Friday, September 15, 2017

PIER Newsletter September 15, 2017


Message from the PIER Chair

Hope everyone is having a great start to the school year, particularly for those who just finished welcoming new students and scholars to their institutions.  We at PIER Board are likewise excited for hopefully another productive year with current and new members and look forward to learning and growing professionally along the way.

In the PIER tradition, I would like to introduce and welcome the 2017-18 PIER Board members Lucas Olson, San Diego State University – PIER Chair Elect; Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House – PIER Treasurer; Mia Scavone, MiraCosta College – PIER Membership Coordinator, and Cadence Ellis, National University – PIER Communications Coordinator. We look forward to serving our San Diego international educator community and meeting you at our next meetings.


PIER Membership

Thank you for your participation in PIER last year, we would look forward to continuing to have you as a PIER member for the 2017-18 membership years. The dues are $10.00 per individual (not per institution) for the 2017-2018 membership years.  Following your membership application submission, you will receive a statement from PIER.  This year, PIER has more options to pay your membership dues.

Please click on the PIER 2017-18 membership link below for more information regarding our organization and to begin the application to join PIER. https://goo.gl/forms/vLuwMao53kVTwTKM2


Annual Government Panel Meeting

The PIER Board is pleased to announce that the annual meeting with the Department of Homeland Security and State Department is scheduled for Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.  As a reminder, you may submit questions by Tuesday, September 19th, 2017.  If you are not able to submit questions by this time, you will also get a chance to ask live questions during the meeting per our practice. 

Panelists from DHS-ICE, SEVP, DOS, CBP, and USCIS are expected to be present at the event.  Further details will be provided in the agenda to be sent before the meeting.


PIER Travel Grant

PIER is pleased to offer travel grants on a competitive basis for members to participate in NAFSA conferences. These conferences provide an opportunity for international educators to acquire and exchange information and are an excellent way to begin building a personal network of contacts in the field of international education.

This year, PIER Board has decided to raise the travel grant offer to make it more appealing for PIER membership.  Instead of the $250-$300/grant that we have given in years past, PIER will award a $500 travel grant to two (2) recipients to attend the 2017 NAFSA Region XII Annual Conference in Sacramento, California to support registration, travel and lodging expenses.  (Go to http://www.nafsa.org/Connect_and_Network/NAFSA_Regions/Region_XII/Conference/ for details regarding the conference.)

To be eligible, applicants must be current San Diego PIER members or become a member prior to submission of this application.  Aside from filling out a short questionnaire on this form, applicants will be asked to submit the following:

1.  Statement of Objective
2.  Letter of Recommendation from a Supervisor

PIER requires each selected PIER travel grant recipient to present a 30-minute or longer presentation to PIER members on Friday, December 1st, 2017.

Travel Grant Application Due Date: Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Recipient Notification Date: Monday, October 9th, 2017

Travel Grant Funds Distribution: Within 30 days of receipt of your complete PIER travel grant reimbursement form.

Link to PIER Travel Grant Application: https://goo.gl/forms/unP5SKUVVzxWoqyn2



NAFSA Region XII Conference – October 23-27, 2017 (Sacramento, California)

Start making plans now to attend the conference. See the registration FAQ's for more information about registration fees, housing information, and pre-conference workshops. Check out the Full Conference Schedule.

Call for Volunteers at the NAFSA Region XII Annual Conference

Would you like to become more involved in NAFSA Region XII? Volunteering is a great way to network while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the conference and learning about various regional leadership positions. Contact Stephanie Shaker Sullivan at shaker@callutheran.edu.


Job Postings

San Diego State University is looking for an Exchange Coordinator and International Student Advisor (please refer to online announcement for details):

PIER Meetings

Please save the date for our next regular” PIER meeting on Friday, December 1st, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm at National University.  We are in the process of planning our meeting dates and locations for 2017-2018.  Please go to our website www.piergroup.org for the most up to date information with locations, dates and agendas. As soon as dates and locations are available, we will post in the PIER website calendar.

We are currently looking for institutions to host our February, April, and June meetings.  If your school is interested in hosting a PIER meeting, please email us and we can work with you on dates and times.

Do you have an item or job posting you would like to post in the PIER newsletter that is valuable to PIER members? Please email piergroupsd@gmail.com with your inquiry. Thank you. The PIER Board reserves the right to edit content.

PIER Board

Chair – Rhona Reyes, University of San Diego
Chair-Elect Lucas Olson, San Diego State University
Treasurer Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House San Diego
Membership Coordinator Mia Scavone, Mira Costa College
Communications Coordinator Cadence Ellis, National University


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

PIER NEWSLETTER: MAY 12, 2017

In This Issue:
·         PIER Announcements
·         Next PIER Meeting
·         PIER Board Membership
·         NAFSA Academy
·         NAFSA Region XII 2017 Conference    
·         USCIS Policy on COS to F1/M1
·         PIER Meeting Dates

PIER Announcements

Dear SD PIER Members,

We hope your spring is going well.  It was great to see all of those who were able to participate in the tour of the U.S. Consulate General, Tijuana on April 27, 2017.  PIER looks forward to providing future opportunities such as these to gain more insight into our field and connect with your PIER colleagues. 

We look forward to seeing you at our final 2016-2017 PIER meeting. 

Next PIER Meeting

Date: Friday, June 23, 2017
Location: Mira Costa College, San Elijo Campus
3333 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff, CA 92007
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
(Please note that the meeting time has been changed from 2:00 pm to 1:00 pm)

Additional meeting information to follow.  If you are interested in including any items to the agenda, please email PIER at piergroupsd@gmail.com by June 9, 2017.  We welcome your presentations and ideas.

Volunteer to be on the 2017-2018 PIER Board

Have you thought about volunteering as a PIER Board member? Are you interested in lending your skills and collaborating with your fellow colleagues in the International field?  Do you know what happens outside of the PIER meetings as a PIER Board member?  The busiest times on the PIER Board are at the beginning and end of the membership year. We are deciding on agendas, meeting locations, membership applications, budgets, and more.  Throughout the year, we correspond by email and conference call to keep up to date on PIER updates, meetings, and agendas.

Open Positions for the 2017-2018 PIER Board:
Chair-Elect
Communications Coordinator

If you are interested in including your name as nominee for one of the above positions, please email piergroupsd@gmail.com by no later than May 26, 2017.  If you would like details and requirements for each PIER Board position, please review the PIER Bylaws. In addition, please email piergroupsd@gmail.com if you have any questions or speak with one of the current PIER Board members who will be happy to answer your questions.

PIER Board Elections

Stay tuned as we will send out a ballot for the new PIER board nominees. 

NAFSA Academy Coach Application for Class 15 are open! Applications will close on June 15, 2017.

The Academy for International Education is a yearlong professional development program designed to provide newcomers with an introduction to the field of international education and those who are more experience with an opportunity to broaden their experiences. Experienced international education serve and coaches and guide the learning process of a cohort of up to six Academy trainees.

The NAFSA Academy for International Education is now accepting applications to select two Coaches from Region XII for Academy Class 15. Academy coaches will have the opportunity to improve their mentoring and training skills, connect with other regional coaches and grow their NAFSA network, and most importantly, contribute to the professional development of international educators in their Region.

Becoming a NAFSA Academy Coach is a fun and rewarding way to become involved with NAFSA on a higher level! Applications are due by Monday, June 15, 2017. Please visit the NAFSA Academy page to read more about becoming an Academy Coach and to download the application.

2017 NAFSA Region XII Conference: Call for Proposals Now Open!

The 2017 NAFSA Region XII Conference will be taking place from October 23-October 27, 2017 in Sacramento, CA.  Have you considered submitting a proposal for the regional conference? Here is some basic guidance from NAFSA for thoughtfully and intentionally developing a session proposal!  Accepted proposals submitted before June 8, qualify for a $40 discount each for up to two presenters.

If you have any questions about proposals, please contact the Proposal Committee Chair, Steve Jacques, at jacques@hawaii.edu.  Go to https://www.conferenceabstracts.com/cfp2/home.asp to submit your proposals.

USCIS Policy on Filing Bridge Applications During COS to F-1 or M-1 Status
On April 13, 2017 USCIS updated its website to clarify that an applicant changing from B-1 or B-2 visitor status to F-1 or M-1 student must file a separate "bridge" I-539 application if needed to make sure that the applicant's visitor status expires no later than 30 days before the F-1 or M-1 program start date, including circumstances where the program start date is deferred in order to prevent the SEVIS record from canceling while the COS application is pending.  USCIS included the following information for applicants changing from B-1 or B-2 visitor status to F-1 or M-1 student:
You must maintain your B-1 or B-2 status while your Form I-539 is pending. You will need to file a second Form I-539, with a separate fee, to request an extension of your B-1 or B-2 status if:
·         Your current status will expire more than 30 days before the initial F-1 or M-1 program start date. We may approve your Form I-539 change of status request only if you are maintaining your B-1/B-2 status up to 30 days before your program’s initial start date. If your status will expire more than 30 days before your F-1 or M-1 program’s initial start date, you must file a second Form I-539 requesting to extend your B-1 or B-2 status. If you do not file this extension request on time, we will deny your Form I-539 request to change to F-1 or M-1 status. Please check our processing times to determine if you need to file a request to extend your B-1/B-2 status.

·        Your F-1 or M-1 program start date is deferred to the following academic term or semester because we did not make a decision on your Form I-539 change of status application before your originally intended F-1 program start date. You must file a second Form I-539 in order to bridge the gap in time between when your current status expires and the 30 day period before your new F-1 program start date.
Because extending your current stay in B-1 or B-2 status and changing from B-1 or B-2 to F-1 or M-1 status are two distinct benefits, you must pay a separate filing fee for each request. See the User Fee Statute, 31 U.S.C. 9701.
For more information regarding this update please visit the USCIS and NAFSA resources (below):
PIER Meeting Future Dates

Please save the date for our final 2016-2017 PIER meeting.  

Date: June 23, 2017
Location: Mira Costa College, San Elijo Campus
3333 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff, CA 92007
Time: 1:00 pm

Do you have an item or job posting you would like to post in the PIER newsletter that is valuable to PIER members? Please email piergroupsd@gmail.com with your inquiry. Thank you. The PIER Board reserves the right to edit content.
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PIER Board
Chair - Eric Abutin, National University
Chair-Elect Rhonaliza Reyes, University of San Diego
Treasurer Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House San Diego
Membership Coordinator Mia Scavone, Mira Costa College
Communications Coordinator John Akapito, National University


Thursday, April 13, 2017

PIER NEWSLETTER: APRIL 10, 2017

In This Issue:
·         PIER Announcements
·         Next PIER Meeting
·         US Consulate Tour
·         PIER Travel Grant
·         NAFSA Volunteer Opportunities
·         SEVP InFocus Webinar       
·         PIER Meeting Dates

PIER Announcements

Dear PIER Members,

We hope your spring quarter is off to a great start.  The PIER Board writes to remind you of some exciting opportunities which are available this spring.  Are you interested in learning more about visa issuance process or attending the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference? 

PIER is still accepting applicants for the upcoming tour of the U.S. Consulate, Tijuana scheduled for Thursday, April 27, 2017.  Apply now for the U.S. Consulate tour (see details below).  The deadline to apply is this Friday, April 14, 2017.   

The PIER Travel Grant Application to attend the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California is OPEN.  PIER will award two $300.00 grants to attend the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California to support registration/travel/lodging/meals expenses.  APPLY Now.  Application Deadline: April 21, 2017. 

 We hope you take advantage of this event and opportunity. Our next PIER meeting is Friday, April 21, 2017 from 2pm – 4pm at the University of San Diego.  The meeting agenda will be to follow.

Save the Date for the next PIER Meeting: Friday, April 21, 2017
Date: April 21, 2017
Location: University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Please see Agenda and Directions (attachment).

Meeting Agenda Items:  This is a call for meeting agenda items.  Please email PIER at piergroupsd@gmail.com by April 17, 2017 with any hot topic items are interested in including to the agenda. 

U.S. Consulate Tour, April 27, 2017: Application is Now Open

PIER is excited to invite you for a tour of the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico on Thursday, April 27, 2017.  Space is limited, so sign-up today.

• WHERE: We will depart as a group from the San Diego Old Town Transit Center (4005 Taylor Street, San Diego, CA 92110) public parking lot and travel by charter bus to the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico.

• WHAT: A two hour tour of the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico, including an informational presentation by a U.S. Consular Agent.

• WHEN: Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 8am – 4pm

• COST: $30. INCLUDES: Round trip bus transportation from San Diego Old Town Transit Center to the U.S. Consulate and back to the SD Old Town Transit Center.

• IMPORTANT: In order to participate, you must have a valid U.S. passport or permanent resident card (Form I-551). Documents will be required for entry to the U.S. Consulate and for re-entry through the port of entry). Those with a permanent resident card must also have either of the following: U.S. driver license; U.S. or foreign passport; Foreign national ID with photo; or U.S. Government issued photo ID (includes U.S. Military ID).

• HOW TO SIGN-UP: Submit the online application at: https://piersandiego.wufoo.com/forms/m1vm7trw01ujkda/ and application fee by no later than April 14, 2017. Registration closes April 14, 2017, but spaces will be reserved on a first-come-first-served basis. Space is limited, so sign-up today.

• HOW TO PAY FEE: After submitting your PIER Consulate Tour application, you will receive a statement and a separate email from PayPal requesting your payment of $30.00 to PIER. A PayPal account is not necessary to make a payment. If you choose not to use PayPal, you may pay by check: Mailing instructions to follow. Payment is due no later than April 14, 2017. Payment is non-refundable.

* All applicants must be current PIER members for the 2016-2017 membership year. If you are not currently a PIER member, please submit your complete PIER application and $15.00 dues prior to submission of this application. To access the current PIER Membership form, please go to: https://goo.gl/kx5MjV 

We look forward to having you join us.

PIER Travel Grant Application is Now Open

PIER will award two $300.00 grants to attend the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California to support registration/travel/lodging/meals expenses. PIER is pleased to offer travel grants on a competitive basis for members to participate in NAFSA Conferences. These conferences provide an opportunity for international educators to acquire and exchange information and provide an excellent way to begin building a personal network of contacts in the field of international education.

Travel Grant Information
PIER will award two $300.00 grants to attend the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California to support registration/travel/lodging/meals expenses.

Eligibility
Applicants must be current members of PIER or become a member prior to the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference.

Travel Grant Recipient Responsibilities
PIER requires each individual who accepts the PIER Travel Grant to present a 15-minute or longer presentation to the PIER members on Friday, June 23, 2017 at the PIER Meeting at Mira Costa College. The PIER Board will mail full presentation details and requirements to the award recipients.

Application Procedures and Award Timeline
Please complete the PIER Travel Grant application at: https://form.jotform.us/PIERSanDiego/70677739879178 and submit with your statement of objective and letter of recommendation no later than 11:59 p.m. April 21, 2017.

PIER will award Travel Grant funds no earlier than June 23, 2017. Recipients must submit receipts prior to fund distribution. The PIER Board will mail full details and requirements to the award recipients.

NAFSA Volunteer Opportunities

NAFSA is actively looking for people to volunteer at our upcoming National Conference in LA this May (we need more than 200 volunteers to help make this a successful conference!).  This is a great way for you to do some networking and get more involved with NAFSA.  Also, for people who volunteer 20 – 40 hours, you will receive a partial to full reimbursement of your conference registration fee!  Reimbursements are processed about 4-6 weeks after the conference.

Hours
40 or more
100% reimbursement
30-39
75% reimbursement
20-29
50% reimbursement
1-19
No reimbursement


If you would like to volunteer, you need to register at www.shiftboard.com/nafsa.  Once you have registered, you will be able to select the areas and hours you would like to volunteer.  I would recommend checking back frequently as people will continue to add and drop hours so, more shifts may become available.

You can also get more information by visiting:  http://www.nafsa.org/Annual_Conference/Registration/Volunteering/ 

If you have any questions, please contact Angie Keam or Kerry Gonzales at nafsavolunteers@gmail.com.

SEVP InFocus Webinar: April 12, 2017, 2 to 3 p.m. EDT

Webinar overview:
This webinar will discuss the latest program news and updates affecting SEVP certified schools and international
students, including information about planned SEVIS enhancements and new resources on Study in the States.

Audience:
The webinar is designed for DSOs and those with an interest in SEVP news and information.

Access the webinar:
For more information please visit: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/stakeholder-webinars. You can access
the webinar using the following link—no registration required: http://sevp.adobeconnect.com/InFocus

PIER Meeting Future Dates

Please save the date for our next regular” PIER meetings and visit our website www.piergroup.org for the most up to date information with locations, dates and agendas.

Date: April 21, 2017
Location: University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
Time: 2:00 pm

Date: June 23, 2017
Location: Mira Costa College, San Elijo Campus
3333 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff, CA 92007
Time: 2:00 pm

Do you have an item or job posting you would like to post in the PIER newsletter that is valuable to PIER members? Please email piergroupsd@gmail.com with your inquiry. Thank you. The PIER Board reserves the right to edit content.

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PIER Board

Chair - Eric Abutin, National University
Chair-Elect Rhonaliza Reyes, University of San Diego
Treasurer Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House San Diego
Membership Coordinator Mia Scavone, Mira Costa College
Communications Coordinator John Akapito, National University



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