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A Message from Chair Sandarshi Gunawardena

2012 has already taken flight, and yet it is never too late to wish all in Region VIII a year filled with good health, greater understanding, peace, and safety. The Region VIII team joins me in thanking all who attended the regional conference in Philadelphia in November and all those who presented, exhibited, sponsored, and helped organize the conference. It was a tremendously fulfilling endeavor to be able to organize the conference and to work with an incredible group of colleagues and team members, whose dedication to the region and the work we all do to help support international education is awe-inspiring. Thanks to all of you for making our Philly conference a great one.

In this new year, the Region VIII team is excited to take a close look at the data of the Outreach Survey that we administered last fall. I want to thank everyone who completed this survey. This is our first regional effort to reach out to our members and let their voices be heard on how we can work together to strengthen the work we do as a region. It is a step towards engaging our members in our regional efforts. We trust that your feedback will help provide further direction to our work and we look forward to your enthusiastic support to help any future efforts that will be the outcome of the data. Your active engagement in regional efforts will provide you with additional professional development avenues, afford you numerous opportunities to contribute further to the field of international exchange, and provide a wonderful networking opportunity for you to work with colleagues in our region. Stay tuned for more on this.

The Region VIII team is happy to welcome Jennifer McNabb from Carnegie Mellon University as our new Chair-Elect. Jennifer has worked in the field of international education for over sixteen years and has held other leadership positions with NAFSA. Jennifer will be the 2012 Conference Chair for our next conference, to be held in Alexandria, Virginia, in November of this year.

It is a great honor to be taking on the role of Chair of the region and, together with my colleagues Michael Dean (Past Chair) and Jennifer McNabb, providing leadership and serving the region. I look forward to working closely with you in the year ahead. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any ideas, questions or concerns.

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