Montana International Educators Conference

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

The University of Montana is hosting the 2022 Montana International Educators Conference (MIEC). After receiving feedback through the survey distributed in February, this year MIEC will continue to be held virtually over Zoom on Thursday, June 16. For full  details and to register for these free events please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/321514387187

Registration is open until June 15, 2022. Feel free to share this opportunity with any individuals you think might be interested.

 

SCHEDULE

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM - Welcome & Announcements

All Day: Cultural Integration for Academic & Personal Success

A link will be provided to download this presentation.

Presenters:

Dr. Udo Fluck, Director, Arts Missoula GLOBAL

Mr. Daniel Bognar, Undersecretary of Education in the State of Hesse, Germany

Recorded this week from Germany, Dr. Fluck, and Mr. Bognar discuss the importance of cultural diversity and integration in our education systems for the creation of globally competent citizens and the success of immigrant students using a comparison of their respective experiences in the U.S. and Germany, specifically in regards to the recent influx of refugees and the prevalence of working migration in our countries.

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM - Hot Topic Roundtable Discussions

Starting each hour trained facilitators will lead discussions around important issues facing international educators in Montana and the greater U.S. Final times and the names of the facilitators will be released as they become available.

9:00 - 10:00 AM - Roundtable 1: Virtual Global Learning: Does it Replace or Enhance International Experiences?

Facilitators:

Dr. Donna Anderson, Senior International Officer & Executive Director, Global Engagement Office, University of Montana

Dr. Anderson is an international education administrator with over 20 years of experience in international higher education. Donna has provided leadership in the areas of Education Abroad, International Partnerships & Agreements, International Student & Scholar Services, Intensive English Language Programs, and International Student Recruitment.

Marja Unkuri-Chaudhry, Associate Director, Global Engagement Office & Director, Education Abroad & Partnerships, University of Montana

Marja Unkuri-Chaudhry has been a strong advocate for internationalization and diversity at universities for over 25 years. As the Associate Director, Marja is a senior member of the leadership team of the Global Engagement Office at UM. Her core responsibilities include leading Education Abroad, International Partnerships, and International Risk Management. 

10:00 - 11:00 AM - Roundtable 2: The Montana Housing Crisis & Challenges for Internationalization

Facilitators:

Brennan Reeves, Director of International Student & Scholar Services, Montana State University

Brennan Reeves joined the Office of International Programs as the Director of International Student and Scholar Services in November of 2020. He is responsible for international admissions, recruitment, and student immigration processes. Originally from Alabama, Brennan has worked in a variety of positions in international education and has a decade of experience in the fieldOutside of work, Brennan enjoys traveling with his wife and all things outdoors.

Caroline McLean, Director, International Students & Scholars, University of Montana

Caroline joined the University of Montana's Global Engagement Office in 2018. She oversees all immigration compliance for UM as well as programming and student support services for the university's international student and scholar population. Originally from Alabama, Caroline has worked in a variety of student service roles for the last decade. Outside of work, she enjoys international travel and all things outdoors. 

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Roundtable 3: Supporting International Students Navigating Mental Health Challenges 

Facilitators:

Hana Meshesha, Ph.D. Candidate in Counseling, University of Montana

Hana is currently a doctoral candidate and has 7 years of graduate school experience with two master’s degrees including one in Clinical mental health counseling. Originally from Ethiopia, Hana has 12+ years of experience teaching in higher education in both an international and national context. She is and has been involved in qualitative and quantitative studies in counseling and public health areas. Hana also has experience working with college-level clients and clients with experience of substance use disorders.

Caroline McLean, Director, International Students & Scholars, University of Montana

Caroline joined the University of Montana's Global Engagement Office in 2018. She oversees all immigration compliance for UM as well as programming and student support services for the university's international student and scholar population. Originally from Alabama, Caroline has worked in a variety of student service roles for the last decade. Outside of work, she enjoys international travel and all things outdoors.

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Sessions & Presentations

Enjoy these informative sessions and presentations from various international educators across the state of Montana. 

1:00 - 2:00 PM: Meeting Students Where They Are: First-Year Seminar for International Students

Presenter: Abby Cook, Assistant Director, Office of International Studies, Montana State University - Billings

The Office of International Studies was granted permission to revamp the First Year Seminar course to tailor it specifically for international student needs and to meet students where they are, as a way of improving preparedness, community cohesion, and retention. I re-structured the full course, including creating entirely new sections that focused on American culture.

2:00 - 3:00 PM: Advocating for Refugee Student Support on a University Campus

Presenters:

Marja Unkuri-Chaudry, Associate Director & Director of Education Abroad & Partnerships, Global Engagement Office, University of Montana

Eamon Fahey, Deputy Director, International Rescue Committee, Missoula

Gillian Glaes, Associate Director, Franke Global Leadership Initiative & Director, Humanities Institute

Greta Bates, Director, Partnerships & Adult Services, Soft Landing Missoula

Renne Bentham, Academic Success Program Dept. Chair, Missoula Lifelong Learning Center

This presentation will familiarize participants with concepts of refugee and humanitarian parolee, how refugee students may be different and/or similar to international students, and what are the different models of supporting refugees on university campuses. The session will also discuss the current refugee situation in Missoula and in the state of Montana and what steps the University of Montana has taken to support refugee students and how the university has partnered with organizations in the community. Finally, the presenters will discuss their advocacy plans moving forward including a possibility of a campus sponsorship for a refugee student.

3:00 - 4:00 PM: Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship---A Quantitative Study of Undergraduate Students’ Anxiety

Presenter: Liqin Tang, Ph.D. Candidate in Educational Leadership, University of Montana

The main purpose of this quantitative study is to explore undergraduates’ anxiety levels, as well as the correlation and differences among such variables as the sources of anxiety, students’ GPAs, grade levels, and majors. T The study concluded that higher education institutions should implement effective policies, procedures, and practices to mitigate students’ anxiety levels and thus improve their mental health and well-being.