2019 Annual Conference Recap

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IES Abroad
November 12, 2019
2019 Annual Conference Recap

From October 16-18thstudy abroad professionals from around the world came to Chicago for the 2019 IES Abroad Annual Conference. We enjoyed meeting new colleagues and reconnecting with long-time friends and educational partners. If you weren’t able to make it—have no fear, your 2019 recap is here! 

Over the course of three days, attendees sparked new ideas, participated in expert-led sessions, and celebrated the accomplishments of outstanding study abroad students and professionals.

We also took time to honor President & CEO of IES Abroad, Mary M. Dwyer, Ph.D., as this was her last Annual Conference before she retires next year. 

Study Abroad as a Path Towards Peace

Plenary SpeakerAmbassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters, CEO, the Carter Center, and IES Abroad Paris Alum

Ambassador Peters spent more than 30 years as a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. In her plenary speech, Ambassador Peters credits her year with IES Abroad in Paris for kick-starting her life as a diplomat and her ongoing mission towards fostering freedom through peace. Ambassador Peters left us with an inspiring message of the lasting power of study abroad and the continuing importance of educating future global leaders.

“The reason I wanted to talk about peace this morning is that it is in our grasp. There are things we can do to put peace back where it belongs—at the top of our personal and national agendas.”
Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters encourages conference attendees

Breakout Sessions

On Thursday and Friday morning, conference attendees chose from a selection of information and share-out sessions that addressed many relevant topics in the field. Some highlights included:

Representation Matters: Marketing to Underrepresented Students

Our presenters provided a five-step marketing framework to help engage unique and multifaceted identities in studying abroad marketing, and focused on first-generation students, race and ethnicity, disabilities, and LGBTQ+ identities.

Presented by:

  • Marlowe Padilla | Student Outreach & Ambassador Coordinator and Sydney Alum - IES Abroad
  • Asinda Sirignano | Global Engagement Project Manager - University of Michigan
  • Katie Wiggins-Gawlik | Global Education Advisor - University of Michigan Ross School of Business


Trends in Customized & Faculty-Led Programming: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going

In this session, our presenters shared case studies to demonstrate the trends in customized and faculty-led programs, and participants identified and explored how these trends can inform policy and practice.

Presented by:

  • Katie Burke | Associate Director, Customized & Faculty-Led Programs - IES Abroad
  • Margaret Hall, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor of IT Innovation - University of Nebraska Omaha
  • Michael S. Keibler | Co-op Advisor, Global Engineering Track - University of Louisville


Managing Mental Health on Campus and Abroad

Through case studies and group discussion, participants explored how mental health issues are addressed on campus and abroad, and shared resources for helping students manage their mental health needs.

Presented by:

  • Mary E. Grigar, Ph.D | Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Health and Wellness Center - Lake Forest College
  • Stephanie Rock | Associate Dean of Students - IES Abroad

Awards Dinner

On Thursday night, we celebrated together under the magnificent Tiffany Dome at the Chicago Cultural Center. As it was Dr. Dwyer’s final Annual Conference, Center Directors reflected on her achievements and wished her well with her retirement. We also awarded several outstanding colleagues from our partner schools with IES Abroad Leadership Awards for their dedication to international education. Award winners include:

Awards Dinner

  • Professional Development Award: Jessica Oldford, Director of Global Student Experience at University of Michigan Ross School of Business
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Robin Craggs, Executive Director, International Programs at Occidental College
  • Volunteer of the Year: Doug Lee, Assistant Provost, International Programs at the University of Iowa 

Student Recognition

On Friday, four of our students shared their experiences first-hand and reminded each of us why we do the work that we do. Their passion and dedication to our mission is powerful, and we are proud to call them IES Abroad alumni.

Student Recognition

“Study abroad changed the way I wanted to live my life.”
Collin Thomas • 2019 Ambassador of the Year

See You Next Year!

Thank you to everyone who came to see us, and everyone who helped make this conference a reality. We wish you well in the coming year! 

Join us October 14-16, 2020 for another three days of learning, sharing, and being reenergized to serve your study abroad students. We're looking forward to hearing about your professional experience and recent research in 2020 when we call for proposals. 

For updates on what IES Abroad is doing between conferences, check out our news and announcements

IES Abroad News

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