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New advisory board will help address the challenges that international students and scholars face

April 1, 2021
Ten masked and distanced students sit outside on the Hajim Quad lawn surrounded by red brick buildings and blue skies.Students attend class outdoors on the River Campus. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

The University of Rochester’s International Services Office (ISO) has formed the first International Student and Scholar Advisory Board (ISSAB) to assist in identifying broad issues and challenges that international students and scholars face in pursuing their academic and career goals.

The University-wide ISSAB will comprise undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs, with representation from each of the schools. The ISSAB will initially focus on project committees to address the topics of international student mental health issues; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and networking. Broadly, the board will:

  • Provide feedback to ISO on policies and practices
  • Facilitate communication between ISO and the University’s international community
  • Identify issues across the University that impact the international population
  • Develop programs that create opportunities for networking and engagement

“Besides their intellectual and creative contributions, international students add cultural diversity to the community and make up an integral part of the University of Rochester,” says Jimin Han, a graduate student in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and ISSAB cochair. “Many times, international students overcome various barriers without aid because there is not enough support or agency equipped with the necessary knowledge. The goal of ISSAB is to identify these issues and pursue projects that can make real, productive, and impactful changes to alleviate the challenges faced by international students.”

Additional members of the executive committee are:

  • Cochair: Sakhile Ntshangase ’21, a student in the School of Arts & Sciences
  • Secretary: Karenrose Kamala ’24, a student in the School of Arts & Sciences
  • Treasurer: Jihye Park, a graduate student in the School of Arts & Sciences

Ravi Shankar, assistant vice provost and ISO director, will serve as the interim adviser to the group. The board will begin its meetings under the new governance structure this semester and then resume at the start of the new academic year.

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Category: Student Life

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