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Connect with Region IV on Network NAFSA

Connect with Region IV on the recently launched Network NAFSA site. Network NAFSA has many features for easy communications for members, including:

  • Discussion board for members
  • Regional event calendar
  • Create peer networks and connections; and
  • Expanded Member Profile that can link with your LinkedIn account

Get the latest news from Region IV by joining the Region IV community today!

Region IV Conference - Duluth, Minnesota

Upcoming Conference Deadlines:

June 30: Deadline for session proposals
August 7: Conference registration opens
September 7: Early bird conference registration ends

Additional conference information is available on the NAFSA website. We will have informative workshops, enlightening sessions and spectacular special events in a beautiful setting. We look forward to seeing you on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior this fall.

Session Proposals:

Have an innovative project that you have been working on? Share it with the Region. Intimidated by the idea of presenting alone? Call up a colleague and submit a joint session proposal. Interested in presenting on a particular subject but don't want to go at it alone? Contact your KC Representative to get connected with other interested presenters. Get the discussion flowing in Duluth by submitting a session proposal!

Deadline: June 30

Available Grants: 

Region IV has several grants available to help offset the cost of attendance for the regional conference. Applicants do not need to be a member to apply, but preference will be given to NAFSA members. Grants are available in the following categories:

  • Student
  • Newcomer
  • Seasoned Professional, and
  • Diversity Impact Grants for Professionals from Tribal Colleges, Historically Black Colleges or Universities, Hispanic Serving Universities, and/or Community Colleges (recipients of this grant will receive an additional $500 for travel expenses)

Interested in applying? Submit a grant application here.

Deadline: August 13, 2018

Seeking Nominations - Region IV Awards: 

NAFSA Region IV seeks nominations to honor individuals within the region for their contributions to the field of international education. Submit a nomination for any of the available awards below: 

  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Friend of the Region Award
  • Internationalization Achievement Award
  • Most Innovative International Initiative Award
  • Outstanding New Professional Award
  • Outstanding Student Award

Read more about the awards and the criteria. Award winners will be recognized at the Region IV Awards Luncheon at the conference in Duluth. 

Deadline: October 1, 2018.

Sponsorship Opportunities:

This year, Region IV has several exciting sponsorship opportunities for the regional conference. Find more information on the Region IV conference website and contact Libby Claerbout at libby.claerbout@minotstateu.edu with any questions.


Engage with the Region with our upcoming photo contest to promote the Bridging Cultures theme of the regional conference in Duluth, Minnesota. There will be a prize so get creative during your summer travels and get a head start on taking photos of ‘bridges’ to join in the fun of promoting the awesome upcoming regional conference in beautiful Duluth! More details coming in the weeks ahead.

Join NAFSA IV: Open Positions!

Region IV is seeking talented and motivated individuals to serve on the Region IV leadership team. We are currently seeking applications for the following positions: Chair-Elect, ISSS Representative, and Student Regulatory Ombudsperson.

For those who have been wanting to get more involved with NAFSA, these positions are a great way to get more involved with NAFSA, meet international educators from across the region, and... And you get to have fun doing it! 

Interested in joining the Region IV leadership team? Interest Forms are now open for the Region IV leadership team positions that will be coming open in January of 2018.  Region IV NAFSAns are encouraged to check out the position descriptions and the interest form.

Deadlines: Chair-Elect applications are due early September; Applications for all other positions are due October 1. 

Please contact Michael Nelson (mike@barcelonasae.com) if you have any questions.

Knowledge Community (KC) Updates

NAFSA is divided into five Knowledge Communities, each with its own team member representative.

Education Abroad

In the recently released strategic goals, NAFSA highlighted a need to increase research and connect individuals pursuing like objectives. If you are interested in embarking on research in the Education Abroad field, looking for help or partners for your research, or curious about what others may be studying, please take the time to look at the NAFSA Research Connections page! It’s a portal that lists what different NAFSA members are studying and observing, and acts as an excellent sounding board.

International Education Leadership

The SUNY University at Albany program in International Education Management is offering an intensive International Education Leadership Institute in Albany, New York, July 18-20, 2018.  Participants will receive a certificate of participation and an electronic badge from the School of Education at the University of Albany. 

Updates from Around Region IV


Iowa International Education Conference, Thank you and Save The Date for 2019!
A very successful Iowa International Educators conference was held on April 20th in Ottumwa. This year we had 80 participants from all over the state, representing all areas of international education. During the course of the conference there were 3 breakout sessions, a keynote speaker, and plenty of opportunities to network. Indian Hills Community College was an excellent host, showcasing their beautiful campus and internationalization accomplishments. The day was a huge success thanks in large part to Ashley Albertson and Karla McCollum who helped me coordinate the event. I couldn’t have done it without all of their help, thank you Ashley and Karla!

Next year the conference will be hosted by Des Moines University on April 19th, 2019. Please keep an eye on the Iowa International Educators page in the spring for more information about proposing a session and attending.


Sixty Missouri international educators from around the state met up on June 19 for the annual Missouri International Educators Meeting (MIEM). After a successful MIEM event, we are looking forward to the future. We are thrilled to announce that next year's MIEM will be held in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. 

NAFSA Region IV had a great time at the NAFSA Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Don't just take our word for it - See a few highlights from Region IV below:

Duluth 2018 Conference Planner: Leigh Neys

Institution: Northern State University

How did you get interested in international education?: I was an international student myself during my undergraduate education in New York.  During that time I also studied abroad and that experience fueled my passion for international education.

What are some of your goals with your new position?: To plan an amazing conference! (NAFSA Note: We are confident that Leigh will!)

What is your most memorable travel experience?: Visiting Venice, Italy, was on the top of my bucket list and I was able to do so in spring 2016. It was an amazing experience and Venice exceeded my expectations!

What is something on your bucket list?: There are still many places I want to visit including: Japan, Norway and Peru.

Advocacy Day

This year, NAFSA Region IV supported two grant recipients to attend the annual Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. Lora Zaidarhzauva, one recipient, kindly reflected on her experience. This opinion piece is abridged. The opinion piece can be read in its entirety on the Region IV's Network NAFSA Community blog.

A Missourian’s Experience Advocating for International Education

An opinion piece by: Lora Zaidarhzauva, Associate Director for International Education, D.S.O., and Master of International Studies, Peace and Conflict Resolution from the University of Queensland

Missourians share a joint concern, the betterment of our state. We are the stakeholders. As such, we should be aware of primary factors which contribute to the betterment of our communities. These include essentials like education. The reality of this responsibility has led me down a path of advocacy.

Why advocate? Higher Education in Missouri suffered the past few years. This last year proved especially difficult while institutions underwent budget cut after budget cut (see US News article "Embattled Missouri Governor Proposes More Cuts to Colleges." In addition, when politicians began publically promoting an “America First” agenda, international enrollment waned (see Politico article, “Trump blamed as U.S. colleges lure fewer foreign students.” The two factors combined to create the perfect storm of reduced enrollment and revenue. 

My goal of attending NAFSA’s Advocacy Day was set. I wanted to have my representatives proactively protecting Higher Education and international education in my state. I believe that reducing education, even by a small amount, directly impacts the number of enterprises our future generations hold. 

What is NAFSA’s Advocacy Day?
Advocacy Day is an opportunity for international educators to use our knowledge of the field for the “greater good.” We become a resource for elected officials and seek to educate Congress on how international education impacts our state and district. We want them to see “why we need a more globally engaged and welcoming United States."

This year over 220 NAFSA members attended Advocacy Day. We held over 200 office visits with legislatures, and three of those members represented the state of Missouri, two from St. Louis, and me, from Kansas City, Missouri.

NAFSA’s Advocacy took place March 19-20, 2018. We spent March 19 preparing and practicing, learning about two specific issues to discuss with representatives, and March 20 with three meetings: two with state senators and one with our district representatives. During our meetings we presented two issue briefs concerning Higher Education and international education in Missouri. They were:

  1. The Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act, which urges members of Congress to cosponsor the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act (S. 601; H.R. 4379) to significantly increase the number and diversity of American students studying abroad, especially to non-traditional locations and
  2. The Value of International Students and Scholars, which urges members of Congress to publicly announce support for the international students and scholars who are contributing their talent to our colleges and universities, to our communities, and to the nation.

On March 20, I met with staff members on Capitol Hill from Senator Roy Blunt’s office, Senator Claire McCaskill’s office, and Representative Emanuel Cleaver II’s office. The conversations were simple and to the point: How can Higher Education and international education remain of value to our legislators? How can Missouri remain competitive in the national and global economies? How can my experience be a resource to legislators determining the future of Missouri?

Ultimately, my meetings left me with a sense that each office felt the sting of the spotlight on Missouri’s Higher Education in the past year. In fact, they seemingly felt the need to respond. The question I was left with was, will it be too little too late?

Actionable Steps
Stakeholders, what are our next steps? To me they include contacting our legislators and telling them what is important. Tell them that we want to remain economically viable. That we saw our neighboring states reduce Higher Education and felt the negative impacts. We do not want to follow the same path. Demand space for education in Missouri. Ask them to protect that space, both at lower and higher levels, and seek to remain competitive. In short? Speak up and please vote. We the people, the stakeholders, must create the impact and must demand the change.


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