Advising for the Globally-Connected Citizen
CSSA allows its students the choice of either obtaining a minor in an official academic area or specializing in a custom-designed area. I chose to specialize, as my interests were broad enough to warrant independent design. Coming into the program, I envisioned specializing in a way that would prepare me to work in international education. As I moved through my first year, I realized my specialization needed to focus on guidance and support for students in an increasingly connected world. I wanted to add elements of how to teach students to understand their own world views and how those can influence their connections with others, as well as how to advise these “global citizens” in an age with rapidly developing technology. I eventually settled on the title, “Advising for the Globally-Connected Citizen,” which suggests a more limited scope in functional areas while also showcasing my interest in cultivating mindful students.
I have truly seen that international issues in higher education go far beyond study abroad and international students on-campus. Although my participation in the NASPA International Education Knowledge Community (IEKC) is not an official part of my area of specialization, it is a critical component nonetheless. As a part of the leadership team, I interact with professionals who work in various functional areas yet also contribute to higher education’s international knowledge base. For example, administrators at various levels have the opportunity to participate in exchange tours, allowing them to explore how different student affairs/student services models function in other countries. These exchanges include sending American administrators abroad, as well as bringing international delegations to the United States. While I have not participated in an exchange due to my standing as a graduate student and new professional–currently, most exchanges are for upper-level administrators–I am able to learn from these worldly travelers, as I hear about the models and the way they navigate their relevant local and global situations.
As I move into my professional role as an academic advisor and program specialist, I am happy to report that I will be continuing my volunteer role with the IEKC as both the Technology Chair and the Marketing Coordinator. While I will be residing in Portland, I look forward to staying globally-connected while helping my students look worldwide for opportunities and inspiration in their careers and education.