AZI shines at NAFSA Conference in New Orleans

June 17, 2024
Three AZI staff members standing behind large letters spelling NAFSA

From left to right: Director, International Admissions and Enrollment Katie Van Wyk, Assistant Dean, International Admissions and Enrollment Daniel Saud, and Enrollment Counselor for Latin America & Canada Hope Noriega.

University of Arizona International was pleased to have a number of staff members participating at this year's NAFSA Conference in New Orleans. The NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. Each year the conference is a significant event for professionals in the field, providing a platform for learning, networking, and sharing innovative ideas.

2024 Presenters

Dr. Jenny Lee, Vice President for Arizona International and Dean of International Education, was an invited panelist on the Symposium on Leadership: Reinterpreting Internationalization in 2024 and Beyond. This leadership panel examined how to adapt new approaches to internationalization to fit various institutional contexts and beyond. “This was a discussion on the changing dynamics of internationalization in preparing our communities for productive global engagement,” said Dr. Lee. “As we explore new trends and definitions relevant to local contexts, it's crucial that we adapt these approaches to fit our unique institutional needs. I hope the audience left with a deeper understanding of how educational institutions can navigate the evolving landscape of international education.”

Katie Van Wyk, Director of International Admissions and Enrollment, presented Tackling the Subagent Dilemma: Quality vs. Quantity Recruitment. This session explored the rapid rise of agent aggregator platforms and the significant role they are playing in international student recruitment. “It's a really important tool that we use to bring in students, but there are definitely challenges to working with educational agents. We focused on how to identify strong agency partners, and how we work with their sub-agents,” she said. “How do we ensure our agents understand regulatory practices and share in our ethics and standards across all these different layers of partnerships?" Van Wyk and her co-presenters provided insights into balancing quality and quantity in recruitment strategies. "Agency recruitment is important to our overall recruitment strategy, but we have to utilize these services with care."

Lara Pfaff, Senior Business Analyst, presented The Adviser-Turned-Analyst: Navigating the Shift in International Education. This session traced the transformation of advisers into data, business and systems analysts, addressing the emerging needs, required skills, roles, and available training for these new positions. According to Pfaff, "It's really about this change in our field and the need that's arisen with this change towards digitalization and more systems work." Pfaff’s presentation offered valuable guidance for professionals transitioning into these critical roles. “I hope I’ve inspired others to consider the importance of data literacy and to equip them with the skills needed to navigate this transition in their own careers.”

Hope stands in front of her presentation poster

Enrollment Counselor for Latin America and Canada Hope Noriega presents her poster on "Domestic Internationals and Their Place Under the International Education Umbrella."

Hope Noriega, Enrollment Counselor for Latin America and Canada, presented a poster on Domestic Internationals and Their Place Under the International Education Umbrella. "Domestic Internationals" or DINTs, often U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have attended high school abroad or lived across borders, navigate a complex terrain between domestic and international student status, which significantly impacts their college application process and access to financial aid. This poster covered frequent misconceptions and the lack of information among these students regarding their rights and resources in the U.S. education system. Noriega's work aimed to raise awareness and provide better support for these often-overlooked students. "This is about starting a conversation and recognizing that these students, like all students, deserve every opportunity to succeed," she said. "We're integrating more comprehensive support for these students by recognizing their unique needs in our international processing team."