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Thu, Dec 09



Empowering Today's Global Leaders: Our Nation's Renewed Commitment to International Education

The essential return to international education in this time, nationally and globally

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Empowering Today's Global Leaders: Our Nation's Renewed Commitment to International Education
Empowering Today's Global Leaders: Our Nation's Renewed Commitment to International Education

Time & Location

Dec 09, 2021, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST



About the event

Envision more robust and equitable study abroad opportunities for all of our students. Prior to COVID, we were facing challenges of inequities in study abroad. Then most study abroad opportunities came to a halt. While Congress has funded resource centers and programs to improve the nation’s capacity to teach and learn world languages, such initiatives fall short if we are not able to provide robust and equitable access to significant study abroad experiences for more students. Panelists will consider the unique juncture we find ourselves in due to the pandemic and the political landscape. In this conversation we will explore how we can revitalize and grow study abroad in a more equitable fashion.



Pablo Muirhead, Moderator 

ACTFL Treasurer, Chair of Associate of Arts & Sciences, Milwaukee Area Technical College

Building bridges between cultures through language education inspires Pablo to grow daily. Raised bilingually, he was fortunate to spend his upbringing between the U.S. and Peru. Later, he went on to study abroad in Indonesia and Germany where he gained proficiency in both the language and culture of his hosts. These experiences helped set him on a career as a language educator and advocate for increased study abroad opportunities.

Rachel Banks

Senior Director, Public Policy & Legislative Strategy, NAFSA

Rachel Banks is senior director for public policy and legislative strategy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators in Washington, D.C. Her work focuses primarily on advocating for U.S. government policies that increase study abroad opportunities for U.S. students and attract international students and scholars to study or conduct research in the United States. She also oversees production of NAFSA’s annual economic analysis of international students studying in the U.S. She has prior experience working in U.S. Congress, in Canadian Parliament, and with nonprofit associations. She holds a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan.

Chris Muller

Outreach and Alumni Coordinator, Near East South Asia Center (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies

Chris Muller is the Outreach and Alumni Coordinator at the NESA Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University where he manages alumni engagement and activities for international programs throughout the Middle East and Central and South Asia. He previously spent six years supporting language acquisition programs, professional training, and research fellowships throughout Russia and Eurasia at American Councils for International Education. Christopher's language journey began with a two-week high school immersion program in Madrid, which ignited a passion for foreign languages and cultural exchange. He holds a B.A. in International studies from American University, during which time he spent six months studying and working in Russia.

Chelsea Sypher 

VIce President, DoD Programs, Institute of International Education

Chelsea Sypher is Vice President, DoD Programs, at the Institute of International Education (IIE).  IIE is honored to administer The Language Flagship, The Boren Awards, Project Global Officer, the Language Training Centers, and the English for Heritage Language Speakers Program on behalf of DLNSEO. She has worked with DLNSEO programs since 2007, first as assistant director for the Arabic Flagship Program at the University of Texas at Austin, and later as director of Special Programs at the University of Maryland (UMD), including leadership for the UMD Arabic and Persian Flagship Programs, Project Global Officer, and the UMD Summer Institute. She began her career in international education as a language educator. She enjoys applying her experience in language teaching and program development to these important programs.

Ms. Sypher received a BA in International Relations from the University of Sussex, and an MSc in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh. She has lived, worked, and studied overseas in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Oman.

Anne H. Betteridge

Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Arizona

Anne H. Betteridge is Director of the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies and a professor in the UA School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies. She served as Executive Director of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) from 1990-2002. An anthropologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, her research interests focus on Iranian culture, and women and ritual in particular. Anne Betteridge is currently Co-Chair of the Council of National Resource Centers for International and Area Studies (CNRC) and President of the American Institute of Iranian Studies.


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  • Donation & Registration

    Our Continuing Conversations Virtual Panel Series celebrates 40 years of JNCL-NCLIS advocacy. Your generous donation helps ensure the next 40 years of language advocacy.

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