With a busy International Education Week behind us, I’m reflecting on the impact that international education has had on my life. My work in the field has provided me a chance to grapple with and explore the world. It has pushed me beyond the limits of what I understood about education, interconnectivity, and leadership. 

While reminiscing over what I’ve learned in my career as an international educator, I’m reminded of my journey with NAFSA—the years have flown by! I have attended 22 annual conferences, served as chair for NAFSA Region IV, and sat on the Leadership Development Committee. After serving in these and several other volunteer roles, I’m currently the poster chair on the Annual Conference Committee, and this opportunity, like many others, has given me a reason to think beyond the day-to-day details of my job.

I am already thinking about next year’s annual conference theme, which calls us all to “dream big” about the future of international education, write a new story together, imagine new possibilities, and advocate for change. This theme sparks a conversation about topics that I believe are critical to international education, such as resilience, interdependence, and creativity. 

The poster fair is an instrumental part of bringing the “dream big” theme to life, and I invite you (yes, you!) to submit a poster for the NAFSA 2021 Annual Conference & Expo. We have 15 themes to choose from across all areas of the international education field. The poster fairs at the annual conference provide international educators from all over the world and every part of the field an opportunity to share their work. 

Presenting a poster facilitates connections with others who are interested in the same area. It allows you to make your own mark on the field and contribute to your colleagues’ growth. It is an unmatched opportunity from which I personally have benefited greatly.

I am so fortunate to be part of an Annual Conference Committee that is committed to hearing from you, learning from you, and engaging with you. The deadline to submit your poster proposal is January 6, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. (EST). You can get information about guidelines, templates, themes, and more on our website.  

We look forward to seeing your ideas, programs, model practices, and research. Don’t miss your opportunity to share and engage—you’ll be glad you did!

Tonya Veltrop is the assistant director, international health, safety, and security at University of Missouri. She is Poster Chair for the NAFSA 2021 Annual Conference Committee.