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.

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 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:

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

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 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 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