GSIE Annual Report AY 2018 - 2019

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In 2018-19, we continued to increase our national and international visibility through the efforts of staff, faculty and students. As can be seen in the details of this report, GSIE had a very good year in honors, awards, significant achievements and growth. We were also sad to lose long-time study abroad director, DeDe Long, who retired in May.

Significant Achievements and Changes

Notable achievements and changes

  • Kim Needy was the recipient of three significant professional honors, receiving the Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award and the Engineering Economy Wellington Award from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, and the Merl Baker Award from the American Society of Engineering Education, Engineering Management Division.
  • Kim Needy was elected the president-elect of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools and in that capacity, was responsible for planning the February 2019 conference in Knoxville, TN. At the conference, she assumed duties as the President. Amanda Cantu helped coordinate the 3MT contest at the conference.
  • DeDe Long, long-term and founding director of the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange, announced her retirement effective June 30, 2019. Sarah Malloy, associate director in the office, will resume the duties of director on July 1.
  • Ms. Long received the Life Membership Award from NAFSA: Association of International Educators in May 2019 as well as the Arkansas State Diamond Award, the Fulbright College Medallion, the Arkansas State Award for Service in International Education and the Distinguished Leader Award from the Honors College.
  • Leadership from the U of A Rome Center and GSIE organized and hosted 30 Years in Rome, a two-day celebration of the university’s academic presence in The Eternal City held at the UARC’s home in the Palazzo Taverna on April 4-5, 2019. More than 125 dignitaries, faculty, university representatives and students attended the two-day event.
  • Sarah Malloy, Associate Director of the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange, received the Staff Gold Medal award from the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards; Veronica Mobley, Brian Poepsel and Katie Sabo, also in that office, were all given the outstanding mentor award from the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards.
  • Dr. L. Lee Johns Lane, an alumnus of the University of Arkansas and member of our campaign committee, was awarded the Citation of Distinguished Alumni by the Arkansas Alumni Society.
  • The Graduate and Professional Student Congress (GPSC) at the U of A was recognized as the regional and national member of the year by the National Associate of Graduate and Professional Schools – the only organization ever to win twice in a row.
  • The GPSC also hosted the meetings of the national association in Fayetteville in November 2018.
  • The recipients of the Hoyt Purvis Awards for Service in International Education at the U of A were: Dr. Leyah Bergman-Lanier (Spring International Language Center), Ms. Chelsea Hodge (Honors College), and Dr. Lanier Nalley (Bumpers College).
  • At the Employee Appreciation Banquet held in October 2018, the following GSIE staff members were recognized: Amanda Cantu and Cassie Franklin for Employee of the Quarter and Employee of the Year; Melissa Erwin for Employee of the Quarter; Kayla McGrew received a scholarship and Karl Anderson was a recent graduate. Beverly Lackey, Mark Larmoyeux, Kim Needy and Sedivy Reigh received 10 year service awards and Carol Wade received an award for 25 years of service.
  • JoAnne Kvamme, Assistant Director of the Environmental Dynamics Ph.D. program, was awarded the Myron “Mike” Maccechko Diversity Advocacy Awards from the Black Alumni Society. She was also selected as the University of Arkansas Employee of the Third Quarter.
  • We hosted the 10th annual Collis R. Geren Awards and Appreciation cookout with Adnan Alrubaye, Cassie Franklin, Dave Dawson, receiving awards for faculty, GSIE staff, and University staff, respectively. Dr. Geren was also in attendance.
  • Caitlin Ahrens, a doctoral student in Space and Planetary Sciences, was chosen as one of 10 Outstanding Young Americans in 2018.
  • DeDe Long chaired the conference committee for the Fulbright Association annual conference held in Puebla, Mexico, November 1-4; Ms. Long also represented the University at the awarding of the Fulbright Prize to Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, January 26, 2019.
  • Laura Moix developed and launched the inaugural Razorgrad Institute for Success and Engagement (RISE) with 15 students.
  • Romona West and Laura Moix co-chaired the GSIE Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
  • Amanda Cantu and Allen Burnett worked closely with Julie Olsen and the Alumni Association to market alumni events in Bolivia, Southeast Asia, Dallas and Washington, DC. Amanda also worked closely with those units and the Rome Center to market the Center’s 30th anniversary celebration. Amanda Cantu worked with Julie Olsen and the Office of International Students and Scholars to revamp the Razorbacks Worldwide alumni newsletter.
  • The U of A implemented the SABIC Foundation Year Program, requiring intensive collaboration between Custom and Short-term Programs in ISS, Spring International Language Center, Sponsored Students and Special Programs and the College of Engineering; the first cohort was composed of ten Saudi Arabian students and all of them were admitted to U.S. undergraduate degree programs by Spring 2019, five of them in engineering programs at the U of A.
  • The U of A Office of Testing Services is one of the top rated in the ETS Institutional Center Network with a score of 800 out of 850. This metric is based on test security, on-time test delivery, staff training, resolution of problem reports and feedback from test candidates.
  • Yassaman Mirdamadi, Director of Testing Services, was elected to serve as the Secretary of the Governing Board of the Arkansas College Testing Association in fall, 2018. o Anna Zajicek, Professor and Department Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology, was selected as the University of Arkansas GSIE Outstanding Mentor.
  • The Graduate Recruitment Assistance Fund continued to be an important resource for departments and programs with over $47,000 being disbursed for recruitment-related travel by 22 units; 25 faculty/staff took advantage of our Best Practices in Graduate Education training sessions.
  • Several staff members presented at a variety of conferences.
  • We moved the Office of Graduate Student Support under Amanda Cantu, who is now the director of the Office of Graduate Student Support, Registration, and Graduation; the unit directed by Vicky Hartwell is now the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Program Support and its goal is to assist with graduate faculty development.
  • We hosted our 10th Graduate Research Opportunities Forum, in March 2019. Faculty from the following institutions attended: North Carolina A & T University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Philander Smith College, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, California State University, University of Providence, Fort Valley State University, Grambling State University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and Claflin University.
  • The Attracting Intelligent Minds (AIM) conference was held in September 2018. AIM is a diversity recruitment initiative that is sponsored by the Black Graduate Students’ Association (BGSA) and the Graduate School and International Education (GSIE), with support from select faculty, staff and administrators. Sixteen outstanding students from HBCUs were selected to participate.
  • Our websites were recognized by several entities as well-designed and helpful. Andrew Dorman and John Mark Cagle began user experience testing on the GSIE webpages in an effort to create more functional pages.
  • We hosted the Distinguished Doctoral Fellows and Doctoral Academy Fellows, plus guests and faculty members at the annual Doctoral Fellows reception in February.
  • The Office of Sponsored Students Programs held the annual Welcome Reception with the Chancellor in September for new and continuing SSSP students along with their faculty advisors and international educators, and also hosted the SSSP Recognition Program for graduates and visiting students in both fall 2018 and spring 2019.
  • Because of the efforts of Julie Olsen, Vicky Hartwell and Laura Moix, five University of Arkansas graduate students were awarded P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Scholar awards for the 2019-20 academic year.
  • Total Campaign Arkansas fundraising for GSIE/VPRI was $2,897,147 as of June 30, 2019.
  • During the All in For Arkansas campaign, GSIE received 55 gifts from GSIE alumni, staff and friends totaling $6,862.

Graduate School

  • Fall 2018 graduate enrollment was 4,024, a 3.29% decrease from the previous year. As a percentage of the total University enrollment, graduate student enrollment decreased from 15.10% in Fall 2017 to 14.49% in Fall 2018, becoming the third lowest in the SEC after Alabama and the University of Mississippi.
  • Graduate enrollment of under-represented minorities was 19.8% of total domestic graduate enrollment in Fall 2018 compared to 18.3% in Fall 2017; enrollment of under-represented minorities in doctoral programs increased from 169 in Fall 2017 to 174 in Fall 2018.
  • In the most recent graduation year (2017-18), we awarded master’s degrees to 1,114 students (78 fewer than the year before) and doctoral degrees to 204 students (36 more than in the previous graduation year). Graduate School staff completed more than 1,500 thesis/dissertation pre-checks and processed 460 submissions. As the result of a resignation, Julie Rogers single-handedly processed all thesis/dissertation submissions for spring 2019. She was more than happy to welcome Leigh Marshall as the new graduation specialist.
  • Julie Rogers hosted thesis and dissertation formatting training sessions with students and faculty across campus.
  • Laura Moix implemented several graduate student support initiatives including: "Let’s Talk" with Counseling and Psychological Services; Career Advising; TIPS for TA’s; Research Days; Destress for Success Week; Graduate Student Appreciation Week; "Less Stress, More Stretch"; Free Coffee Fridays; a mini food pantry and lending library in the Graduate Student Lounge; and a weekly email to graduate students on "5 Things You Need to Know."
  • In Fall 2018, there were 108 Distinguished Doctoral Fellows, 204 Doctoral Academy Fellows, 46 Benjamin Franklin Lever Tuition Fellows, 52 Master of Fine Arts Graduate Fellows and six Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholars.
  • The Slate Customer Relations Management module went live on July 1, 2018; over 1,650 custom fields have been created and 345 automated process rules run daily. From July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019, the Slate CRM imported 26,767 new leads, sent over 106,000 automated emails, 7,250 requests for information/on-line forms submitted, and recorded 2,490 students registered for an event. During the 2018-19 academic year, GSIE staff worked hard to implement the Slate admissions module.
  • The Office of Testing Services tested approximately 30,000 students, prospective students, and other clients in 2018 and received a positive rating of 99% on the Test Taker Satisfaction Survey.
  • Testing Services partnered with two vendors this year to offer additional tests such as the Health Sciences Reasoning Test and two tests for the Society of Human Resources Management.

International Education

  • In Fall 2018, international students comprised 5.2% of the University’s on-schedule enrollment; international graduate students accounted for 17.8% of the total on-schedule graduate population. The enrollment of international graduate students decreased from Fall 2017 to Fall 2018 by nine students, from 726 in Fall 2017 to 717 in Fall 2018. The population of international undergraduate students decreased from 730 to 714 between Fall 2017 and Fall 2018, continuing a downward trend.
  • National events influenced the work of the International Students and Scholars office again this year. The “Hire American, Buy American” Executive Order created an environment of “Delay, Discourage, and Deny” among United States Immigration and Citizenship Services including documentation for every H-1B petition and delays in Optional Practical Training Applications. As was the national trend, the University of Arkansas experienced a decrease in the number of enrolled international students, but the University saw an increase in the number of scholars conducting research and teaching on the campus. Alumni outreach continued to be a priority. Outreach included arranging receptions during conferences, specific visits both in the U.S. and abroad including Bolivia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia and the formation of a LinkedIn group to help connect alumni with current students. The office began to follow up with international students on academic probation to provide referrals to services designed for each student’s specific needs. Participation in International Education Week extended to more academic departments and campus services this year including the Music Department, Chartwells, the Art Department, College of Education and many others.
  • 185 UA students studied at the Rome Center in 2018-19.
  • DeDe Long, Director of Study Abroad and International Exchange, and Laurence Hare, Director of the Fulbright College International and Global Studies program, hosted the German Fulbright Conference on campus with approximately 80 participants, May 17-19, 2019.
  • Over-all study abroad enrollment increased slightly compared to the previous year with record numbers of undergraduates participating (7% increase from previous year) and a record number of U of A students (15% increase from previous year) enrolled at the Rome Center.
  • Laura Moix was the conference planner for the 2018 NAFSA Region III conference in Little Rock.
  • A total of 93 students actively participated in the International Culture Team (ICT) presenting their culture in at least two events. An additional 128 students/scholars/spouses presented at least in one event totaling 221 presenters for the year. These students represented 60 different countries. We had representation of two countries which had never been on the team before, Comoros and Laos. 40 new members completed three levels of training and became formal members sharing their culture in different ways such as performing, cooking, and hosting cultural tables.
  • 92 international students and scholars were matched to 78 Friendship Families and individuals from the NW Arkansas region for friendships in the Friendship Family Program; results from the May 2019 survey of hosts and students indicates that over 74% of matches met monthly or more after being matched in 2018-2019.
  • The University of Arkansas welcomed the eighth cohort of 28 PAPSS scholars (from Panama) to campus in August 2018. The total number of scholars enrolled at the U of A in Fall 2018 was 129. The Fall 2018 cumulative GPA for the PAPPS scholars was 3.241.
  • In Fall 2018, there were 181 sponsored students from 25 sponsoring organizations and 38 countries.
  • We presented five students the Peace Corps Prep Certificate.
  • 140 students were enrolled in reciprocal exchange programs in 2018-19: 98 outbound and 42 inbound.

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Fall 2018 enrollment in interdisciplinary graduate programs was 269, a 1.1% increase over Fall 2017.
  • In the 2017-18 graduation year, the Graduate School awarded 25 interdisciplinary master’s degrees and 33 interdisciplinary doctoral degrees; accounting for 2.2% of the University’s master’s degrees and 16.2% of the University’s doctoral degrees.
  • The Ph.D. program in Cell and Molecular Biology remained the largest doctoral program on campus in Fall 2018 enrollments, with 81 students.
  • The Environmental Dynamics program supported the National Council for Science and the Environment meeting, with the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, June 24-26, on the UA campus.
  • Gina Riggio, a doctoral student in Cell and Molecular Biology, won first place in the student poster competition at the Universities Council on Water Resources/National Institutes for Water Resources annual water conference in June 2019. Her project was funded through the Arkansas Water Resources Center 104B grant program and her major advisor was Dr. Kristen Gibson in Food Science.
  • Cell and Molecular Biology students and faculty generated slightly over $28M in continuing grant support, nearly $9M in new grant support, 34 peer-reviewed publications, 75 invited lectures/presentations/seminars and one patent. In addition, nine students won 15 awards.
  • Space and Planetary Sciences underwent its program review this year.
  • The Public Policy program regained its position as the most diverse doctoral program on campus in Fall 2018 enrollments, with 34.8% racial/ethnic diversity (out of total enrollment) or 39.5% out of domestic enrollment.
  • In Fall 2018, the Microelectronics-Photonics and Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D. programs were ranked third and fifth, respectively, in the percentage of international students in doctoral programs; the percentages were 68.6% for MEPH and 65.4% for CEMB.
  • Adnan Alrubaye, Associate Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, received several awards in 2018-19. In addition to the Collis R. Geren award mentioned previously, Dr. Alrubaye was also asked to throw out the first pitch at a Razorback baseball game as a recipient of the "Adopt a Prof program" and was the recipient of the Master Teaching Award from the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Doug Rhoads, Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology program, was inducted into the U of A Teaching Academy.
  • Valerie Hunt, Associate Director of the Public Policy Ph.D. Program, serves on the Arkansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
  • Rachael Moyer, Creed Tumlison and Eric Button, students in the Public Policy Ph.D. program, presented their research at the fall meetings of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management in Washington, DC.
  • Electa Hare-Redcorn, a student in the Public Policy Ph.D. program, was named a recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 Award from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.
  • Microelectronics–photonics students authored/co-authored 61 papers/presentations and had six provisional patents filed in the 2018-19 academic year. Just under $1.5M in grants supported student research in this program.
  • Rick Wise, Director of the Microelectronics-Photonics program, was selected as one of four STEM PAAD (Professional Awareness, Advancement and Development) faculty members for 2018-2019.
  • Microelectronics-Photonics began hosting a new three-year NSF REU program (NSF/EEC 1757979) entitled Tomorrow’s Nanomanufacturing: Engineering with Science (TNEWS) in summer 2018.
  • 64 faculty from 20 departments participated in the Statistics and Analytics program.
  • Oluwatobi Olorunsola, a doctoral student in Microelectronics-Photonics, was awarded the International Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship from the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers.
  • Faculty associated with Space and Planetary Sciences secured over $3.5M in research related directly to the program and maintained over $2M in continuing grants; Space and Planetary Sciences students and faculty published one book and 16 refereed journal articles, as well as presenting at a variety of national and international conferences.
  • In 2018, Ellen Czaplinski (a doctoral student in Space and Planetary Sciences) was one of only 10 graduate students selected from an international pool of applicants for an internship with the NASA-sponsored Center for Lunar Science and Exploration. She continues to be supported as one of only approximately 30 students selected annually to receive the prestigious NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship.
  • The Center for Space and Planetary Sciences held a nationally advertised, on-campus event in 2018, “Experimental Analysis of the Outer Solar System Workshop.” This technical meeting was sponsored by the Lunar and Planetary Institute and was the first of its kind in the US. o The STAN Quantitative Social Sciences concentration presented two well-attended and wellreceived workshops: “Theory-Driven Policy Research in the Big Data Era” (with Public Policy Research Group) and “Big Data Analytics Workshop #4: Applied Machine Learning in Social Science Research”, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
  • Students in Statistics and Analytics presented 36 papers at professional conferences and published 15 peer-reviewed journal articles.
  • In 2018-19, doctoral students in Public Policy published or had accepted for publication 14 peerreviewed journal articles and presented 24 conference papers. In 2018-19, program faculty published or had accepted for publication 62 articles and 7 books. Program faculty were PIs, Co- PIs, or collaborators on over $ 16 million in grant funding.
  • Environmental Dynamics students were awarded over $1M in external and internal grants in 2018-19 with $61,567 in external awards. o Environmental Dynamics students were co-authors on 9 refereed publications and one book chapter, and gave six invited lectures, eleven oral presentations and eight poster presentations.