Michele Janosko received the 2018 KC ISSS Award of Excellence.
Janosko started her career in international education In May of 1992 as the administrative assistant in the Office of International Affairs at Duquesne University. It was a long journey from administrative assistant to counselor in charge of all applications to, finally, international adviser, which was her ultimate goal. At the time there were no websites for guidance. She spent one whole summer taking the NAFSA manual home every evening and reading and reading. While reading was helpful, the job requires actual hands on training, which she received from a generous mentor, Linda Gentile.
Michele served as the regulatory ombud for two years and to this day she still hears from other advisers because of that. She has also been integral in the Pittsburgh local NAFSA group. Michele believes that networking is key to being successful in this field, and that we are advocates for our students. As such, she believes that we have to, first and foremost, know what we are doing, and that without groups like KCISSS our jobs would be so much more difficult.
Michele tells the story about her dearest friend, who worked for McDonalds Corporation. She made a great deal of money, got stock options and perks like trips to Maui. When Michele would worry about one of her students this friend would say, “Why are you so upset? You don’t make enough money to worry so much.” Michele would always tell her, “Remember, you work with hamburgers, I work with international students. If I make an error I could ruin someone’s life – that does not happen with hamburgers!” Michele understands the enormous responsibilities we have to keep our students safe, in status, and successful.