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Apr 11

TIEC Summit

April 11 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Conveniently held the day before the NAFSA Texas State meeting, the TIEC Summit offers networking opportunities and professional development with an agenda tailored for international program staff. It’s free to attend — please REGISTER HERE.

The TIEC Summit will be held on the UHCL campus — Bayou Building, Garden Room — 2700 Bay Area Blvd, room 1510, Houston 77058. Afterwards, we’ll host a networking happy hour at Chelsea Wine Bar starting at 5:00pm. First round is on us! 🥂



12:00 pm – 12:45 pm Welcome Refreshments

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm Nurturing Student-Centric Strategies for HEI Internationalization
With Dr. William Smith, Senior Director of Global Education & Impact at TIEC
In this session, we will delve into the critical topic of sustaining a student-centric strategy for internationalization in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Participants will explore innovative approaches and best practices for ensuring that the internationalization efforts of their institutions prioritize the needs and experiences of students. We will discuss the challenges and opportunities of aligning internationalization strategies with student-centric goals.

2:00 pm – 2:50 pm Unveiling the Foundations of Internationalization: Discovering Your Purpose
With Alejandra Bueno, Executive Director of International Programs at Alamo Colleges District
Building a solid foundation for internationalization is key to its success. This session will guide participants in discovering the fundamental ‘why’ behind their institution’s internationalization efforts. Through interactive discussions and case studies, we will explore the motivations, goals, and core values that underpin internationalization strategies. Participants will leave with a clearer understanding of the purpose driving their internationalization initiatives.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm A Presidential Perspective on Internationalization
With Dr. Richard Walker, President of the University of Houston – Clear Lake, and Dr. Melissa Gonzalez, President of Lone Star College – Kingwood
Gain valuable insights from institutional leaders in this engaging discussion on internationalization from a President’s perspective. Our distinguished panel of university presidents will share their experiences, strategies, and vision for internationalization. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a thoughtful dialogue about the challenges and rewards of leading internationalization efforts at the institutional level.

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm Networking Event at Chelsea Wine Bar
Wrap up the day with a dynamic networking event. This evening offers an excellent opportunity for attendees to connect, share insights, and build valuable relationships with fellow leaders in international education. Cultural Attachés are specially invited to enhance cross-cultural connections and collaborations. Enjoy refreshments and casual conversations in a relaxed setting to strengthen your network within the field of international education. First round is on us!

If you have any questions about the upcoming Summit, please email Eryn Quinn.


Airport, Hotels, & Parking

The closest airport to UHCL campus is Hobby Airport (HOU).

Sonesta Simply Suites Houston-NASA Clear Lake (across the street from campus)
2737 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, TX 77058

Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake
3000 E NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058

Hilton Garden Inn Houston/Clear Lake
750 W. Texas Avenue, Webster, TX 77598

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
401 W. Texas Avenue, Webster, TX 77598

Holiday Inn Houston-Webster
302 W. Bay Area Blvd, Webster, TX 77598

Please park in lots D1 and D2. More information will be provided soon to registrants. (click map to enlarge)


Guest Speakers

Dr. Richard Walker, President of the University of Houston – Clear Lake

Dr. Richard Walker was appointed on May 20, 2022, to serve as the sixth president of the University of Houston-Clear Lake. He has 40 years of experience in higher education, at both public and private institutions. He previously served as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services for the University of Houston System and Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services for the University of Houston. He has also served as an instructor for the Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies program within the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education at the University of Houston.

Dr. Walker received his Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Miami. He earned a Specialist in Education in Education Administration and Supervision from Middle Tennessee State University, a Master of Education in Education Administration and Supervision from Memphis State University and a Bachelor of Science in History from Middle Tennessee State University. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education Management Development Program.

Dr. Melissa Gonzalez, President of Lone Star College – Kingwood

Dr. Melissa N. Gonzalez is the newly appointed President at Lone Star College-Kingwood. She was formerly the President of Houston Community College-Southeast from 2017-2021. Before HCC, Dr. Gonzalez served in numerous leadership roles at Lone Star College, Dean at LSC-North Harris, Special Assistant to the President, Interim Vice President and Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development.

Dr. Gonzalez earned her BBA in Finance, MBA, and a Ph.D. in International Business Management from the University of Texas-Pan American now known as UT-RGV. While a graduate student, Dr. Gonzalez started her teaching career by becoming a GED instructor for a Region VI program targeted for single mothers in the Rio Grande Valley. Her passion for helping individuals fulfill their dreams and change their lives through education became a personal journey and mission. After earning her Ph.D., Dr. Gonzalez was a tenured Associate Professor of Management at the University of Houston- Clear Lake for nine years.

Alejandra Bueno, Executive Director of International Programs at Alamo Colleges District

Alejandra Bueno serves as the Executive Director of International Programs at the Alamo Colleges District in San Antonio, Texas. In this role, she oversees initiatives such as virtual exchanges and curriculum internationalization across five community colleges, impacting around 100,000 students. Alejandra has spearheaded innovative programs like the Alamo Global Learner Pathway and the International Nurses Pathway, addressing global competence and healthcare education needs.

Prior to her current position, Alejandra worked with the bi-national law firm Cacheaux, Cavazos, and Newton, L.L.P., demonstrating expertise gained from government roles in Mexico and Texas. With a multicultural background and legal qualifications in both countries, including an LLM from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, she brings a profound understanding of international affairs. Recognized for her contributions, Alejandra received the The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) 2022 Excellence Award.

Under her leadership, the Alamo Colleges District received the prestigious NAFSA 2024 Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. This accolade acknowledges the District’s commitment to accessible and relevant international education, setting a benchmark for global learning and cross-cultural understanding.

Dr. William Smith, Senior Director of Global Education & Impact at TIEC

Dr. William Smith, TIEC’s Sr. Director of Global Education and Impact, has developed and implemented multiple international initiatives within higher education institutions over the past 15 years. He has served in multiple capacities, as Assistant Dean within the College of Liberal and Fine Arts at the University of Texas-San Antonio, Director of Global Engagement at Purdue University, and Senior International Education Specialist at the University of Georgia. Throughout his career, he has aimed to develop more globally conscious students that are ready to collaborate, exchange, and engage with the world around them.

Dr. Smith holds a Ph.D. in Education from Purdue University, an M.A. in History from Bowling Green State University, and a B.A. in History from Oakwood University. He has a passion for education and works to ensure that students from all walks of life have access to these opportunities.

Antoine Battle, Membership Coordinator at TIEC

Mr. Antoine Battle, TIEC’s Membership Coordinator, is a globally minded, principled rising leader who is passionate about living a purpose-driven life. In our rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world, he leverages his innate ability to adapt to connect across cultures, thrive in fast-paced environments, and acquire new skills quickly. His professional background includes experience in international exchange, communications, outreach, and events. He is a two-time U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Program participant, having served as a fellow in Morocco and Egypt.

Prior to joining TIEC, Mr. Battle served as the Director of Membership for the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and the Director of Communications for the District of Colombia Commission on National and Community Service. In both capacities, he collaborated with universities, government agencies, nonprofits, and businesses.

Recently, Mr. Battle participated in Harvard University’s Future of Diplomacy Project Soft Power & Cultural Diplomacy Study Group and the United Nation’s inaugural International Day for People of African Descent in Costa Rica. He holds executive certificates in International Business and Public Policy from Georgetown University and Florida International University.


April 11
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


UHCL, Bayou Building, Garden Room
2700 Bay Area Blvd, room 1510
Houston, TX 77058 United States
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