Xiao Yun Sim (she/her) is a Career Services Consultant and Employer Coordinator at the Center for Career Opportunities at Purdue University. She earned her Master’s degree in Educational Administration with a specialization in Student Affairs from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is based in West Lafayette, IN, USA, and was a former international student. XIao Yun joined the Commission as a member-at-large and currently is serving as the Blog and Podcast Editor. Here is a question that we asked her: 

How was your experience attending the annual ACPA conference?

I attended ACPA20 as a first-year graduate student! I really enjoyed the conference as a first-time attendee because there was a lot of support/orientation provided for us, and I was able to network and connect with like-minded higher ed folx in the field. I am excited to be able to attend ACPA22 in person again as a new professional. 

Dr. Mary Ann Bodine Al-Sharif (she/her) or you can call her Dr. BAS is the Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator of Higher Education Administration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research interests involve global movements in higher education, issues of social justice and advocacy within higher education, and many more. Dr. BAS is serving as the Faculty in Residence elect and is based in Birmingham, AL, USA. Here is a question that we asked her:

COVID-19 has challenged higher education professionals in different ways, what is one lesson that you learned from that?

COVID-19 has taught me to give and receive grace. This has been a tough time for many individuals, but our students truly need and deserve grace in the process, and so do we as faculty and staff. Above all, I have learned to give and receive grace in order to create an ethic of care that is very much needed.

Dr. Katie Koo (she/her) is the Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia. Her research agenda focuses on diverse college students’ collegiate experiences, mental health, and well-being, examining college environments, and many more. She is based in Athens, Georgia, USA, and is currently serving as the Faculty in Residence within our Commission. Here are some of the questions that we asked her: 

What has been your favorite experience with the Commission?

Warm professional community and the fact that I built up my professional identity

What career advice would you give to someone who is interested in going into international higher education?

Try to take any opportunities if those are offered to you.

COVID-19 has challenged higher education professionals in different ways, what is one lesson that you learned from that?

Finding the positive side of any difficult situation.

How was your experience attending the annual ACPA conference? 

I feel like ACPA is my professional home and I feel very supported at ACPA.

Wadad Housseini (she/her) is a Consultant to Vice President of Student Affairs at the Qatar University. She earned a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology with a specialization in tests and measurements.Wadad is passionate about assessments and its impact on our work in higher education. She is currently based in Doha, Qatar and serves as the Vice-Chair of Scholarships and Awards within our Commission. 

Hanna Lee (she/her) is a SEVIS and International Services Coordinator at SUNY Oswego. She founded SEVIS SAVVY, a website that provides visa regulations and updates in Chinese, English, and Korean for international students. Hanna is based in Oswego, NY, USA and is the Website Manager for our Commission. Here is a question that we asked her:

Please share your higher education journey, career, and/or research interest briefly. 

My study abroad experiences in the U.S. and my transition from an international student to a graduate student and an immigrant made me study and research further the higher ed practices for international students.

COVID-19 has challenged higher education professionals in different ways, what is one lesson that you learned from that?

Being flexible!