The reception guests represented over 150 organizations and institutions, most of which were representatives of U.S. colleges and universities (74% of those represented). An additional 24% of the organizations represented exchange organizations, based in the U.S. and abroad, and 2% represented government agencies. Dr. David Patton, Vice President of American Councils and President of the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), delivered a welcome speech to guests in which he thanked them for their continued support of American Councils’ programs. He highlighted the value and the importance that long-standing partnerships have for American Councils, and he explained how the organization is continually working to expand its reach of programs to more regions, including Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast Asia. Furthermore, Dr. Patton introduced the newest sponsored student initiative, Prep4Success, which provides scholarships to citizens of Turkmenistan.
More than 8,500 international education professionals from around the world attended this year’s NAFSA conference, including thirteen staff members from American Councils. Staff represented sponsored student and faculty programs, study abroad programs, educational advising centers, Flagship programs, and language initiatives. In addition to the reception, American Councils staff organized and participated in many other conference events. On May 30, Michael Curtis, Managing Director of Business and Program Development, made a presentation on the topic of internationalization at the conference’s “Community College Forum.” Staff members from American Councils’ Higher Education Programs, including Marc Zielinski, Sarah Osboe, Ludmila Clarke, Susannah Slack, and Denise Ifkovic, presented posters in a poster session titled, “Enrolling More Sponsored Students at Your Institution.” Elena Konkina, EducationUSA Adviser in Moscow, showcased a poster that detailed advising activities in Russia as a part of the poster session titled, “Country Fair: EducationUSA and Embassy Dialogue Committee.” On May 31, Kirsten Brecht, Vice President for Marketing, participated in a series of events involving NAFSA’s highlighted “Community College Day.” On June 1, Susannah Slack, Program Officer in Higher Education Programs, served on a panel of presenters from Gannon University and Bucknell University for a concurrent conference session titled, “Entrepreneurial Internationalization: Internationalize and Generate Revenue.”
American Councils had a great impact at this year’s NAFSA conference, and the attending staff members were thankful for another opportunity to share more about their organization. Michael Warchol, Communications Officer for the American Councils Study Abroad Office and first-time NAFSA conference attendee, commented on his experience at the conference, “The reception was one of the real highlights for me in Houston. It was a time to put faces with names, express gratitude to our existing partners, and to forge new relationships with other members of the international education community.”
American Councils plans to hold events at the next annual NAFSA conference that will be held in St. Louis, Missouri in May 2013. Click here to learn more about American Councils.