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Diversity Abroad Team's Advice on Working From Home (WFH)

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 27, 2020

 

Many organizations, companies, and institutions are transitioning to working remotely during the COVID-19 crisis and face new challenges managing this while remaining productive and successful. As a virtual team since Diversity Abroad’s founding 14 years ago, being remote is in our DNA. We asked our team to share their tips on how to thrive in a remote environment.

Set intentions... 

Everyone has their own methods for working from home. Many people suggest following a morning routine, getting dressed for the day, and setting aside a dedicated work area. This advice comes down to being intentional about how you organize your work-life balance. We are mindful that as many people are navigating working from home for the first time, there may be additional responsibilities to balance such as children, partners, or other family members at home.


Developing a successful routine for working from home can take some time and will look different for everyone. Set intentions about what remote work will look like for you, being realistic about what your situation allows and the unique challenges of this moment. This could be setting a time you want to be online by, how you’ll communicate needs with your family for peace and quiet, where you’ll work, whether you’ll wear full-on business casual with shoes or be more comfortable, or what time you’ll sign off. Switching to remote work is a major lifestyle change that will require some trial and error. Being intentional about your workday and routine will help take some of the guesswork out of what each day looks like. 

...but be flexible

As you adjust to this new reality, be flexible and try out new habits or techniques to see what works best for you, your team, and your organization as a whole. Try out different environments or settings to see where you are most comfortable at home. You don’t just have to be at a desk or your home office, one of the advantages of working remotely many of us have found is being able to change your location during the day. While this used to mean going to a coffee shop or a library, now it might mean moving to a deck if the day is nice or standing up at a kitchen counter for a while. 

Additionally, be open to new systems for organizing work. Whether it’s an online system like Trello or Google Keep, or utilizing video chat or a messaging platform like Slack in a new way. Working remotely necessitates communicating and collaborating differently with each other. Your team will have to set new expectations and intentions about what success looks like in this work environment. How will you manage projects, track progress, and work together?  

This is a time of great change for everyone, whether or not you have worked remotely before. Be open to your work habits changing - it’s all part of the new reality. And look at this as an opportunity to re-evaluate how you work best and discover new habits or techniques that can help you in the future. 

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Working remotely means communication happens differently than in a traditional office. You’re expected to do the same work, but in a new environment where you can’t just stick your head in a colleague’s office or have a face to face discussion. 

 

On a very practical level, you need to make sure everyone knows the best way to stay in touch and collaborate. At Diversity Abroad we have outlined which purposes or situations a communication tool should be used for. Generally, we message each other through Slack to coordinate projects, ask for help, and check-in. Email is reserved primarily for in depth project instructions or external communications and we also have standing organization-wide and smaller team calls to plan for the week, brainstorm, and provide project updates. Setting these expectations requires intentional communication, as well as discussion and re-evaluation.

 

It’s also important to work as a team to discuss what everyone’s needs are during this time. Do you need to run errands or walk the dog during the day? Or will you be starting work extra early in order to spend a few hours later in the morning with your kids or family? People’s hours may change now that they are working from home. Remote work can offer much more freedom and flexibility so people can make their schedules work to their needs. At Diversity Abroad, we keep our calendars up to date with meeting times and focused project times (Quiet Hours) clearly marked or mark off OOO (Out Of Office) so our colleagues know whether we have time to talk or if we won’t be quick to reply to a message.

 Self Care

While working from home is a highly individual experience, it doesn’t have to be a lonely or isolating one. This is a challenging time for many people, and seeking support or expressing how you are doing is important. You miss out on a lot of casual interactions and conversations when working remotely, so set aside time for checking in with each other. Many of our team members have standing one on one meetings with each other to review projects and set goals, but also to catch up and see how each other is doing. Take time to connect with and support your colleagues, while also checking-in with yourself. Go on a walk, do exercises, or just get up and walk around the house every couple hours. Make an effort to disconnect from email or Slack during lunchtime or breaks by reading a book or turning off notifications.

 

We hope these tips inspire you, as you adapt to working full-time from home and make it a successful transition in which your team can support each other. 

Tags:  career  Diversity Abroad Staff  professional development  professional skills  resources 

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High School Global Education - A Guide for High School Educators, Counselors, and Administrators

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 2, 2019

Contributed by 2017-2018 Diversity Abroad High-School Task Force members:
Jenny Doder - API, Abel Estrada - University of Colorado, Boulder, Eileen Kelly-Aguirre - School Year Abroad, Kristin Labs - IFSA Butler, Rebecca LeBlond - Democracy Prep Public Schools, Daisy Rodriguez Pitel - Pima Community College, Darin Smith-Gaddis - CAPA The Global Education Network, Shayna Trujillo - Diversity Abroad 



High School Global Education - A Guide for High School Educators, Counselors, and Administrators

 

High school professionals must recognize the critical transformation occurring at so many higher education institutions that are pursuing strategic internationalization. If students are to be adequately equipped for the undergraduate experience, readying students for global learning must begin alongside all the other relevant preparations for college. Likewise, higher education counterparts should consider their role in setting and communicating expectations around what knowledge, skills and experiences shape a well-prepared undergraduate. This guide serves as a resource for any educator or administrator interested in refining and strengthening their efforts to integrate global education opportunities into their offerings or services. Both high school and higher education professionals may find information which can serve as inspiration or a model to be interpreted and applied within their own organizations and educational institutions.


Click here to read the full report (Member Access Required)

Tags:  global education  high-school 

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Foundations for Supporting Students with Disabilities - A Guide for In-Country Teams

Posted By Administration, Thursday, June 6, 2019

 

Contributed by 2018-2019 Diversity Abroad Access for DisabilitiesTask Force members:
Lauren Schuller - Bentley University; Michael Alijewicz - ISEP; Cheryl Beverly - James Madison University; Wanda Dutton- SIT Study Abroad; Callie Frost - Binghamton University; Jenny Sullivan - Rochester Institute of Technology



Foundations for Supporting Students with Disabilities - A Guide for In-Country Teams

 

Students with disabilities are engaging in international educational experiences in increasing numbers, and this is great news! This document rests on the belief that support and access for students with disabilities enhances the experience for all international education stakeholders and that it is a shared responsibility to make sure students with disabilities have inclusive experiences abroad. The purpose of this document is to give context and resources for in-country international education staff on the subject of U.S. study abroad students with disabilities.


Click here to read the full report. (Member Access Needed)

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Asian Americans in Global Education - Literature Review

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 29, 2019

 

Contributed by 2018-2019 Diversity Abroad Race & Ethnicity Task Force members:
Gregory Rafal – University of Maryland; Kathleen Cancio - Independent; Charles Lu- University of California, San Diego; Kandice Rose - IES Abroad; Candice Snowden - University of Massachusetts Amherst 



Asian Americans in Global Education

 

Educators and researchers have focused on understanding the influences and barriers for underrepresented students in study abroad, however, the research has predominantly focused on students of color as whole or solely on African American students. There is little research that focuses on Asian American students and the varied ethnic groups there within. This literature review is comprised of the existing research on the factors influencing Asian American students to study abroad and the barriers that may prevent Asian American students from studying abroad.


Click here to read the full report. (Member Access Needed)

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Equity & Opportunity Through Inclusive Global Education: 2019 Conference Re-Cap

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 14, 2019


7th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference: Equity & Opportunity Through Inclusive Global Education

 

Last week, more than 700 US & global professionals & student leaders gathered together in Boston to explore Equity & Opportunity Through Inclusive Global Education at the 7th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference. More than 90 sessions, workshops, and poster presentations were facilitated by 155+ presenters representing over 100 different institutions/organizations. Through our collaborative efforts, the Diversity Abroad community left equipped with new ideas and networks to encourage progress at their respective organizations/institutions. Diversity Abroad’s CEO and Founder, Andrew Gordon, highlighted a pivotal opportunity in ensuring global programs are high impact during his welcome address:


“We can't have it both ways. We can't say Education Abroad is high impact but then be okay with it being exclusive to privileged students. If we truly believe in the power of global education then we must do everything in our power to break down the barriers that would deny all of our students equitable access to its benefits.”


Immediately following these welcome remarks, Emerson College President, Lee Pelton, welcomed attendees to Boston on behalf of the conference institutional host. Diversity Abroad’s 3rd annual Innovation Competition sponsored by CAPA The Global Education Network, provided an exciting close to the evening’s program with seven presentations detailing creative ideas that advance diversity and inclusive excellence in global education. Teens of Color Abroad enjoyed a standing ovation in receiving $5000 for the 1st place award. Pachasanya was awarded $3000 for 2nd place and the Rhode Island Global Education Project received $3000 for 3rd place. New this year, attendees voted in real time to recognize Teens of Color Abroad with a $500 check for the People’s Choice Award.Read more about the winners here.



On the heels of an inspiring opening night, Monday’s conference schedule featured concurrent sessions & Big Idea Talks -- including Global Education Task Forces  town hall meetings inviting  attendees to gain insight on Diversity Abroad’s engagement with High School, Race/Ethnicity, Minority-Serving Institutions, and Faculty Development initiatives. More than 125 colleagues attended one of the three moderated Lunch & Learn panels: Women of Color Leadership & Empowerment, New Professionals in International Education, and Allies & Advocates of First Generation College Students. Shortly thereafter, conference-goers were invited to join 20 presentations during the annual Poster Community. A new event at the 2019 conference, the evening closed with the Awards Gala & Dinner featuring recipients of the Excellence in Diversity in International Education (EDIIE) and Global Student Leadership (GSL) Awards.  


On Tuesday, conference attendees started the day with a thematic networking breakfast, featuring an announcement of the 2017-2018 Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship Top Producing Institutions from Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Immediately following this announcement, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President & CEO of the  Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),-SCP, delivered a keynote address entitled “War for Talent” - Bridging the Skills Gap. Tuesday’s lunch included a dynamic panel -- moderated by Diversity Abroad’s Associate Director of Student Services, Joelle Tolifero -- featuring 4 student perspectives on how identity impacted their experiences abroad. Diversity Abroad’s CEO & Founder, Andrew Gordon, closed out the 2019 conference with an announcement of the organization’s new 5-year Strategic Plan, Diversity Abroad Forward.


Through our collective commitments, the 7th Annual Conference -- together with the Global Student Leadership Summit, MSI Summit on Global Education, and the CDO/SIO Strategic Leadership Forum -- empowered professionals & students alike to continue focusing on inclusive global education towards equity & opportunity. We hope you join us in New Orleans on March 14-17, 2020 for the 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference as we focus on Amplifying Voices: Moving from Rhetoric to Systemic Change.

 


The 5th Annual Global Student Leadership Summit



The 5th Annual Global Student Leadership Summit was held during the 7th Diversity Abroad Conference on March 2-5 in Boston, MA. This year, we welcomed another phenomenal cohort of close to 70 students leaders representing 43 different colleges and universities across the U.S. and abroad. We had students join us from as close as Boston and as far as Singapore!  Students who attended GSLS this year have studied abroad on every continent excluding Antarctica (maybe one day!), they have already started their own businesses, they have been granted distinguished fellowships, and they have made a mark on their campuses and beyond.  We were excited to host a these growing leaders, entrepreneurs, and global citizens for another year of reflection and community building.


As in previous years, GSLS provided a much-needed space for diverse study abroad alumni to find community in one another while unpacking their experiences abroad. This year we worked to assure that identity was kept at the forefront of every conversation from discussions surrounding who we are as leaders, to how code switching shows up in the workplace. We kicked off GSLS with a an inspiring Keynote, delivered by the ArtCenter College of Design’s Chief Diversity Office, Dr. Aaron Bruce. Dr. Bruce shared how ‘Keeping it Global’ has guided his personal and professional life and expanded his view of the world and the importance of supporting a diverse student body. Students were able to enjoy his opening spoken word and share space with Dr. Bruce who encouraged them to maintain their global mindset.


It was an honor to once again host a unique re-entry opportunity for diverse students at universities and colleges across the country. We look forward to hosting another cohort of incredible, diverse student leaders for GSLS 2020 in New Orleans, LA from March 14-17!



The 4th Annual MSI Global Education Summit

 


The 4th Annual Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Global Education Summit featured a half day of interactive presentations and workshops where participants learned how to identify and apply for various funding opportunities and programs and how to develop campus collaborations in order to advance internationalization efforts at their institutions. During the Summit, participants had the opportunity to create tailored action plans for identifying and applying for funding and establishing campus collaborations at their respective Minority-Serving Institutions. Participants also had an opportunity to share their institutional challenges and targeted areas for growth during several panel presentations and workshops.


The first presentation featured executive leaders from the White House Initiative on HBCUs and the U.S. Department of State who shared key insights and practices for campus internationalization in relation to identifying and applying for federal funding in order to grow global education programs at MSIs. Participants heard from David Levin, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Dr. Arthur McMahan, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities about grant and fundraising opportunities that support internationalization efforts. Participants had the opportunity to network with the speakers and ask targeted questions regarding funding opportunities for MSIs.


The second presentation kicked off with a powerhouse team of panelists and featured institutional perspectives from Evie Myers, JD, Special Advisor to the President, Office of International Programs at Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Sukant Misra, Vice Provost of International Affairs at Texas Tech University - an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution, and   Dr. Daisy Rodriguez Pitel, Associate Director of International Student and Global Engagement at Pima Community College. These inspiring leaders spoke about their articulated institutional commitments and administrative leadership, structure, and practices to support internationalization efforts. They shared key insights and practices for campus internationalization in relation to the process of identifying and applying for federal funding and grants, as well as establishing collaborative partnerships in order to grow global programs at their respective institutions.


The Summit concluded with a skill building workshop designed to provide attendees with opportunities to actively engage in dialogue and activities with session speakers and  representatives from other MSIs. Participants created action plans that will serve to assist them in identifying and applying for funding opportunities as well as building their campus and community networks. Marcus King, International Student Advisor II at Prairie View A&M University and Reagan Ribordy, Director of International Programs at Texas Tech University, served as additional resources and helped guide participants through group discussions, fostering the cross pollination of ideas towards the development of an individualized action plan for each attendee.


The MSI Global Education Summit has become the premier forum for networking, sharing of best practices, and collaboration among colleagues from like institutions to reach a common goal - ensuring that students from MSIs have the skills, knowledge and experience to be successful in the 21st Century.



The 2019 CDO/SIO Strategic Leadership Forum



 

The 2019 Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and Senior International Officer (SIO) Strategic Leadership Forum provided the unique opportunity to bring together institutional leaders from across the nation to explore how CDOs and SIOs can work together to increase access to education abroad. Too often, the SIO and CDO work in silos without realizing that shared goals and pathways forward exist through collaboration. Through educational opportunities and interactive exercises, the group of 36 attendees identified challenges around these topics, and left inspired to play a key role in affecting change at their home institutions. Thought provoking guest speakers and panelists helped frame the conversation, while social opportunities and teamwork exercises inspired relationship building and trust. The session culminated with group presentations that ensured engagement from the entire group, and tangible outcomes around shared goals. The following themes emerged as the basis for increasing equitable access to education abroad for diverse and underrepresented populations through collaborative work of the SIO and CDO:

 

  • Collaborative Strategic Planning

  • Curriculum Integration & Assessment

  • Faculty/Staff Professional Development & Training

  • Program Design: The intersection of access, inclusion, diversity and equity



A publication exploring these themes in detail will be available fall 2019.


Tags:  Diversity Abroad Conference 

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