As I complete my first term as President and Chair of the Board of Directors, I wish to express my deep gratitude to all for your commitment to the association and the important work of international education. It has been an honor serving the association and together, through NAFSA, we have achieved a great deal over the past 2 years.
In 2014, NAFSA launched many new and important programs and increased efforts to complete long-range goals. Those include the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiative to expand educational exchange in the western hemisphere, continually advocating for commonsense immigration reform, and providing even more tools and programs aimed at growing campus internationalization.
As an association, NAFSA has a social responsibility to ensure that our programs and services and our campuses reflect an equitable, just, and inclusive agenda, and that underrepresented institutions and groups are included in all facets of our work if we are to achieve meaningful internationalization. In addition, we need to engage with parts of the world that have been significantly absent – Africa and South America - to ensure that marginalized voices are represented and reflected in our work.
We are making progress and need to stay the course.
Implementation of initiatives such as the new NAFSA Diversity Impact Program is an important step. The program supports those working at institutions serving underrepresented populations by helping them expand capacity, grow study abroad, and increase student global competencies. It also allowed many to attend the Annual Conference & Expo and hold NAFSA membership for the first time.
For the educators receiving these awards, this is a transformational experience both in terms of professional development and in finding a network of peers and partners. In 2015, we want to expand this program to help even more international educators grow and better serve their students.
We need your help to do this.
Over the past few years, our field has experienced unprecedented growth and a spike in interest. It is imperative that NAFSA builds programs and services with future generations of students, scholars, and professionals in mind. We must anticipate and understand the ways future generations conceptualize the value of this work. This requires intentional dialogues with a new generation of professionals and putting in place mechanisms for being responsive to the changing demographics within our profession.
By supporting NAFSA’s fundraising efforts this year, you will ensure that NAFSA can rise to the occasion of encouraging this new generation to grow not only as international educators within their respective institutions, but also in becoming future leaders of our organization through their continued interactivity with our membership.
Reaffirm your commitment to NAFSA by contributing a tax-deductible gift to support the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program to make all of these goals a reality for next year.
Thank you for your commitment and engagement. I look forward to working with all of you to advance our work.
Donate now at www.nafsa.org/donatenow to support NAFSA’s Diversity Impact Program and additional NAFSA programs dedicated to advancing the field and increasing diversity and inclusion among international education.