As 2021 draws to a close, I wanted to take some time to reflect on this past year. It has certainly been one that has changed my life, especially since I started in the field of crisis management in education abroad right before the pandemic. However, one thing that has remained constant is my unwavering support of the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo, and I am fortunate to serve in the role of poster chair on the Annual Conference Committee. Though 2022 will likely hold more change for the field, the annual conference promises to be a cornerstone in international education.

I had the opportunity to meet with our cohort of poster fair organizers a few weeks ago as we prepared for our upcoming proposal deadline. (If you’re not aware, poster proposals are due on December 8, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. [EST].) During our discussion, I was blown away by their enthusiasm for our 15 themes, so I asked the group to share what excites them about the poster fair and their assigned theme.

Read what they wrote below and submit your poster today for the upcoming NAFSA 2022 Annual Conference & Expo. I can’t wait to see you in Denver!

What is exciting about the different themes?

Advocacy in International Education: “It embraces different perspectives, promotes engagement with people from diverse backgrounds to foster social, economic and environmental justice.” —Maricy Schmitz, Embassy of Brazil

Crisis Management in International Education: “The last 2 years have forced everyone in the field (and the world, really) to develop a greater understanding of and effective strategies for crisis management. While this may not be the most glamorous side of the field, it is an increasingly important part for all of us to be aware of and there have been so many rapid, creative, and effective changes in recent years that will be exciting to share.” —Travis Pentz, MA, University California-San Francisco

Global Learning On and Off Campus: “This theme is not relegated to one knowledge community but could span multiple, and this theme provides the opportunity to showcase collaboration with other campus partners, international partners, or units. In the process of brainstorming and collaborating with creative peers to build and update programs that engage students curiosity, we, too, engage in the process of learning from each other and from our students.” —Katie Pazda, MA, AIFS Study Abroad; and Rachel Massey, MA, Lorenzo de Medici Institute

Increasing Diversity Outreach and Support in International Education: “Through this poster fair, international educators will be able to share ideas, tools, and collaborations to promote access and equity.” —Anna Hayes, MIS, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; and Adriana Ota-Kotner, MS, University of Idaho

Intercultural Initiatives in International Education: “Only 10 years ago the idea of global citizenship and globalized communities was still new, however, this is quickly becoming the norm. We need to create communities of care and curiosity regarding multicultural competency to learn and benefit from the increased globalization in education.” —Stephanie Boedecker, MEd, Marquette University

Orientation Programs as an Integral Support Service: “We are excited about the orientation theme, because orientation is the time to create opportunities for students to acclimate to their new culture (including culture of the school) and ensure that students have access to the information and resources at the right time.” —Vina Titaley, MA, University of Delaware; and Trisha Winkle, MA, Texas A&M

Updates on Country and Regional Higher Education: “The last 2 years have presented us with rapid shifts in laws and policies that govern international education (some that have afforded more flexibility, some less) with huge differences in the approaches of different countries/regions. Its therefore more important than ever to get across and explore these changes as we develop our best practices for a post COVID world.” —Priya Sivaraj, University of Sydney

Why should you submit a poster proposal?

“NAFSA poster sessions are an amazing opportunity for learning and for networking. Not only will you walk away sharing information about your program, but you will learn so much about the diversity of approaches and innovations that other programs are developing.” —Andrea Dallas, PhD, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

“Poster presentations tend to be less intimidating than sessions. They are a great opportunity to get involved with NAFSA as a new or seasoned professional or a graduate student and expand ones network in the field.” —Laure Bordas-Isner, PhD, Wayne State University; and Stephanie Holleran, MA, University of Houston-Clear Lake

“The poster fair is a more low-key opportunity to present on your interests in international education. Its less competitive than a regular session and more intimate in many ways—kind of like doing many mini presentations with your audiences!” —Emily Grubbe, MS, Duke Kunshan University

“Designing and presenting a poster is an excellent professional development activity. We can think about our ideas in different ways because we need to organize them into a concise one-page visual representation. Talking through our ideas with an outside audience also allows us to receive feedback on them and consider alternative views on our topic.” —Ilka Kostka, PhD, Northeastern University

“Posters are a great tool for communicating ideas easily, as long as they are brief, concise and selective.” —Amalia Herencia-Grillo, PhD, Sitel

“It is great opportunity for first-timers attending the conference. Also, posters are a great source to present information in a crisp and objective format. The presentation style also enables one-to-one interactions with attendees.” —Khwaja Umam, MPA, SimplED

“The poster session allows for increased sharing of best practices and the opportunity to create many new contacts since the format makes the presenter approachable and encourages conversation. This is a great benefit for the presenter—its a great way to meet many new people!” —Whitney Longnecker, MA, Texas Tech University

Learn more about the new format for the NAFSA 2022 Annual Conference & Expo and the call for poster proposals. Reminder: The submission deadline is December 8, 2021! We're excited to see you there and learn together as we "Build our Sustainable Future."


Tonya Veltrop, MBA, is the poster chair of the NAFSA 2022 Annual Conference Committee.