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UT with Strong Presence at NAFSA International Educators Conference

UT representatives at the 2023 NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference

UT representatives at the 2023 NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference (left to right: Ahmed Abdelrahman, Yevie Teyfukova, William Vittetoe, Josh Spurling, Annalise Bryant, Tessa Takash, Elizabeth Clevenger, Rachel Rui)

Representatives from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, attended the annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference in late spring 2023. The attendees included staff from international recruitment, programs abroad, international student and scholar services, Asia engagement and Haslam international programs and study abroad.

US International Trade Administration Award to Study Tennessee

US International Trade Administration Award to Study Tennessee

NAFSA “is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. NAFSA serves the needs of more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide at more than 3,500 institutions, in more than 160 countries,” says the organization’s website. It is “committed to international education and exchange, working to advance policies and practices that build global citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s interconnected world.”

Study in the State Pavilion

Study in the State Pavilion (far left: William Vittetoe; second from right: Jason Martisek)

UT’s global goals include developing and supporting a university culture in which global engagement is prioritized and encouraged, educating students to transcend national and cultural boundaries and supporting faculty, staff and students’ ability to extend their research across the world with international partnerships. The annual NAFSA conference connected UT’s international education leaders with partners from around the world to take steps toward these goals.

Conference highlights include:

  • UT solidified a study state consortia partnership with the IC3 Institute, raising further global awareness for the university in 24 countries and in over 400 high schools worldwide. The partnership demonstrates the Volunteer commitment supporting the mission to “jointly support the nurturing of global talent, college readiness and career preparedness.
  • The US International Trade Administration recognized Study Tennessee—a strong advocate for international student recruitment to UT and to the state—as the only state consortium with an award of appreciation for its members’ contributions to the US export mission
  • The Center for Global Engagement team connected with Kansai Gaidai University, located in the northeastern Osaka prefecture of Japan. UT has a long-standing partnership to host students from Kansai Gaidai each year at the English Language Institute
  • The Office of Asia Engagement connected with more than 20 international partners to discuss the Collaborative Online International Learning virtual exchange program and how to bring those connections back to UT to increase global learning opportunities for students and faculty
  • The Programs Abroad Office met with more than 20 current partners and more than 20 potential partners to discuss study abroad programming for UT students
  • The Programs Abroad Office met with vendors to explore expanding student programming opportunities before they go abroad, scholarship opportunities and other initiatives to improve the student experience
  • Haslam International Programs and Study Abroad met with approximately 18 exchange, affiliate and provider partners
  • Sara Easler, assistant dean for international programs and partnerships at the Haslam College of Business, presented on staff recruitment and retention in the international education field. Her presentations included a workshop titled Staffing Up: Strategic Recruiting and Hiring and a panel titled The Great Resignation: Inclusive Job Motivation and Retention Strategies
  • Stephanie Sieggreen, director of international recruitment, engaged with the Türkiye-USA Partnership: Turkish Higher Education Business Council (DEIK/EEIK). She was invited to the Turkish ambassador’s residence and met with the delegation to solidify partnership for future student mobility awareness and outreach
  • Ahmed Abdelrahman, international recruiter, attended roundtable discussions with 15 official embassy representatives and ambassadors to further expand the UT’s viability and visibility as a study destination along with exploration of scholarship possibilities
  • Jason Martisek, assistant director of international recruitment, led UT’s participation for the first time in the Study in the State Pavilion. Along with Study Tennessee and 15 other study state consortia, UT generated increased international visibility for the university and the state as a study state destination leading to further international partnership possibilities
  • Rachel Rui, director of the office of Asia engagement, attended a session focused on designing dual degree programs to further the knowledge of successful dual degree program design, implementation and assessment to better facilitate UT colleges in need

To learn more about the Center for Global Engagement and UT’s efforts to develop and support a university culture in which global engagement is prioritized and encouraged, please visit


Jason Moody (865-974-5752,