Beacon to the Future

Nov. 4 - 6, 2001
Grand Rapids, MI

Welcome to Grand Rapids!

On behalf of the entire Region V Team and 2001 Local Arrangements, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to participate in the 2001 Regional Conference to be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 4th through the 6th. Local arrangements and the sectional chairs are putting together an exciting, informative and innovative conference program. In June, I had the opportunity to visit the conference hotel in Grand Rapids and was impressed with what I saw. Downtown Grand Rapids, which is only a shuttle ride from the hotel, is filled with an array of restaurants, museums and is surrounded by a beautiful historic district.

This year's conference theme is "A Beacon to the Future" which celebrates West Michigan's historical lighthouses and represents the leadership and vision NAFSA brings to the future of international education in higher education. I am pleased to announce that Region V is honored to have a leader in International Education, NAFSA President 2000-2001 Kay Thomas, from the University of Minnesota as our liaison from the NAFSA Executive committee. In addition, Region V will also be hosting two OSEA advisors this year, Julieta Jacob from Brazil and Funmi Huntar, from Nigeria. We are also looking forward to welcoming a wide range of exhibitors to this year's conference.

This year Region V will be offering five pre-conference workshops. This may be the largest number of pre-conference workshops that the Region has ever offered to its members! The pre-conference workshops include, Study Abroad 101, Graduate Admissions for Beginners, PPW/F-1 Regulations for Beginners, PPW-F-1 Second Step and PPW/Managing Cross Cultural Encounters. In addition, at the end of the November conference, Region V will offer two post conference workshops, J-1 for Beginners and H-1B Issues & Procedures: A Practical Workshop.

In addition to excellent pre and post conference workshops, the Grand Rapids conference is offering a vast array of outstanding sessions, poster sessions and a number of Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings. Grand Rapids will include a day and a half of sessions ranging from "The Nigerian Education System" to "When Different Worlds Collide". Of course, Local Arrangements is planning an excellent reception and restaurant hops for the conference. As always, the Region V conference is a great time to learn more about our field, make new friends and catch up with old ones.

As in La Crosse, on Sunday evening, November 4, Newcomers and mentoring programs will be offered. If you are a "newcomer" or "first timer" for NAFSA Region V, plan to attend the session at 5:00 PM. The mentoring session follows at 6:00 PM for those who sign up to be a mentor or a mentee. Please be sure to complete the forms at the back of the registration materials if you are in either of these categories.

This promises to be another outstanding conference. On behalf of the Team and Local Arrangements, we look forward to seeing you in Grand Rapids!

Jay Lokken
Region V Chair Elect