Receiving Life Membership at the annual conference in Kansas City last June was certainly a highlight of my career as an international educator. It was humbling, yet thrilling, to be recognized by colleagues for my contributions to the advancement of NAFSA’s goals and those of international education and exchange. I was particularly touched to learn how I had influenced the lives of other professionals through my mentoring and training.
My involvement with NAFSA goes back more than 22 years. A long-term member of the Trainer Corps, I have organized, chaired, and presented numerous workshops at the state, regional, and national levels and presented at countless conference sessions as well. Over the years, I have held a number of Region III leadership positions including treasurer and chair. I have also served in national positions, most recently as poster chair for Kansas City and the upcoming Vancouver annual conference. My commitment to NAFSA seems to have influenced those with whom I worked. I am pleased and proud that several of my former staff members have also become NAFSA leaders.
I encourage NAFSAns to take the time to nominate a deserving colleague for Life Membership. Life Members, as one might assume, no longer have to pay membership dues and receive a discounted registration fee at anual conferences. These benefits are an incentive for retiring members to continue contributing their skills and expertise. Your nomination is your way of telling a colleague that you recognize and appreciate his/her accomplishments in the field of international educational exchange and that you hope he/she will stay involved in the association long after retirement. Take it from me, this gesture will mean a great deal to the recipient of Life Membership.
Suzanne Marlay has been the faculty immigration specialist and assistant to the dean of University College at Arkansas State University for the past two and half years, but has worked within the university's international programs for more than 20 years. She has been an active NAFSA member for more than 22 years. Marlay has received several recognitions from organizations at the local, state, and national level. Marlay is the poster chair for the 2011 Annual Conference in Vancouver. She is clearly an active life-long NAFSA member.