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Pepperdine's Office of International Student Services Leads the Way and Collects Awards
Four members of the Pepperdine University Office of International Student Services (ISS) have been honored with awards and distinguished leadership roles for their work with the Council of International Schools and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
The Council of International Schools (CIS) is a non-profit organization, providing a link between 600 international high schools and 400 colleges and universities. The organization honored Richard L. Dawson, director of the ISS, with the T. Michael Maybury Award at the annual CIS meeting held in Monaco on Thursday, Nov. 20.
Dawson serves on the CIS Asia committee. "We plan service projects and recruitment tours to serve the secondary schools in Asia, but also to allow our universities access to those students so they can consider our schools," Dawson explains.
He was given the award by CIS for his work both within the Asia committee and as an international recruitment decision maker here at Pepperdine University. The conference speaker presented the award to Dawson, calling him "a catalyst in the promotion of global and cultural understanding."
The CIS Latin America committee has added to its ranks Virginia Groves, assistant director of ISS. Groves will serve a seven-year term on the committee, which comprises ten recruiting professionals from undergraduate institutions, responsible for promoting higher education in Latin American high school students.
The members also organize and lead mini conferences in Latin America and U.S. university recruitment tours to the region. "One tour goes to Latin America and one goes to Colombia every year, so eventually I'll lead those," says Groves. "It's a big commitment, and a lot of work."
Edwin Cahill, ISS assistant director for immigration, and Judy Lee, associate director of ISS, both had their work with NAFSA: Association of International Educators recognized after years of service. An international organization devoted to advancing education, student exchange, and global workforce development, NAFSA was an acronym for National Association of Foreign Student Advisors before suffixing Association of International Educators to the name.
Cahill and Lee are members of Region XII (12), the largest NAFSA region, encompassing all of California, Nevada and Hawaii. Cahill has been selected as chair of NAFSA's Southern District of Region XII, and began his 14-month term in November of this year.
"I'm responsible for setting the agenda for the upcoming year, appointments and elections within the Southern District, and I will act as a liaison between our district and the regional and national offices," says Cahill.
Lee has been a longtime volunteer with NAFSA's Region XII as a mentor and advisor to her peers in international services. "Often schools call with questions about how to deal with a foreign student situation that they haven't encountered before, and I give advice. It might be a frantic phone call or e-mail saying, 'One of our students has just been detained at the border,'" says Lee.
NAFSA recognized her mentoring with the Service in International Education Award. She was given the award at the 2007 NAFSA Region XII conference in San Francisco, beginning a year of recognition for the Office of International Student Services team.
"I think it's kind of amazing and unusual for an office this small that four of us in just a few months have received recognition outside of the university, either for leadership or service," comments Dawson. "I think that says something about the kind of quality of people we hire here. We don't just serve our students here. There's a great spirit of service here."
The Office of International Student Services
Pepperdine attracts students from a myriad of backgrounds including students from all 50 states and over 90 countries. To support international students during their time at Pepperdine, the Office of International Student Services offers a range of services including admission consideration, immigration support, and student orientations.