When I flipped my paper wall calendar page (yes, I still have one of those!) to the month of May three weeks ago and then opened up my Todoist (check out this helpful time management tool) to review the tasks to get ready for the NAFSA Annual Conference in Los Angeles, my heart skipped a beat. I’ve been in the field for over 20 years and attending the annual conference for over a decade, but I still get that healthy-teacher-stress-anxiety-invigorating feeling, thinking about the week to come. And finishing up my second year as Executive Director for EnglishUSA this year, I wouldn’t want it any other way!
It’s been a busy spring, kicking off the year working with the Board to coordinate the EnglishUSA Professional Development Conference in Monterey in January and then proudly representing the organization at the TESOL Summit in Greece in February. Several bustling days in March were spent advocating for EnglishUSA and non-profit associations on the Hill, followed by presentations and the booth at the TESOL Conference in Seattle.
In addition, as many of you know, EnglishUSA has launched its new website, which has a membership-oriented ‘behind-the-scenes’ database. Migrating different systems and bringing forward thousands of membership records has been a long and sometimes scary process, but the big step with the launch is now behind us; the focus ahead is on continuing to work with the board, members, and our stakeholders to maximize what we can provide with the new resources and tools. Please be sure to check out the new Forums!
However, concerns over the significant enrollment dips in many IEPs with bleaker forecasts for the near future cannot be ignored. Spending time in person with colleagues from other IEPs will be more valuable than ever next week, even though sometimes we have more questions for each other than we have answers.
What is certain is that EnglishUSA is committed to raising the profile of our quality member programs in the United States. What you will always have in EnglishUSA, during the peaks and the valleys, is a community to turn to—Together We Are IEPs in the USA!
And to leave you with a few positive updates and reminders for next week, I’d like to celebrate:
- Lisa Kraft from the English Language Institute at Pace University and Nadia Redman from the English Language Institute at University of Delaware, both active members of EnglishUSA and in the field. Lisa and Nadia have authored chapters in the newly published NAFSA 3rd edition NAFSA’s Guide to International Student Recruitment 3rd Edition.
- Bill Wallace, Director of the ELI at the University of Alabama and also on the Executive Board for EnglishUSA. Bill will be awarded the 2017 Annual Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Enrollment Management (IEM) and will be recognized on May 30th at the 10:15-11:00 IEM Knowledge Community Update.
- NAFSA leadership (shout out to Daryl Bish from the University of Florida and IEP Network Leader for the IEM-KC). EnglishUSA, UCIEP, TESOL, and NAFSA leadership will come together for a meeting at the beginning of the week and for additional Open Meetings where you will see members on panels or facilitating sessions.
- Caroline Gear, Executive Director of the International Language Institute of Massachusetts. Caroline has been the NAFSA MIG (Member Interest Group) Leader for many years and is putting together another great panel to take place on Wednesday, May 31 from 10:00 – 11:00.
- The 2017-18 EnglishUSA Board. The new board will be transitioning in immediately after the Annual Business Meeting (be sure to join us at Café Pinot followed by the Reception at the same location).
- The 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs—on a completely personal and selfish note, this Chicago-born girl gets to see them play the Dodgers in LA the weekend prior the conference!
See you all in Los Angeles! Stop by Booth #947 to pick up an updated “Together We Are IEPs in the USA!” directory.