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Volume 11 Edition 3: November 2011 Emily Holmes, Editor

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IPC Staff Take Part in a Collaborative Online International Learning Program

Denise Bellamy

Denise Bellamy, Director,
Study Abroad & Exchanges

On September 16-18, 2011, Dr. Ali Schultheis Moore, Associate Professor of English, and Denise Bellamy, IPC Director of Study Abroad & Exchange Programs, participated in the COIL Institute Freshman Foundations Workshop.  The COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) Center developed this two-year Institute to foster globally networked learning environments within the Humanities.  The three-day workshop was held at The State University of New York (SUNY) Global Center in New York City and provided an opportunity for COIL Fellows from various universities to collaborate in the design and development of virtual courses.  

Globally networked learning is a new approach to teaching and learning that provides faculty and students the ability to communicate and collaborate directly and immediately with their peers around the world through the use of online communication tools. The COIL approach to globally networked learning is to link a university class in the U.S. with a university class abroad.

SUNY

SUNY Global Center in New York City

Currently, UNCG is partnered with the American University Beirut in this effort and is working to develop a course in Human Rights.  The course would explore human rights through history, philosophy, literature, political and religious discourse, visual art, poetry, and film and would allow students at UNCG and American University Beirut to discuss what they understand as it relates to the shared human condition.  The English-language course would count for 3-credit hours and would be offered at UNCG through the Lloyd International Honors College as a Freshman Foundations seminar, introducing students immediately to the intercultural competencies they need to be successful throughout their undergraduate careers.



Staff Attends NAFSA Region VII Conference


IPC staff members Tom Martinek, Jr., Lindsay Armistead, Logan Stanfield, and Norma Velazquez attended the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA) Region VII conference in Mobile, Alabama on October 24-26, 2011.  The staff was accompanied by one UNCG undergraduate student, Dora Rosser, who was the recipient of a travel award from NAFSA Region VII.

NAFSA Region 7 Attendees

Aaron Pratts (ISEP), Lindsay Armistead (IPC), Logan Stanfield (IPC), Tom Martinek (IPC), Dora Rosser (UNCG student), Kristen Aldredge (ISEP)

At the conference, Norma Velazquez and colleagues from other institutions conducted a presentation pertaining to employment authorization matters for international students holding F and J visas. The presentation included a review of federal regulations pertaining to employment followed by scenarios for discussion. During the discussion, participants were invited to share their institutional practices and learn from one another. A spirit of discovery guided the participant discussions as differences and commonalities in institutional policies were unveiled. Common themes pertaining to employment authorization included finding consistency in the reading of the federal regulations, understanding the home institution’s culture and academic programs, partnering with academic and internship advisors, and working with career services offices to provide enriching employment experiences while complying with federal immigration regulations. After some discussion, the idea of developing workshops for campus partners pertaining to federal regulations on employment for international students resonated among all session participants.

Ms. Velazquez served as the UNCG representative in this presentation, and she was joined by other international student advisors representing Appalachian State University, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and the University of Alabama. The audience included representatives from international education programs in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. 

Norma Velazquez

Norma Velazquez, Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services

NAFSA was founded in 1948 and is dedicated to professional development in the field of international education. The Region VII conference is comprised of international educators from all over the southeastern United States.  It provides workshops and activities for all areas of international education, including study abroad and international student services. This conference was particularly ideal for IPC staff as they seek to strengthen current programs and support services and raise the profile of international education at UNCG. IPC staff members were able to bring back a wealth of information to contribute to new initiatives and programs for international students and students going abroad such as study abroad curriculum integration, community programming for international students, and effective study abroad marketing.


IPC Staff Member Invited to SEVIS II Transition Workshop


For students who are coming to study in the United States the process of applying for a Visa can be difficult and time consuming.  To streamline the process, SEVIS II is introducing a new paperless system.  In order to learn about the new system and provide feedback, IPC staff member Norma Velazquez participated in the SEVIS II User Transition Workshop, conducted by the U.S. Government’s Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) in Leesburg, Virginia, during the week of August 1-4, 2011.  Ms. Velazquez was one representative from approximately 85 schools throughout the United States and U.S. territories invited to attend the workshop!

The purpose of the SEVIS II Transition Workshop was to request feedback from users of the SEVIS system to ensure that government representatives understand the institutions’ concerns and recommendations related to the transition to SEVIS II. The workshop included daily breakout sessions followed by group discussions to share thoughts and questions. The breakout sessions were intended to identify issues that may arise during the transition to SEVIS II and to develop innovative solutions to problems. Attendance at the workshop gave Velazquez and all attendees a unique opportunity to become active participants in the design and implementation of the new system. Government representatives treated participants as crucial partners and reminded them of their critical role in the successful implementation of SEVIS II.

SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) is a U.S. government internet-based database that is used by schools and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to report data on the immigration and academic status of international students and exchange visitors. SEVIS II is a computer system that will address the limitations in the current SEVIS system and introduce significant changes that will impact the way in which people do business. The deployment of SEVIS II is tentatively scheduled for 2013.  Some features of the SEVIS II system include an entirely paperless process for all activities related to the admission and tracking of international students and exchange visitors. Additionally, SEVIS II will permit international students, exchange visitors to create user accounts and access their own information in the system. .

Previous editions:
- Vol 11, ed 2: October 2011
- Vol 11, ed 1: September 2011

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