Dear Fellow International Educators from Texas,

Happy New Year! I am writing to thank you for having given me the opportunity to have served you as Texas State Whip for the last few years. It was a true honor and I greatly appreciate all your great letters to Congress, calls, time, and enthusiasm you have invested. I have learned so much from you, and NAFSA, and am grateful to you all!

For this year (and the 112th Congress), NAFSA has decided to put the State Whip program on hold for a year, while venturing into a "new advocacy initiative for NAFSA: a community outreach effort to bolster efforts at the local, state, and federal level."

I do want to tell you how grateful I have been to the Texas liaisons, Region III chair stream, and others in Texan leadership who have made scholarships available to send Texans to Advocacy Day in the last few years. (I will do what I can with you to ensure this program continues every year!) This year a special "congratulations" goes out to our Advocacy Day 2011 scholarship recipients, who are:

  • Minita Santizo, St. Mary's University
  • Mark Powell, Region III Tech Sig
  • Mathelda Molina, ELS
  • Jose Hernandez, University of Dallas
  • Tatiana Woldman, UT-Austin

Be sure and let them know your concerns, so they can share them with Senators and Congressmen when they go to DC in March 2011.

I hope you will join "Connecting Our World" if you have not done so yet. You are encouraged to share your stories on the blog, comment on others who have written, and continue to respond to the advocacy alerts. We still have so much to do together, given current Texas DPS challenges, need for educating Congress, etc. Every voice should be heard and is very important, as we continue together as Texans to advocate for the importance of international education exchange.

Best wishes, and thank you so much! It was a great honor to have had the opportunity to have served in this role.

Adria Baker

Adria L. Baker, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Office of International Students & Scholars
Rice University