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GSLS 2018 in Review

Posted By Trixie Cordova, Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The 4th Annual Global Student Leadership Summit was held during the 6th Diversity Abroad Conference on April 7-10 in Miami, FL. This year, we welcomed our largest cohort yet -- close to 70 students representing 40 different colleges and universities across the U.S. GSLS students studied abroad in countries including Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Senegal, Brazil, South Korea, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Japan, Ghana, France, Italy, Croatia, Cuba, Vienna, Argentina, Romania, Scotland, and Germany, and we were excited to host a new crop of diverse global leaders for another year of reflection, growth, 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. Our event kicked off with a compelling and inspiring Keynote, delivered by FIU’s Vice President of Engagement, Saif Ishoof. Saif told students about his own life’s work, his commitment to serving the larger Miami community, and challenged the students to utilize his network to leverage their own career paths by friending him on LinkedIn right away. Saif’s words gave students the energy boost to kick off a packed day one.


Over the course of nine unique sessions, students delved into three days of discussion. Below is a brief summary of what was explored:


Day one was focused on internal reflection. Students began GSLS by designing personal “Life Maps” to contextualize what has led them to this point in the present, and what informs their goals for the future. During “Your Diversity Abroad”, students had the opportunity to ‘sound-off’ on their time abroad, and share their ideas about ways they would improve the student experience. Day one wrapped up with a discussion on the intercultural competencies developed abroad, and how that aligns with one’s leadership skills.


New to GSLS this year was the opportunity students had to connect briefly with FIU Upward Bound students from local Miami high schools. During day one of GSLS, these high school students learned more about global programs from our High School Task Force before meeting our GSLS students for a game of “Get to Know You” BINGO. The prizes included two ‘swag bags’, and two brand new passports to encouraging the high school students to go global as early as possible!


Day two was all about career development. The day started with a series of sessions focused on tangible advice from our facilitators. Students received personalized resume feedback, explored post-graduate opportunities such as fellowships or teaching abroad, and also had an intimate conversation about how going overseas can help one confirm their desired career path. Students then had the opportunity to hear from a panel of professionals across a broad range of sectors, before listening to their peers share their stories during the Welcome Luncheon panel for all conference attendees. GSLS students closed their programming on day two with a Career Reception to learn more about potential employment opportunities. This reception featured attendees representing the Peace Corps, Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Program, Monterey Institute for International Studies (MIIS), PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), and USAID Global Health Fellows.


The third and final day of GSLS was focused on next steps. Students talked about what it takes to practically make the transition from being in college to developing one’s career, and closed with thinking about how to ‘pay it forward’ and make an impact on their campuses and in their communities to see more students from diverse backgrounds going abroad.


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 2019 in Boston, MA from March 2-5!

Tags:  Global Student Leadership Summit 

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Meet the Team: Marketing Coordinator

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 26, 2018

Ariana Peña - Marketing Coordinator


Tell us about yourself:


I recently graduated Cum Laude from Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont where I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies, Journalism, & Digital Arts with a minor in Business Administration. During my time at St. Michael’s, I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a full semester.While in Argentina, I witnessed firsthand the underrepresentation of ethnic-minority students such as myself in study abroad programs. As one of the few people of color enrolled in my study abroad program, I had difficulty navigating my identity and experiences as a Mexican-American woman studying abroad for the first time amongst a cohort of mostly white men and women. These experiences inspired me to dedicate my senior thesis to researching the historic underrepresentation and unequal access of study abroad opportunities for ethnic minority students. During this time, I also served as a study abroad ambassador during my final year of college, specifically targeting first-generation, ethnic-minority, and financially disadvantaged students. 


Why did you join Diversity Abroad?


In my role at Diversity Abroad, I am able to give back to the local and global community that inspired my career. I studied abroad because of scholarships that were awarded to me. Knowing that someone else invested in my future reminded me of the continued generosity (both tangible and intangible) that has been granted to me throughout my educational journey. We know that education is the gift that can’t be taken away, therefore the opportunity to provide students with resources to expand their knowledge and experiences in our globally interconnected classrooms is my way of “paying it forward”. Diversity Abroad allows me to do that in a very unique way.


Why did you join Diversity Abroad?

I believe every student should have access to the transformative power of receiving a global education. I joined Diversity Abroad because it is dedicated to providing students and professionals with the resources necessary to bridge the accessibility gap in international education and to make for a more inclusive environment. 


What do you do at Diversity Abroad?


As marketing coordinator at Diversity Abroad, I manage the daily editorial and promotional content for our student and professional audiences via diversityabroad.com, diversitynetwork.org, social media platforms, and email. I also assist in the planning and coordination of company events, including the Annual Diversity Abroad Conference.


Where do you see global education going in five years?


As our world continues to be more connected through technology, business, and social media, it will be more important than ever for young professionals to be able to communicate interculturally in order to compete in the 21st century global market. As a result, I believe education abroad will slowly become a standard for the educational and professional development of generations to come. Therefore, the work of organizations like Diversity Abroad and others in the field of international education will be crucial in shaping accessibility to global education programs. 


Tags:  Diversity Abroad Staff 

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Diversity Network Member Highlight: UC San Diego

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 22, 2018

Institution name

University of California, San Diego



La Jolla, California


Institutional Profile

Large (over 15,000)


Why did your institution join the Diversity Abroad Network?

UC San Diego joined the DA Network primarily to be part of a larger network of global educators who value the scholarship, conversations, and actions that will lead us to mentoring and empowering a more diverse population of students from the United States studying abroad.


How long has your organization/institution been a member? 

Founding member of the Diversity Abroad Network.


What Diversity Network resource has been most useful for you and your colleagues in advancing diversity & inclusive excellence in global education? 

The AIDE Resource Library


How has membership with the Diversity Network helped your institution make global education more accessible to students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds?  

Membership with the Diversity Network has offered us tools, literature, and trainings that are unparalleled in global education, and perhaps even in higher education, with regard to accessibility.  All of our staff regularly use materials from the Diversity Network to advise students and we continue our own education regularly through the webinars (often free for members) and the annual conference.


Please describe any innovative initiatives related to diversity and inclusion in global education that your institution is currently undertaking.  

UC San Diego has been doing "mobile advising" in our Campus Community Centers for nearly two full academic years now.  Benefits have not only included our office seeing an increase of underrepresented students on campus coming into our office for advising, but we've also developed a tighter network of advocates on campus in the Center staff and a greater understanding of our programs and our mission to make study abroad accessible to all students on campus.

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Meet Angela Manginelli: Diversity Abroad Community Highlight

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Angela ManginelliAngela Manginelli
Director of Alumni & Diversity Initiatives
College Division
American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS Study Abroad)

Level of Experience: 10+ years

What does diversity & inclusive excellence mean to you in the context of your work?

For me, diversity and inclusive excellence means ensuring that I, and my organization, are doing everything possible to facilitate successful study abroad opportunities for students that, historically, have been underrepresented in education abroad. I serve as an advocate for inclusive practices for underrepresented students and encourage others to do the same. I also provide resources and connect individuals with others who have gone abroad from the same identity groups, so they can recognize that study abroad is an accessible and necessary opportunity for them. 

Please describe the factors that led you to pursue your current career track?

I studied abroad during my junior year of college through a faculty-led program in London. I struggled with the returnee experience and felt all my peers were happy to be back on campus, while I felt unresolved and anxious to return overseas. I stayed on at my university for a Master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education and during this time returned to London as the Graduate Assistant for the same program I did as an undergrad. I took what should have been a one-year Master’s and turned it into a 2.5-year program – spending 1.5 years of it abroad in the GA role. It was a tremendous learning experience and solidified my interest in working in international education.  

For the first six years I worked at AIFS, I was a Regional Director, so I visited a lot of different campuses and saw firsthand how students received the idea of going abroad. Some wanted to, but felt there were barriers that prohibited their participation. I worked with the schools in my regions to break down these perceived barriers and connected with different student organizations to ensure they knew about opportunities and funding available to them for studying abroad. 

In addition to my role at AIFS, I am also the Vice President and New Conference Liaison for Lessons From Abroad, a non-profit organization that hosts regional returnee conferences for students who have recently come back from an international experience. My experiences working with returnees ultimately allowed me to transition into my current role at AIFS, where I work with our alumni and was recently asked to lead our diversity and inclusion initiatives. I feel incredibly lucky that I can combine so many of my interests into my position and am excited to continue focusing on inclusion for underrepresented students and the returnee continuum. 

What aspects of your work are you most excited about?

I love that through my work I can try to make the study abroad experience better for students who are underrepresented in study abroad. Being able to develop policies that didn’t exist before and connect students with resources is incredibly rewarding. As well, my work with our Alumni Ambassadors allows me to help make the learning curve - from being a student to going into the professional world - more manageable. The program has monthly meetings, which focus on different areas of professional development, including how to craft resumes and cover letters, how to ace the interview and what to do once you get the job to be successful long-term in your career. It is an amazing feeling when former Ambassadors reach out and tell me that participating in the program helped them land a job or pursue opportunities abroad after graduating.  

Please describe any challenges you've encountered in relationship to your current role? What strategies have you employed to overcome them?

I think the biggest challenge is one that a lot of people in the field have, which is having more ideas than I have time to implement. Because my work encompasses both alumni programming and diversity initiatives, I am looking at study abroad as a continuum and working with my colleagues to decide how we can positively impact the student experience from the point of initial interest through while they are in-country and when they return to the US. To manage this, I’ve created a giant Excel sheet with all the ideas we have generated for making our programs more inclusive and have divided them into different phases. Some of the ideas we can implement immediately or soon and others are a part of our long-term strategic plan. This also helps me to measure progress and think about ways that I can weave the work I do with our alumni programs into the work I am doing with diversity and inclusion. 

As you reflect on different aspects of your career, what are you most proud of?

I am incredibly proud that NAFSA asked me to serve as a co-author on their publication for returnees, "Making Meaning of Education Abroad: A Journal for the Returnee Experience," which will be coming out in April 2018. As someone whose path into international education started with having a rough time on my own return, it’s exciting to see how far I’ve come and to think that I can help make the return a bit easier for others. Although my formal work with diversity and inclusion started more recently, I am proud of the changes I’ve facilitated at my organization and am hopeful that I will make additional positive changes, which will contribute to even better study abroad experiences for students of diverse backgrounds. 

What do you work toward in your free time?

My work with Lessons From Abroad has afforded me the opportunity to emcee and keynote 30 regional returnee conferences around the country, which has been an incredible experience. Based off those presentations, I am working towards giving a TED Talk someday. 

Recent Engagement with Diversity Abroad

Planning Committee Member: 3rd Annual Global Student Leadership Summit (2017)
Presenter: 4th Annual Global Student Leadership Summit (2018)
Other: I am the liaison to Diversity Abroad at AIFS and during fall 2017 helped complete a beta test of the DA AIDE Roadmap for providers.

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Meet Devin Walker: Diversity Abroad Community Highlight

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 8, 2018

Devin Walker PhotoDevin Walker
Ph.D. Candidate, College of Education
University of Texas at Austin

Level of Experience: 4-10 years

What does diversity & inclusive excellence mean to you in the context of your work?

Diversity and inclusive excellence means that we are centering the needs of historically and continuously marginalized groups within our educational efforts. It is not enough to simply diversify the pool of study abroad participants, instead we must design study abroad programs that speak to these groups needs and desires. 

Please describe the factors that led you to pursue your current career track?

I studied abroad 3 times as an undergraduate and had life changing experiences. However, I realized that I was often one of few Black students on the trip. Not only did I see this as an issue of inequity for the students who weren't on the trip, but it also negatively impacted my experience. After working abroad for a few years, I made it a personal goal to develop programs that could help engage students of color in international education. I have had the unique opportunity to work with cutting edge programming with the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT-Austin over the last 5 years. Here, instead of trying to get students of color to join traditional trips, we develop trips based of off their desires and feedback.

What aspects of your work are you most excited about?

I am most excited about trying to extend the notion of inclusivity within international education to groups that are often over-looked, like Black student-athletes. Dominant narratives around this group suggests that they are living the dream as famous collegiate athletes, however, they are often denied some of the institutions most transformative learning opportunities like study abroad.

Please describe any challenges you've encountered in relationship to your current role? What strategies have you employed to overcome them?

There are always many challenges to the work to be done. If there are no challenges, then the work is probably feeding oppression rather than disrupting it. Student-athletes live a very controlled life due to the revenue they bring the institution, so attempting to navigate athletic department politics is always a struggle. However, I have realized that relationships go a long way. Once people trust you, they are more willing to hear you out because they understand you want to do whats best for the students. It is also important to help institutions recognize how they might also benefit from the work that is trying to be accomplished.

As you reflect on different aspects of your career, what are you most proud of?

I recently started a non-profit called the WorldWalker foundation that is focused on providing educational, programmatic and financial resources to help Black adolescents travel within the African diaspora. 

Do you have any heroes? Who are they and why?

My parents- when I think about the things that both of them went through, I am amazed that they were able to raise three successful men, who are genuinely good people. The sacrifices my parents made for my brothers and I fuel me to be selfless and work on behalf of others.

What do you work toward in your free time?

My non-profit, my health and becoming a better partner, family member and community member.

You're a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Sunset- it would be great if as they crayon became more and more used, the colors would fade into each other like a sunset, showing that everything is in the process of becoming.

Do you have a mentor? If so, please describe this mentorship relationship and how it has benefitted your work. 

Dr. Moore is one of my most influential mentors. He has not only provided me with a platform to do what I love, he demands that I be myself and do things the way I see fit. It's great to have a mentor who not only let's you be you, they encourage it.

Recent Engagement with Diversity Abroad

Member: Task Force on Male Students (2016 - 2017) 
Presenter: 4th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference
Award Recipient: Global Student Leadership Award - Graduate Student 

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