Operating Council Meeting — December 2023

Reflecting on a Dynamic TIEC Operating Council Meeting

On December 6, 2023, TIEC’s Operating Council convened at St. Edward’s University’s (SEU) vibrant campus in Austin, Texas. It was a day brimming with insightful discussions and collaborative initiatives aimed at fostering global education opportunities.

The morning kicked off with in-person networking sessions over coffee and breakfast. It was fantastic to reconnect face-to-face and build new connections within the esteemed group of educators and innovators.

TIEC President & CEO Robin Lerner’s warm welcome set the tone for the day, emphasizing the importance of collective efforts in advancing international education initiatives. Through a hybrid setup, combining participation on site at SEU with remote via Zoom, we delved into enriching breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Participants engaged in thought-provoking discussions, exploring ways to utilize the TIEC network to create more efficient student mobility  and virtual exchange programs, manage student fears and emotions regarding global conflicts, and engage faculty in international programs.

An important highlight was the comprehensive updates provided by TIEC’s Senior Director of Global Engagement, Dr. William Smith. Members received a detailed overview of the Texas International Education Fund (TIEF), ongoing programs, upcoming opportunities, and the strategic direction for internationalization efforts. Updates about the 2023 TIEF grant recipients (for COIL, Study Abroad Development, and Strategic Internationalization) and the Global Voices on Campus initiative stirred enthusiasm among attendees.

Dr. Jennifer Hilton Montero with UT Dallas showcased her winning TIEF Internationalization Grant initiative, the Global Scholars Certificate Program (GSCP). This groundbreaking program aims to infuse international perspectives into STEM majors, highlighting the innovative strides made by institutions within Texas.

A special thank you to Dr. Fanta Aw, NAFSA’s President and CEO, for serving as our special guest speaker and sharing her insights with our members. We would also like to thank our facilitators Heather Catton, Amb. (Ret.) Michael Pelletier, Jeff Sammons, and Dr. Stephen Johnson, as well as David Bernay from St. Edward’s University for hosting us!

This meeting reinforced the commitment of Texas universities to global education and collaborative endeavors. Together, we’re shaping the future of international education, empowering students and institutions to thrive in an interconnected world.