Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PIER Newsletter: August 31, 2016

In This Issue:
·         Message from Chair Eric Abutin
·         PIER Membership
·         Annual DHS/DOS Meeting
·         PIER Travel Grant
·         NAFSA Region XII Conference
·         PIER Meetings

Message from the PIER Chair

I hope your summer is going well.  As I am sure, you are all very busy in the midst or start of the fall enrollments as we welcome our new students. In the PIER tradition, I would like to introduce and welcome the 2016-2017 PIER Board members Rhonaliza Reyes, University of San Diego – PIER Chair Elect; Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House – PIER Treasurer; Mia Scavone, MiraCosta College – PIER Membership Coordinator, and John Akapito, 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 look forward to continuing to have you as a PIER member for the 2016-2017 membership years. The dues are $10.00 per individual, not institute, for the 2016-2017 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 2016-2017 Membership link below for more information regarding our organization and to begin the application to join PIER.

Annual DHS/DOS Meeting

The PIER Board is pleased to announce that the annual meeting with the Department of Homeland Security and State Department is scheduled for October 21, 2016 from 10am-12pm.  To prepare for this meeting, we would like to ask for questions directed toward the prospective guests who may include representatives from DHS, DOS, USCIS and SEVP. Please submit your questions to no later than September 23, 2016. Please remember that our guests cannot answer case specific questions, but are pleased to answer to the best of their ability. Additional meeting details will be provided as soon as they are available.

PIER Travel Grants

PIER will be awarding two $250.00 grants to attend the NAFSA Region XII 2016 Conference in Palm Springs, 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 $250.00 grants to attend the NAFSA Region XII 2016 Conference in
Palm Springs, California to support registration/travel/lodging/meals expenses.

Applicants must be current members of PIER or become a member prior to the NAFSA Region XII 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, December 2, 2016. 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  and submit with your statement of objective and letter of recommendation no later than 11:00 p.m. September 23, 2016.

PIER will award Travel Grant funds no earlier than December 2, 2016. Recipients must submit receipts prior to fund distribution. The PIER Board will mail full details and requirements to the award recipients.

NAFSA Region XII Conference – October 31-November 4, 2016

Start making plans now to attend the conference. See the registration FAQ's for more information about registration fees and the early session proposal discount.
The conference team has finalized the schedule. Check out the Schedule at a Glance for an overview.

Call for Volunteers at the NAFSA Region XII Annual Conference
October 31 – November 4, 2016

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. If you have 2 or more hours to spare during the conference, we welcome your help to come assist in supporting the regional conference. Please complete this short survey on your availability during the conference If you have questions regarding volunteering at the conference, please contact Rosalind Raby at  

F-1 training programs for Secondary School Colleagues available at NAFSA Region XII Conference

Secondary school colleagues, the Region XII Regional Conference registration has opened. There will be a Secondary School Track of sessions to help with the needs of k-12 educators and international students at the upcoming conference in Palm Springs, CA this fall, October 31 – November 4, 2016. For information on the CEP for F-1 Advising: Secondary Students watch the following video

PIER Meetings

Please save the date for our next regular” PIER meetings on December 2, 2016 from 2pm to 4pm at National University and on February 10, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm at The Scripps Research Institute.  We are in the process of planning our meeting dates and locations for 2016-2017.  Please go to our website 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.

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 with your inquiry. Thank you. The PIER Board reserves the right to edit content.


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