Region XI Fall Virtual Event: Live From Your Home Office

Region XI Virtual Conference Kick Off

Date & Time: Thursday, August 6, 4:15 p.m.
Description: Join the Regional Leadership Team as we kick off the 2020 Virtual Conference! We will share the plans we've developed to bring the region together for professional develop.m.ent, networking, mentorship, and social connections over the course of the fall semester. This will be followed by breakouts into Knowledge Communities for an opportunity to catch up with colleagues as we get ready to kick off the fall!

Virtual Fairs: How to Make it Happen

Education Abroad Session
Date & Time: Tuesday, August 11, 3:00 p.m.
Description: As many campuses go fully or mostly online for the fall, so too do our events. For many of us, the Study Abroad Fair is a hallmark event of our fall semesters and a primary means to sharing international opportunities with our students. Shifting to a virtual event gives us the chance to re-think the fair experience and consider the structure, content, and delivery that will best serve our students. This session will feature creative ideas for planning your virtual event from two different campuses and a new (free!) platform you can use to set up your fair.

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  • Matt Schiesel, Assistant Director for Study Abroad, Siena College
  • Meaghan Murphy-Rennie, Assistant Director for Education Abroad, University of Hartford
  • John Benander, Founder & CEO, LunaTech & Design

Self-Care Yoga Session

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 12, 5:00 p.m.
Description: This class is designed to balance your body and mind, release stress, and tone your nervous system. We will breathe, move, rest, and practice gratitude. This class will be suitable to all levels. This session will be led by an instructor at Cadence Yoga Center, which is located just out in Sunderland, Massachusetts. Check them out at!

Back to School in the Time of COVID: Navigating Changing Travel Restrictions and SEVP Fall Guidance

ISSS Session: GRAC Town Hall
Date & Time: Wednesday, August 12, 3:00 p.m.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the time of COVID: Panel Discussion

Cross KC Session
Date & Time: Thursday, August 13, 12:00 p.m.
Description: To say that our field and our work has changed over the last few months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement would be an understatement, to say the least. We invite you to join Christina Thompson, Director of Partnership Develop.m.ent and Diversity Initiatives at Barcelona SAE, as she leads our panelists in a conversation about how their work has been impacted, what is missing from the conversation, and how we, as individuals, can continue to do the work to move international education forward in an inclusive and equitable way.

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  • Christina Thompson, Facilitator - Director of Partnership Develop.m.ent and Diversity Initiatives at Barcelona SAE
  • Pamela Dutta, Panelist - Associate Director for International Student and Scholar Success at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Joelle Tolifero, Panelist - Associate Director of Student Services at Diversity Abroad
  • Mary Struzska-Tyamayev - Director of the Center for Global Education at Simmons University

ISSS Offices in Times of Rapid Change: Strategies for Remote Work

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 25, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
This spring, ISSS offices were forced to transition swiftly to remote work and advising. This session will offer perspectives from a diverse group of institutions and provide tips for successfully navigating in a virtual world. The panelists will discuss their experience with digital technologies to enhance remote advising, compliance, and student case management. The session will also touch upon team building and best practices for maintaining connections with students and colleagues from a distance. Together we will discuss ways to move our offices’ mission and mandate forward in a greatly changed environment. The presentation will be followed by a 30 minute discussion section.


  • Emma Swift, Associate Director for the Office of International Education, University of Vermont
  • Laura Kanner, Director, International Student & Scholar Advising, Lesley University
  • Shannon Gerber, Associate Director, The Office of Global Services, Northeastern University
  • Susannah Marcucci, Director/PDSO & RO, International Students and Scholars Office, Clark University

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International Higher Education Research Panel

Education Abroad Session
Date & Time: Thursday, August 27, 2:00 p.m. EST
Description: As part of the Boston Area Study Abroad Association (BASAA) Summer Series, this session brings together graduate students conducting leading research in the field of International Higher Education. Panelists represent various institutions and will present on themes that resonate with the interests of study abroad administrators, faculty, and scholar-practitioners. Topics include reentry programming, internationalizing the curriculum through education abroad, and supporting diverse student populations in our work, such as Latinx students.


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  • Lea Girasole, Boston Area Study Abroad Association (BASAA) Chair
  • Alyssa MacNeill, Boston Area Study Abroad Association (BASAA) Chair
  • Grace Twardy, Boston Area Study Abroad Association (BASAA) Chair

Self-Care Session: Mindfulness and Reflective Writing

Date & Time: Tuesday, September 1, 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Region XI is pleased to partner with Jessica Bane-Robert, Writing and Literature faculty at Clark University, to present this mindfulness session. Jess will guide participants through a short meditation, dialogue, and reflective journaling. This practice is intended to allow practitioners to be more present and aware, providing benefits such as stress reduction, greater focus and self-control, greater self-knowledge and awareness, and compassion for self and others.

Presenter: Jessica Bane-Robert, MFA, Writer and Literature faculty at Clark University and owner of the Barred Owl Retreat in Leicester, MA.

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Self-Care Session: Freedom Meditation

Date & Time: Wednesday, September 2, 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
After months of some level of sheltering in place, restrictions, masking with no real end in sight, and other significant issues in the world, we all could use the opportunity to check-in and consider what would provide us with a bit of freedom to move forward and create a future that we are interested in and excited about.

Freedom meditation is a simple 10-12 minute technique that can spark this creative energy. In our 30 minute session, we will learn the technique, practice it, and debrief it so that you will be empowered to practice it on your own.

Session Presenter: Gail Cantor, Director of Spiritual Life, Endicott College

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Panel on Effects of Presidential Proclamation

Date & Time: September 9, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
This session will discuss the Presidential Proclamations based upon COVID, economic and security issues that are affecting students and scholars as well as university and institutional views, strategies on advising, and future outlooks in light of them. There will be an opportunity to ask questions regarding these topics at the end.

Session Presenters:

  • Ken Reade, Director, International Student and Scholars Services, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Noel Palatas, Manager, Partners HealthCare
  • Alison Howard-Yilmaz, Attorney, Iandoli Desai & Cronin PC
  • Madeline Cronin, Attorney, Iandoli Desai & Cronin PC

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Health, Safety and Well-Being in Education Abroad – Are There Standards for That?

Date & Time: September 15, 3-4 p.m.
Description: This session will present the evolution of the 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad as recognized by the U.S. federal government. For the first time, there is specific guidance provided that establishes a minimal threshold that organizations are obligated to meet if they are to be in compliance with the Standards. Participants will consider how these Standards could be applied in their own context to seek improvement in the programs they administer. Participants will closely examine these Standards as they investigate how they relate to issues of health, safety and well-being in education abroad. The Standards are useful in assisting with planning for emergencies and have been cited most recently as organizations respond to COVID-19.

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  • Emily Gorlewski, Director of Study Abroad, Wesleyan University
  • Natalie Mello, Vice President for Programs, Services, and Training, The Forum on Education Abroad

Socialize & Share – Books, Podcasts, Movies & More

Date & Time: September 22, 5-5:30 p.m.
Description: Have you recently read a book or listened to a podcast that inspired you to make a change in your life? This session will serve as a relaxing alternative as part of our wellness & social series to share some of the influential writings and podcasts that have been getting us through our day to day.

Finding new ways to disconnect from your work and take some alone time can be key in recharging and taking care of oneself. Daphne, one of our NAFSA team members, is a strong believer in community care so that self-care can be achieved, so why not give us your ideas and fountains of inspiration? And it's a great way to connect with colleagues across the region!

PS: Movies/Documentaries are also welcomed in this recommendation share session, so please bring some ideas to share with the group.

Facilitator: Daphne Galatas, New Hampshire State Rep

Navigating a Career Change: Strategies for Education Industry Professionals

Date & Time: September 24, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Description: Over the past six months, we have seen the landscape of international education go through drastic shifts and changes.

This session will focus on how to utilize different strategies and how to avoid obstacles as one is looking for job opportunities in the education field. The session will feature 3 panelists that have successfully changed jobs between Knowledge Communities and how they navigated that career change. The moderator of the panel will add his comments about entrepreneurial approaches to managing your career. We will end the session with time for Q&A and an opportunity for networking with colleagues.

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  • Peter McGovern, President & Global Founder of EdOdyssey


  • Christy Fry, Assistant Director of International Student & Scholar Services, Middlebury College
  • Rachael Lamson, Associate Director of International Admissions, Western New England University
  • Ruby Maddox, Study Abroad Advisor & Internship Coordinator, Mount Holyoke College

ISSS Advising in an Era of Uncertainty

Date & Time: September 30, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00
Description: In an era of unprecedented uncertainty, advisers are often faced with advising where there are no clear answers. This session will review the role of the adviser, ways to seek advise through NAFSA resources and colleagues, how to best involve outside resources such as congressional offices and courts, and most important, how to deal with the uncertainty ourselves.

Session Presenters:

  • Dan Berger, Partner, Attorney, Curran, Berger & Kludt
  • Elizabeth Capuano, Advisor to International Students and Scholars, Harvard University
  • Janet Ray, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Director of International Student Success/PDSO/RO, Providence

Turnkey Global Partnerships

Date & Time: October 1, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
CIEE maintains 30+ campus locations globally for students to begin their education on remote campuses and continue abroad when travel is more accessible. Eight U.S. institutions utilized this structure enrolling 1,300+ international students who studied on campuses in China and South Korea. The fast-paced adoption resolved visa and travel challenges and maintained enrollment. Intead and CIEE will discuss how offering students this flexibility can preserve institutions’ relationships with prospective and enrolled students. MCPHS will discuss their experience making a global campus option work in South Korea with just a few months lead time due to COVID-19.

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  • Ben Waxman, CEO, Intead
  • Seamus Harreys, Vice Global President of Global Enrollment, CIEE
  • Ita Duron, Executive Director of Global Strategies & International Programs, MCPHS

Competition or Complementary?: The Role of Virtual Programs in Education Abroad

Date & Time: October 7, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Description: What is virtual study abroad? Is it here to stay? How can it possibly measure up to an in-person experience? Is it competition or complementary to existing programs?

The world of education abroad has quickly pivoted to include virtual opportunities. While some question the place and value of online programs in study abroad, others are energized by the opportunity and excited by its future potential. Regardless of where you are on the spectrum, one thing is clear: there are still many questions yet to be fully answered and still much to be discussed and developed. Before the session, participants will watch a short pre-workshop video from the facilitators and complete a think-sheet to prepare. View the pre-workshop slides.

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  • Abigail Cavazos, Siena College
  • Peter McGovern, EdOdyssey

Region XI Business Meeting

Date & Time: October 8, 4-5 p.m.
Description: Join the NAFSA team for our annual regional business meeting. You will hear updates from each member of the regional team, we will give you an update about our regional finances, and tell you what's in store as we head into next year. Bring your questions, suggestions, and friendly faces!

Bonus - every person that attends will be entered into a raffle to win a mystery prize! The winner will be announced at our Closing Ceremony on October 29th, so be sure to tune in to win.

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NAFSA Academy In The Time of COVID

Date & Time: October 13, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Participants in the NAFSA Academy 17 Region XI Cohort share their learning plans and projects they have been working on as participants in the NAFSA academy. They will also reflect upon the challenges and opportunities that they faced this year during COVID and the benefits of participating in such a professional development opportunity during this challenging time.

Session Presenters:

  • Kara Witherill, Shorelight
  • Jason Serrano, Suny New Paltz (Region X)
  • Mirabelle Tseng, Worcester Poly Tech
  • Loren Scott, Middlebury College
  • Po-Wei Weng, the Cambridge School of Weston
  • Sidiq Soulemana, Wagner College (Region X)

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MIG/SIG Networking Lunch

Date & Time: October 14, 12-1 p.m.
Description: You are invited to a networking session with your NAFSA Region XI colleagues to learn about NAFSA Region XI's Member Interest Groups (MIGs) and Subject Interest Groups (SIGs). Bring your lunch and join us for an hour of conversation!

Social: NAFSA Bingo Night

Date & Time: October 15, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Description: Escape the home office doldrums and join your NAFSA Region XI colleagues for a chance to win a virtual State Basket (our twist on one of our favorite conference traditions) at B-I-N-G-O! Costumes and crazy attire highly recommended!

Unity in Community: Leveraging the International Education Office to Foster Student Engagement and Support Institutional Enrollment in Uncertain Times

Date & Time: October 20, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
The trend of deferring college, choosing a gap year, or taking a Leave of Absence has been growing in popularity in the U.S. over the last few years, but this year, as a result of the pandemic and its associated complications with travel, thousands of domestic and international students were unexpectedly faced with the decision to choose or abandon their college plans without support or a clear path forward. With higher education institutions tackling the enrollment crisis this fall and beyond, now is the time for creativity, innovation, and for international offices to showcase our value with our innate ability to foster community.

This session will explore education abroad program designs from both public and private institutions as well as a provider for purposes of increasing retention and enrollment, providing an alternative and accessible path forward for students, and preserving the internationalization mission on campus. Presenters will then facilitate a discussion about the role of educators in creating and preserving global communities of learners. This session is intended for all international education audiences.

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Session Presenters:

  • Corey Blackmar, Associate Director, Internationalization Initiatives, Emerson College
  • Ian Lim-Bonner, IEP Campus Consultant, Plymouth State University
  • Laura Smith, University Relations and Customized Groups Manager, Kaya Responsible Travel

The Virtual Connection: Communication with Stakeholders During the Pandemic

Date & Time: October 21, 3-4pm
Communicating about immigration has always been challenging, but never more so than during the pandemic. We must engage electronically and virtually to ensure our campuses are up to date on the constantly changing immigration rules, policies and guidance that impact our international students, scholars, faculty and staff. This session will explore how to identify key stakeholders and effectively communicate with them, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

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  • Nia DeYounge, Associate Director, Center for International Students and Scholars, Bentley University
  • Susan Ellison, Director, Office of Visa and Immigration Services, Dartmouth College
  • Tana Ruegamer, Director & Advisor, Slater International Center, Wellesley College

Advocacy: You Matter, Your Voice Matters

Date & Time: October 22, 12:00 p.m.
As the events of recent months have made forcefully clear, the need for advocacy in international higher education is as critical as ever. Join this session in which panelists will draw upon their current work and professional experiences to talk about advocacy in its different forms.

The session will include short presentations as well as ample opportunities for audience Q&A and discussion. Learn how you can re-energize your efforts and use your voice to promote change in the interests of your students, scholars, and your own team and institution.

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  • Aileen L. Lachs, Caseworker, Office of United States Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
  • Elizabeth Goss, Principal, The Law Office of Goss & Associates
  • Erica Stewart, Director of Advocacy & Media Outreach, NAFSA


  • Andrew K. Shiotani, Director, International Center, Tufts University


  • Susannah Marcucci, Director, International Student and Scholar Services, Clark University

Study Abroad Student Leadership: Pandemic Edition

Date & Time: October 28, 11am - 12pm
Student leaders (ambassadors, peer mentors, etc.) are central to the advising, programming, and outreach efforts of many study abroad offices and organizations. But what does a student leader’s role look like in the midst of a pandemic? Is it worthwhile to have a student leadership team during this time? How can student leaders continue to engage with their peers, their study abroad office, and program provider virtually? These are some of the questions we will explore together during this interactive session.

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  • Hannah Parten, Study Abroad Advisor, Wesleyan University
  • Emily Nagel, Regional Director for University Relations and Outreach, API Abroad

Closing Ceremony and Awards

Date & Time: October 29, 4-5 p.m.
Description: Join us for our final event of the Region XI Virtual Conference! We will present our regional awards to deserving colleagues, announce the new NAFSA Region XI team members, and raffle off two of our digital State Baskets and the NAFSA Adviser's Manual!

We also encourage you to dress in your Halloween best! Without an office to show off your Halloween costume to, why not wear your costume to our Closing Ceremony instead? Look out for some spooky virtual backgrounds and themed mocktail recipe that we will share before the session so we can feel like we are all together.

We hope you will join us to connect and celebrate our first (and hopefully last) fully virtual conference!

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Congratulations to our 2020 award winners!