Thursday, March 24, 2016

PIER March 24, 2016 Newsletter


In This Issue:
PIER Chair Announcements
Other PIER Announcements
Happy Spring PIER Members, for those of you on Spring break, I hope you are enjoying this beautiful time of year. Spring is a busy time of year for all of us in international education, so thank you for taking your time to read the PIER Newsletter
PIER Travel Grants
PIER is now accepting applications for two PIER travel grants. 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.
Travel Grant Information
PIER will award two $250.00 travel grants to attend the 2016 NAFSA annual conference in Denver, Colorado to support registration, travel and lodging expenses.

Applicants must be current San Diego PIER members or become a member prior to submission of this application.
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 28, 2016. The PIER board will provide full details and requirements to award recipients.
Please follow the link below to the PIER Travel Grant Application and full details.
April 8 PIER Meeting
Thank you to Grossmont College for hosting our next PIER meeting. Follow this link to the agenda and directions. We look forward to your attendance.
Volunteer to be on the PIER Board
Have you thought about volunteering as a PIER Board member? Do you know what happens outside of the PIER meetings as a PIER Board member? Recently I read a NAFSA Blog post called Build Your Career through Volunteering and it motivated me to reach out to our current PIER Board and past PIER Chairs for inspiration on how PIER allowed them to explore areas of responsibility, new challenges and sharing of their skills as PIER Board member. As this blog states, volunteering on any local, regional or national organization is an excellent way to network, present, engage in public speaking, interact with government officials, gain leadership skill, experience and more that you may not find in your current employer.
The busiest times on the PIER Board are at the beginning and end of the membership year. We are deciding on membership applications, budgets, meeting locations, agenda and more. Throughout the year, we correspond by email and conference call to keep up to date on PIER meetings and agendas.
Open Positions:
Membership Coordinator
If you would like details and requirements for each PIER Board position, please review the PIER Bylaws. In addition, please email or speak with one of the current PIER Board members who we will be happy to answer your questions.

At our last PIER meeting, we had a good discussion about the STEM OPT rule. Below are a few resources.
You can keep up to date on the STEM OPT rule on NAFSA’s website
The SEVP Study in the States website has a good resource on the rule for advisors and students called the STEM OPT HUB.

USCIS I-765 and I-539 Applications Transfers to Potomac Service Center and Correcting EAD Errors
On March 1, USCIS began transferring certain cases to the Potomac Service Center (PSC) from other service centers to balance workloads. The affected casework includes Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, filed by F-1 and M-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and J-1 dependents.
This announcement also includes information on how to correct EAD errors.

CBP Pilot I-94 Correction Program (LAX Only)
The Los Angeles Deferred Inspection will begin a pilotI-94 on-line correction program starting April 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016.
Travelers who seek I-94 corrections between those periods will be allowed to request the corrections by email. The email address is
This will be effective and will be on-line April 1, 2016.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Webinars
Every Thursday this April at 1pm Eastern Time, join Somewhere Over the Rainbow (SOTR) for some professional development. Somewhere Over the Rainbow is pleased to present Webinars on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in International Education. SOTR is sponsored by the University of Maryland, College Park, and this webinar series is presented in collaboration with the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. Participation in the webinars is free of charge and open to all and do not require a reservation.

For the most up-to-date information about the program, and bios of the presenters, please visit the website at a link to the webinar log-ins (,

Links to recordings will eventually be made available online after the webinar for those who are unable to attend at the designated time, but we encourage live attendance so that you can participate and engage with the presenters.

Other PIER Announcements

PIER Meeting Future Dates

Full meeting details and agendas are in the PIER calendar located at the bottom of our web page.

Date: April 8, 2016

Location: Grossmont College

8800 Grossmont College Drive

El Cajon, CA 92020

Room: Griffin Gate

Time: 2:00 pm

Date: June 24, 2016

Location: San Diego State University

Time: 2:00 pm


PIER Board

Chair -Kasey McCarthy, Gemological Institute of America

Chair-Elect– Eric Abutin, National University

Treasurer -Martha Delgadillo, EC San Diego

Membership Coordinator - LyKai Johnson

Communications Coordinator – John Akapito, National University