigration Debate

By Ursula Oaks

When I first heard about Jose Antonio Vargas’ campaign, Define American, the phrase was like a punch in the gut. Unlike Vargas, I’m not an illegal immigrant, and nothing about my appearance makes people wonder where I came from. But I am an immigrant, and like him and countless others, I have spent my life striving to live the definition of “being an American” that he articulates: hard work, a sense of deep pride in being here, and a desire to contribute.... See More